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CAVS COMPLETE TWO-GAME SWEEP OF THE LAKERS
The Cavaliers won both of their games against the Lakers this season, beating them 102-87 in Los Angeles on Christmas Day and 93-87 in Cleveland on Thursday night. The only previous season-series sweep of the defending NBA champion by the Cavaliers was in the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season, when they won all three games they played against the Michael Jordan-less Bulls.
KOBE MISSES 19 SHOTS
Kobe Bryant made only 12 of 31 field-goal attempts in the Lakers' loss to the Cavaliers. The Lakers have lost the last seven games in which Bryant missed 19 or more field-goal tries, including four this season, all since Christmas Day.
ERIC STAAL: FIFTH STRAIGHT SEASON WITH HAT TRICK
Eric Staal notched his first hat trick of the season and the ninth of his career in the Hurricanes' 5-2 win in Atlanta. Staal did not have a hat trick in his rookie year (2003-04) but he's had at least one in all five seasons since then. He's the only NHL player with at least one hat trick in every season since 2005-06, and his nine total hat tricks over the last five seasons tie him with Jonathan Cheechoo for the league high.
UPSHALL: NATURAL HAT TRICK IN THIRD PERIOD
The Coyotes trailed the Predators, 2-1, through two periods but they came from behind to win 4-2, with Scottie Upshall scoring all three third-period goals for Phoenix. Upshall is the third player in Jets/Coyotes history to register a third-period natural hat trick, joining Dave Christian (March 26, 1980) and Stu Barnes (Nov. 11, 1991), who did that when the team was located in Winnipeg.
RANGERS' OFFENSE GOES FROM HOT TO COLD
The Rangers were shut out 2-0 by Ray Emery and the Flyers on Thursday night, after routing Tampa Bay 8-2 in their last game. It was the first time that the Rangers were shut out immediately following a game in which they scored eight goals or more since Dec. 13-15, 1992, when they beat Montreal 10-5 but were blanked 3-0 by Calgary two nights later. The last time any NHL team had such a hot and cold pair of games was Florida in its first two games of the 2006-07 season: an 8-0 win over the Bruins which was followed by a 6-0 loss in Atlanta.
PETER REGIN'S THREE POWER-PLAY POINTS
Rookie Peter Regin had a hand in all three Ottawa goals, each scored on power plays, when the Senators beat the Blues, 3-2, on Thursday night. Regin opened the scoring with a goal late in the first period, then he assisted on Milan Michalek's second-period goal and the game-winner by Chris Phillips in the third period. Regin's three power-play points in one game tie the Ottawa rookie record, a mark set by Alexei Yashin on April 7, 1994 at Boston (1 goal, 2 assists) and equaled by Martin Havlat versus Atlanta on March 14, 2001 (2 goals, 1 assist).
OVECHKIN: 3 POINTS AND 7 HITS
The Capitals came from behind to beat the Penguins, 6-4, in the first matchup of the season between Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby. Ovechkin scored three points (two goals, one assist) to Crosby's one (a goal), and Ovechkin was credited with a game-high seven hits. It was Ovechkin's 50th career game with three or more points but only the second of those games in which he registered as many as seven hits (Nov. 6, 2008 vs. Carolina: 3 assists, 7 hits).
LATEST EVER LIGHTNING STRIKE IN OVERTIME
Martin St. Louis scored 4:50 into overtime to give the Lightning a 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs. It was a Tampa Bay franchise-record sixth career overtime goal for St. Louis, and it was the latest regular-season OT goal by a Lightning player, topping by one second the old mark of 4:49 set by St. Louis himself against Carolina on April 15, 2006.
BURROWS' 13 GOALS IN JANUARY TIE CANUCKS RECORD
Alex Burrows scored his league-leading 13th goal in January to help the Canucks edge the Stars, 4-3. Burrows' 13 goals tie the Canucks team record for the month of January, a mark set by Tony Tanti in 1988 and equaled by Pavel Bure in 1994.
ROLOSON IS TOUGH TO BEAT WHEN HE'S BUSY
Dwayne Roloson stopped 33 of 34 shots on goal in regulation time and overtime, then turned away both shootout attempts by the Panthers to help the Islanders pick up their sixth consecutive home win. Roloson is 10-1-5 this season in games in which he's faced 30 or more shots on goal, but only 9-7-1 when the opposition puts fewer than 30 shots on target against him.
UMBERGER SCORES LATE GAME-WINNER FOR COLUMBUS
R.J. Umberger's power play goal with 1:16 left in the third period snapped a 2-2 tie and earned the Blue Jackets a 3-2 win at Boston. It was the latest third-period go-ahead goal by a Columbus player since Nov. 5, 2008, when Manny Malhotra scored a tiebreaking goal with 1:09 remaining against Edmonton in a game the Blue Jackets won, 5-4.