After the refs put the Avs on a 4 on 3 powerplay with the bad delay of game call, they made it worse by tossing Nielsen from the draw and forcing a defencemen (Staios, I think) to take (and lose) the faceoff. Colorado scored the winning goal on that posession.
Nielsen has not had a very good season on faceoffs so far (45%, 4th among the centers), but it is early and he has been better in the past. It seems to me that he also gets tossed from the circle quite frequently but I could not find any stats on that.
Instinctively it seems that winning faceoffs is important, but are there any statistics on how important? Also, do these statistics take into consideration how often a player is tossed from a faceoff for (theoretically) and inferior faceoff man?