Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Bruce Gradkowski threw a pair of interceptions on consecutive possessions in the second quarter of the Bucs' 24-10 loss to the Panthers on Monday Night Football. That was one more INT than Gradkowski had thrown on his previous 202 passes in the NFL. In fact, he was the first player in league history with fewer than three interceptions on his first 200 passes.
• Gradkowski's turnovers in the second quarter didn't lead to any points for the Panthers, but Carolina scored touchdowns after both Gradkowski's and Cadillac Williams' third-quarter fumbles. Prior to Williams' turnover, he had the most handles from scrimmage this season by any running back who hadn't fumbled (156).
• Keyshawn Johnson became the first player to catch touchdown passes for four different teams on Monday Night Football.
• It's been turn-back-the-clock week for Capitals goaltender Olaf Kolzig. The second-winningest goalie in the NHL from 1999-2003 made 44 saves in a 4-1 victory over the Panthers on Monday night, two days after a 41-save, 3-1 win over the Rangers. Over the last quarter-century, no other goaltender posted victories allowing fewer than two goals with 40 or more saves over a span of three days.
But this kicker blew us away: During that 25-year period, only one other goalie did so over a span of four days, and it was Kolzig's goaltending partner on the Capitals, Brent Johnson. And Johnson did it twice over a three-week span late last season (March 29-April 1 and April 15-18).
• Sidney Crosby scored a goal and added an assist in the Penguins' 3-2 win over the Flyers. Crosby has 12 goals and 21 points in 11 games vs. Philadelphia, his highest totals against any team.
Crosby has recorded eight multiple-point games against the Flyers, including each of his last five games against them. Over the last 20 years, the only other player to post five consecutive multiple-point games against the Flyers was Crosby's former teammate and the current chairman of the Penguins, Mario Lemieux, with 12 in a row from 1991-95.
• Crosby has scored nine goals in seven games against Flyers goaltender Antero Niittymaki, who took the loss in Monday's game. It's the most goals Crosby has scored against any netminder, and the most that Niittymaki has allowed to any opposing player.
• Guillaume Latendresse scored power-play goals 31 seconds apart in the Canadiens' 6-3 victory at Ottawa. It was the fastest pair of power-play goals by a rookie in 25 years since Steve Christoff scored two PPGs in 21 seconds of a 10-4 win by the Minnesota North Stars over the Kings.
• Ryan Smyth scored both Oilers goals in a 2-1 victory over the Avalanche. Smyth was only the second visiting player to score a game-tying and go-ahead goal in a 2-1 win at Denver. The other was Stephane Richer for the Lightning in 1998.
• The Sabres defeated the Hurricanes 7-4 in a rematch of last season's Stanley Cup finals. It was Buffalo's third victory in three games against Carolina this season, marking the first time in 45 years that any team posted three wins against the defending Stanley Cup champion by the middle of November (specifically by Nov. 15). The last to do so were the Canadiens and the Rangers against the Blackhawks in 1961.
• The Sabres scored four times after the Hurricanes tied the score in the third period. It was only the second time that the Hurricanes allowed four third-period goals in a loss at home since moving to Carolina in 1997.
• Four Sonics players topped the 20-point mark in their 119-113 win at New Jersey: Luke Ridnour (32), Rashard Lewis (27), Ray Allen (22) and Chris Wilcox (22). It was the first home game in the Nets' 31 seasons in the NBA in which four visiting players scored at least 22 points.
Vince Carter (38), Nenad Krstic (21) and Jason Kidd (20) reached the 20-point mark for the losing side. It was the first regulation-time NBA game in which seven players scored 20 or more points since a Kings-Suns scorefest on Feb. 8, 2005: Mike Bibby (27), Chris Webber (24), Cuttino Mobley (23) and Peja Stojakovic (20) for Sacramento; Steve Nash (33), Joe Johnson (28) and Amare Stoudemire (22) for Phoenix.
• Antoine Wright scored 10 points in 38 minutes for the Nets, starting in place of Richard Jefferson, who suffered a sprained left ankle on Friday. On Sunday night, Wright started alongside Jason Collins at forward, and it was the first time in the Nets' 2,433 regular-season NBA games that their starting forwards totaled fewer than five points and fewer than five field-goal attempts.
• Damon Jones came off the bench to score 29 points in 28 minutes with 7-for-10 shooting from behind the arc in the Cavaliers' 102-96 win over the Knicks. Jones has a career average of 3.22 3-point field goals per 48 minutes, the second-highest average in NBA history (minimum: 10,000 minutes). The all-time leader is Dennis Scott (3.24).
• Dwight Howard scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the Magic's 92-89 win at Boston. Howard was the second visiting player to post a 15/15 game at TD Banknorth Garden in the past six days after none had done so in the previous 43 games there. Emeka Okafor scored 28 points with 18 rebounds for the Bobcats last Wednesday.
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