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Giants not jolly, and are turning fans green
From Elias: The Giants fell to 0-6 in Chicago on Thursday as Eli Manning threw his 13th, 14th and 15th interceptions of the season. Only one other quarterback in NFL history has started and lost each of his team's first six games of a season while throwing at least 15 interceptions. That was Eddie LeBaron, who started and lost each of the first six games in Cowboys' team history, in 1960; he threw 17 picks in those six games.
Manning (0-6) and Ben Roethlisberger (0-4) are the only quarterbacks ever to start a season 0-3 or worse after winning multiple Super Bowls. Only two quarterbacks who started and won a Super Bowl more than once lost their first two starts in a season: Terry Bradshaw (1981) and Troy Aikman (Games 1 and 4 in 2000).
Jennings the defensive hero for Bears
From Elias: Tim Jennings intercepted Eli Manning twice on Thursday, running one back for the first score of the game, and ending a potential go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter. Jennings has 12 interceptions in 20 games over the last two seasons, the highest total by a Bears player over 20 games since Charlie Ford had 12 picks in 20 games from 1971 to 1973.
Verlander takes his place among the greatest of all time
From Elias: Justin Verlander struck out 10 batters in eight innings without allowing a run in Detroit's series-clinching win over Oakland on Thursday. That extended his postseason scoreless streak against Oakland to 30 innings, which set a major-league record. Previously, the most consecutive scoreless innings by a pitcher against one team in postseason play was 28, by Christy Mathewson against the Philadelphia A's, from 1905 to 1911.
Verlander held the Athletics without a run or an extra-base hit in the 15 innings he pitched in the series, and he struck out 11 and 10 batters in his two starts. The only other pitcher in major-league history with a pair of 10-strikeout, 0-run starts in a postseason series was Sandy Koufax in the 1965 World Series, against the Twins. Koufax lost the first game of that series, even though he allowed only two runs in six innings while striking out nine men, but he shut out the Twins in Games 5 and 7 while whiffing 10 in each game.
It was Verlander's fifth postseason game with double-digit strikeouts, and his fourth in four games against the Athletics over the last two seasons. Verlander, pitching his 14th postseason game, tied the postseason record for games of 10 or more strikeouts, joining Bob Gibson (in nine games), Cliff Lee (11) and Randy Johnson (19, 16 starts). No other pitcher has more than two 10-K games against one team.
It really hasn't worked in the playoffs
From Elias: The Athletics have lost each of their last six winner-take-all playoff games, dating back 2000, the longest streak of that kind in major-league history. Oakland was eliminated in winner-moves-on games by the Yankees in 2000 and 2001, Twins in 2002, Red Sox in 2003 and Tigers in 2012 and 2013.
Avalanche demolishing all in its path
From Elias: Colorado won its fourth straight game to start the season for new coach Patrick Roy, and it has allowed no more than one goal in any of those games. The only other team in NHL history to begin a season with four consecutive wins while allowing no more than one goal in any game was the Flyers in 1995-96.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere, playing in his first game this season, made 39 saves for Colorado on Thursday. It was the 37th shutout of Giguere's 16-year NHL career and it marked the first time that he recorded a clean sheet in his first game of a season. His earliest shutout before this came in his second game of the 2006-07 season with Anaheim. Giguere's 39 saves were also a career high for a regular-season shutout.
Rangers and Manning causing misery for some New York fans
From Elias: Two nights after losing to the Sharks, 9-2, the Rangers lost to the Ducks on Thursday, 6-0. New York is the first NHL team to lose consecutive games within one season by six or more goals since Atlanta in November 2000. The Rangers have lost by six or more in consecutive games only four other times in team history (in 1943, 1975, 1984 and 2000).
The Rangers have been outscored in their four games this season, 20-6, which is their worst goal differential in the first four games of a season since 1981 (outscored 21-7 while starting 1-3-0).
Stamkos strikes three times for Lightning
From Elias: Steven Stamkos scored his first three goals of the season in the Lightning's 7-2 win over the Panthers. It was the sixth hat trick of his NHL career and first since New Year's Eve 2011 in a game against the Hurricanes. Stamkos's three goals give him a total of 20 in 29 career games versus Florida and 13 in his last 11 games against them. The only other team that Stamkos has scored at least 20 goals against is the Thrashers/Jets (24 goals in 28 games).
Bernier blanks Nashville
From Elias: Jonathan Bernier posted his first shutout for the Maple Leafs and Toronto's first whitewash of the season by stopping all 36 shots he faced in a 4-0 win at Nashville. The Maple Leafs registered six shutouts last season and in every one of them their goaltender faced more than 30 shots on goal: four by James Reimer and two by Ben Scrivens, who was part of the offseason trade with the Kings that brought Bernier to Toronto.
Gaborik leads Columbus to victory
From Elias: Marian Gaborik scored one goal and assisted on two more in the Blue Jackets' 4-1 win over the Sabres. It was Gaborik's 49th career game with three or more points and his first since Columbus acquired him from the Rangers at the trading deadline last season. Gaborik had two games with at least three points last season and they came within a four-day span shortly after the lockout-delayed NHL schedule began in late January: three points (all goals) against the Bruins in the Rangers' third game and four points (two goals, two assists) versus the Maple Leafs in New York's fifth game.
A fresh start for Gerbe
From Elias: Nathan Gerbe scored with 6:59 elapsed in the third period to snap a 2-2 tie and the Hurricanes nursed their one-goal lead the rest of the way for a 3-2 win at Washington. Gerbe, who signed with Carolina as a free agent in July after spending the first five seasons of his NHL career with Buffalo, leads the Hurricanes with three goals and 21 shots on goal through the team's first four games this season. Gerbe began last season with a 16-game goalless streak and didn't record his third goal until his 19th game. He didn't register his 21st shot on goal last season until his 17th game.
Ovechkin extends goal-scoring streak
From Elias: Alex Ovechkin scored for the fourth straight game in Washington's loss on Thursday. The only other players in Capitals' history to score in each of the team's first four games of a season were Mike Gartner in 1987 and Dennis Maruk in 1979.
Minnesota holds Winnipeg to 15 shots
From Elias: Minnesota recorded its first win of the season with a 2-1 victory against Winnipeg in which the Wild outshot the Jets, 30-15. It was the 12th time in the Wild's 13 seasons in the NHL that it held an opponent to 15 or fewer shots on goal in a regular-season game, but remarkably it was only the third time Minnesota won one of those games. Before Thursday's win, Minnesota's record when holding an opponent to no more than 15 shots was 2-8-1.
Morris scores one, sets up another
From Elias: Defenseman Derek Morris recorded a goal and an assist for the Coyotes in their 4-2 win over the Red Wings. It was only the second multiple-point game for Morris since Phoenix re-acquired him in a trade with the Bruins in March 2010. Morris' other multi-point game in his second stint with the Coyotes was on Nov. 19, 2011 when he registered two assists in a 4-2 Phoenix victory at Buffalo.
Gal line turning into the GAG line
From Elias: Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk each tallied one goal and one assist in the Canadiens' 4-1 win at Edmonton. It was the second time this season that the linemates each scored two points in one game. Against the Flyers on Saturday, Gallagher recorded one goal and one assist and Galchenyuk assisted on a pair of goals. Gallagher and Galchenyuk both finished among the top ten rookie scorers last season but there was only one game in which both players registered multiple points (January 29 vs. Winnipeg).