Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• They may not have enjoyed it, but Boston fans saw a true rarity in the Hurricanes' 5-2 win over the Bruins on Thursday night. Ray Whitney erased a 1-0 Bruins lead with three even-strength goals in the span of 100 seconds late in the second period. The last player to score three times at even strength within 100 seconds was Bill Mosienko of the Blackhawks, who did it in 21 seconds against the Rangers in 1952.
• Eighteen-year-old Jordan Staal opened the scoring in the Penguins' 5-4 shootout win at Philadelphia with his 20th goal of the season. He ranks third on the team in goals, behind 20-year-old Evgeni Malkin (26) and 19-year-old Sidney Crosby (25). Only three other teams in NHL history had three players who scored 20 or more goals at age 20 or younger: the 1981-82 Oilers (Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey); the 1980-81 Oilers (Gretzky, Messier, Jari Kurri and Glenn Anderson); and the 1943-44 Maple Leafs (Ted Kennedy, Gus Bodnar, and Jack Hamilton).
• Incidentally, Staal joined Crosby as the second Penguins player in two seasons to score 20 or more goals in a season at age 18 or younger. That equals the number of players to do so in the entire league over the previous 17 seasons combined: Ilya Kovalchuk (2001-02) and Trevor Linden (1988-89).
• Marc-Andre Fleury blew a two-goal lead in the third period but prevailed in a shootout, raising his record against the Flyers to 7-0-0 this season. Only four other goaltenders won seven consecutive decisions against an opposing team in one season during the NHL's expansion era: Roberto Luongo vs. Capitals (2005-06); Grant Fuhr vs. Canucks (1987-88); Greg Stefan vs. North Stars (1986-87); and Reggie Lemelin vs. Kings (1985-86).
• Martin Brodeur recorded his 10th shutout of the season in the Devils' 2-0 victory over the Islanders. This is the fourth time Brodeur has reached double-digits in shutouts in a season, tying Terry Sawchuk's NHL record.
• It took two goaltenders to do it, but the Red Wings' streak of 175 consecutive regular-season games without being shut out is over, courtesy of a 1-0 defeat at St. Louis. Blues starting goaltender Manny Legace left the game in the second period following a collision with Tomas Holmstrom, and Curtis Sanford finished the shutout.
Detroit's streak was the longest in the NHL since the Rangers had a 236-game streak that ended in December 1992. But it wasn't the longest ever that ended at the hand of two different goaltenders. The Bruins' 209-game scoring streak was snapped in 1980 by a pair of Kings goalies: Doug Keans and Mario Lessard.
• Ray Emery made 27 saves in the Senators' 4-1 win over the Canadiens, but it was the shot that Emery failed to stop that added his name to the NHL record book. Guillaume Latendresse scored Montreal's only goal on a penalty shot, the third such goal allowed by Emery this season. That tied the NHL record for penalty-shot goals allowed in a season, set by George Hainsworth in 1935-36 and tied by Frankie Brimsek in 1939-40 and Tomas Vokoun in 2005-06.
• Niklas Backstrom stopped 41 of 43 Panthers shots on goal to lead the Wild to a 4-2 victory. It was only the fourth time in the Wild's six seasons in the NHL that they had a goaltender win a game while recording 40 or more saves.
• The Blue Jackets scored twice in the third period to defeat the Flames 2-1, ending Calgary's streak of 44 games earning at least one point after taking a lead into the third period. The Hurricanes were the only team with a longer current streak than the Flames (80, including Wednesday's victory at Boston).
• The Pistons defeated the Lakers 93-78 in a game in which Kobe Bryant didn't take a shot until the final 30 seconds of the first quarter, with the Lakers already trailing by 12 points. It was the furthest into a game that Bryant failed to take shot since Dec. 3, 2004.
• One night after posting an overtime victory at Denver, the Hornets defeated the Bucks in double overtime. Over a period of 42 seasons from 1954-55 to 1996-97, there was only one instance of a team winning in two or more overtimes a day after an overtime win. It has happened five times in 10 seasons since then. Odd.
• The Bulls succumbed to poor shooting in an 86-77 loss to the Kings, as three starters missed more than 10 field-goal attempts each: Luol Deng shot 9-for-22; Ben Gordon, 3-for-16; and Kirk Hinrich, 8-for-19. Don't feel bad, fellas; it happens to the best of them. The last time three Bulls starters missed more than 10 FGAs in a regulation-time game, the players were Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Toni Kukoc, and they did it before a national TV audience on Christmas Day 1996.
• Anyone who spent the past few days in Minneapolis might dispute the fact that a locale with a temperature in double-digits is experiencing "bad weather." But in the world of pro golf, 60 degrees and windy passes for cold, and so it was that the average score for the opening round of the 2007 Pebble Beach National Pro-Am was 75.0. That was the highest average for any round at that event since round 1 in 2000, when rain and wind interrupted play on Thursday.