Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• There were 11 games in the NHL on Saturday night and in all 11 games the home team tallied the first goal. It's the most games in one day in NHL history in which the home team took a 1-0 lead in all of them. The previous record for such a thing was nine, done three times previously: March 13, 1999, Oct. 9, 2003 and Feb. 29, 2004. Oh, and by the way, the date of the perfect 11-for-11 was, of course, 11/11!
• Martin Brodeur (455 career wins in the NHL) and Ed Belfour (460) were the starting goaltenders in New Jersey on Saturday night. It was the first time in NHL history that the two starting goaltenders each had at least 450 career wins. The total of 915 combined wins was three shy of the NHL record for two starting goaltenders in the same game. On March 15, 2003, Patrick Roy (544) and Curtis Joseph (374) squared off in game between Colorado and Detroit. Roy (530) and Belfour (385) also had 915 combined wins in game between Colorado and Toronto on Jan. 25, 2003.
• Daniel Briere scored the game-winning goal 21 seconds into overtime in the Sabres' win at Philadelphia, a night after Thomas Vanek scored at 0:19 of overtime in Buffalo's win over Florida. The Sabres are the first team in NHL history to win consecutive games on goals within the first 30 seconds of overtime. Only one other team won consecutive games on goals within the first minute of OT: the Rangers on Dec. 29-30, 2003. (Tom Poti scored both goals for the Blueshirts, the first one at 1:00 of OT and the second at 0:39.)
• The Sabres have now won nine straight road games. Buffalo is only the sixth team in NHL history to have a road winning streak of nine or more games within one season. The other teams to accomplish that: Detroit in 2005-06 (12 consecutive road wins), St. Louis in 1999-2000 (10), New Jersey in 2000-01 (10), Buffalo in 1983-84 (10) and Buffalo in 2005-06 (9).
Of course, the Sabres have had the benefit on three shootout wins to extend their streak, games that would have been ties in the old NHL. Two of the other teams listed above also had shootout victories during their road win streak: Detroit and Buffalo in 2005-06 (two each).
• Brendan Shanahan assisted on Michael Nylander's goal in the Rangers' 3-1 loss in Washington. Shanahan has recorded at least one point in each of the Rangers' 10 road games this season, tying the franchise start-of-season record set by Rod Gilbert in 1972-73.
The last NHL player to score points in each of his team's first 10 road games in one season was Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson in 2002-03.
Nylander's goal at 18:09 of the third period denied a shutout for Olaf Kolzig. Kolzig has now gone 84 straight starts without a shutout, the longest current streak of its kind for any active NHL goaltender.
• Tampa Bay, which beat Atlanta 5-3, has scored four or more goals in each of its last five games. That ties the franchise record set in March of last season.
• Atlanta defenseman Shane Hnidy failed to score a goal on Saturday against the Lightning, thereby extending his goal drought to 200 games, by far the longest current goal dry spell for any active NHL forward or defenseman. Nolan Pratt, who is second on the list, has not scored a goal in his last 119 games.
• The Maple Leafs beat the Canadiens 5-1, and they are now 10-0-2 in games in which they score at least four goals. They're 1-5-1 in games in which they score three or fewer goals.
Three of Toronto's goals were scored by defensemen, two by Bryan McCabe and one by Tomas Kaberle. The Leafs backliners have combined for 13 goals this season, the most for any team in the NHL. It was the third time this season that Toronto defensemen combined for three or more goals in a game.
• Nashville's Chris Mason stopped all 42 Colorado shots on goal in posting a 1-0 shutout over the Avalanche on Saturday night. It was only the sixth 1-0 shutout win with at least 42 saves by an NHL goaltender since 1990.
• Michael Redd scored 57 points in Milwaukee's 113-111 loss to Utah. It was the most points scored by a player in a game his team lost since Michael Jordan scored 64 points for the Bulls in an overtime loss to Orlando in Jan. 1993. The last player to score that many points in a non-overtime loss was also Jordan (April 1987, 61 points vs. Atlanta). The NBA record for most points by a player in a regulation loss is 73 by Denver's David Thompson on April 9, 1978 (139-137 loss at Detroit).
Redd did not record an assist in Saturday's game. Only two players in the last 40 years scored 57 or more points in a game in which they did not have an assist: Golden State's Purvis Short in Nov. 1984 (59 points, 0 assists) and Kobe Bryant in Dec. 2005 (62 points, 0 assists).
• Seattle beat Atlanta in overtime Saturday night, giving the Sonics their sixth straight win over the Hawks. It's Seattle's longest winning streak against Atlanta in the history of the series, which dates back to 1967-68, the SuperSonics' first season in the league.
Atlanta's loss snapped a four-game winning streak. The Hawks have not won five in a row since early in the 1999-2000 season. Every other NBA team, except Charlotte, has had at least one five-game winning streak since then.
• Joe Johnson has scored at least 25 points in each of the six games played by the Hawks this season. Who were the last four NBA players to score 25 or more points in each of his team's first six games of a season? A pretty snappy group: Michael Jordan in 1991-92 (first six games), Karl Malone in 1992-93 (eight), Shaquille O'Neal in 1994-95 (six) and Allen Iverson in 2005-06 (11).
• Dwight Howard had 21 points and 22 rebounds in Orlando's 109-98 win in Minnesota. It was the third 20/20 game of Howard's career. Only two players in NBA history had more 20/20 games prior to their 21st birthday: John Drew and Shaquille O'Neal (both had six such games before turning 21 years old).
• The Cavaliers have now won six straight games against the Celtics. It's the Cavs' longest winning streak ever against the Celtics.