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CELTICS LOSE SECOND STRAIGHT HOME GAME
The Celtics lost 96-83 to the Bulls in Boston, after dropping a 102-96 decision to the Hawks in their last game at TD Garden. It's the first time this season that the Celtics have lost consecutive home games. The only NBA teams that haven't lost consecutive home games this season are the Cavaliers, Lakers and Magic. In fact, those three teams haven't lost two straight home games since late in the 2007-08 season.
MIKE BRODEUR'S FIRST TWO NHL GAMES
Ottawa's Mike Brodeur posted a 2-0 shutout against the Rangers on Thursday night in his second NHL game, after making his debut with a 4-1 win versus Minnesota on December 19. The "other" Brodeur is only the fourth goaltender in the NHL's "modern era" to start and win each of his first two games while allowing no more than one goal in the two games combined. The other netminders to do that were Mario Lessard (October 1978), David Aebischer (October 2000) and Al Montoya (April 2009).
RANGERS BLANKED BY BRODEUR FOR SECOND STRAIGHT GAME
The Rangers were shut out at home by Martin Brodeur on Tuesday and Mike Brodeur on Thursday. It's the first time in NHL history that a team was shut out in consecutive games by different goaltenders with the same last name.
This was the third time that the Rangers were shut out in consecutive games, both on home ice, since the current Madison Square Garden opened in February 1968. It previously happened in March 1989 (vs. Boston and Buffalo) and October 1999 (vs. Philadelphia and Vancouver).
A LONG STRETCH OF NOTHING FOR THE RANGERS
The Rangers lost to the Devils in a shootout after playing to a 0-0 deadlock on Tuesday and their game against Ottawa on Thursday was goalless until Chris Campoli scored for the Senators with 1:14 left in the third period. Going back to the third period of their game in Boston on Saturday, the Rangers played 127:30 without scoring or allowing a goal. That was the longest such stretch for any NHL team since Dec. 18-23, 1999, when the Calgary Flames went 135:19 without a goal for or against.
JORDAN STAAL'S THREE THIRD-PERIOD ASSISTS
The Penguins trailed 2-0 through two periods in their game at Edmonton but they scored three times in the third period to beat the Oilers, 3-2, with Jordan Staal assisting on all three Pittsburgh goals. Staal is the first NHL player to record three third-period assists in a road game this season and he's the first Penguins player to do that since Sidney Crosby on Dec. 5, 2007 in... Edmonton!
TOSKALA MAKES 38 SAVES IN SHUTOUT
Vesa Toskala stopped all 38 shots he faced in his 4-0 win over the Flyers. Toskala's 38 saves equaled the highest total by a Maple Leafs goaltender in a regular-season shutout in the last 30 years. Ken Wregget made 38 stops in a 6-0 shutout at Philadelphia on Nov. 14, 1987 and Ed Belfour faced 38 shots on goal in a 1-0 whitewashing of the Devils on Dec. 7, 2002.
ROY SCORES HIS THIRD OT GOAL OF THE SEASON
Derek Roy scored his third overtime goal of the season to earn a 2-1 win for the Sabres in Atlanta. His other OT goals were scored at Toronto on December 21 and at home against the Thrashers on New Year's Day. Roy's three overtime goals tie the single-season record for a Sabres player set by Daniel Briere in 2006-07.
ANOTHER 1-0 SHUTOUT FOR CHRIS MASON
Chris Mason recorded his first shutout of the season and the 19th of his NHL career with a 1-0 victory against Minnesota. Five of Mason's last eight shutouts have been 1-0 wins.
LIDSTROM ENDS GOAL DROUGHT
Nicklas Lidstrom ended his 42-game goal drought when he opened the scoring in the Red Wings' 3-1 win over the Hurricanes. (His only other goal this season was scored against the Blackhawks on October 8.) Lidstrom's goalless streak was the second-longest of his career, behind a 48-game dry spell in 1992-93, his second season in the NHL.
VOKOUN STOPS PENALTY SHOT IN WIN OVER LIGHTNING
Tomas Vokoun posted a 3-2 win against the Lightning in Tampa and he preserved the Panthers' one-goal lead when he stopped Martin St. Louis on a penalty shot with just under five minutes left in the third period. Vokoun has faced 19 penalty shots in his career, the most of any active goaltender and second-most in NHL history, behind Curtis Joseph (21). Though he made the stop in Thursday's game, Vokoun has allowed more penalty-shot goals (9) than any other netminder in league history.
HUET'S SHUTOUTS ARE ALL CENTRAL
Cristobal Huet notched his fourth shutout of the season with a 3-0 win over the Blue Jackets. Huet's shutouts have all come in Chicago, one against each of the Blackhawks' four Central Division rivals: Nashville (Oct. 24), St. Louis (Dec. 16), Detroit (Dec. 20) and Columbus (Thursday).
GIONTA'S TWO GOALS POWER CANADIENS TO VICTORY
Brian Gionta scored two goals, both on power plays, in the Canadiens' 5-3 win over the Stars. It was the fourth time in Gionta's eight NHL seasons that he scored two power play goals in one game and the first time since he did it for the Devils against Toronto on Oct. 12, 2006.
UNLIKELY GOAL SCORERS LEAD COYOTES TO WIN
The Coyotes beat the Devils, 4-3, with the help of some unlikely goal scorers. Phoenix's final three goals were scored by Peter Mueller, Daniel Winnik and Zbynek Michalek, who had combined for only six goals in 118 individual games entering play on Thursday night. Winnik's goal ended a personal 30-game drought and Michalek had been goalless in his last 21 games.
QUICK: FIRST KINGS GOALIE WITH FOUR STRAIGHT WINS VS. DUCKS
Jonathan Quick shut out the Ducks, 4-0, giving him four wins in four career games versus Anaheim. Quick is the first goaltender with a four-game winning streak for the Kings against their Southern California rival.