Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Montreal's Tomas Plekanec, Edmonton's Marc-Antoine Pouliot and Minnesota's Pierre-Marc Bouchard all scored penalty-shot goals Saturday. This was the first day in NHL history with three-penalty shot goals.
Plekanec is the second Montreal player this month to score a penalty-shot goal (Guillaume Latendresse had one Feb. 8.) This is the first time the Canadiens have scored two penalty-shot goals in a season.
• Montreal's Sheldon Souray became the first defenseman to reach the 20-goal plateau this season when he opened the scoring in the Canadiens' game against the Hurricanes. Souray is the fifth defenseman in Canadiens history to score 20 or more goals in a season, joining Guy Lapointe (who did it three times: 1974-75, 1975-76 and 1976-77), Serge Savard (1974-75), Chris Chelios (1987-88) and Mathieu Schneider (1993-94).
• Rod Brind'Amour scored twice for Carolina and became the 78th player with 400 career goals. He's the first to score No. 400 in a Whalers/Hurricanes uniform.
• Eight Sabres and seven Bruins failed to score in the shootout before Petr Tenkrat finally slipped one past Ryan Miller, giving Boston a 4-3 win. Fifteen was the second-longest scoreless streak for both teams in a shootout since the NHL adopted the rule at the start of the 2005-06 season. On Oct. 7, 2006, the Rangers and Flyers missed their first 25 shots before Marcel Hossa won it for New York.
• Martin Brodeur recorded the 91st regular-season shutout of his NHL career when he blanked the Islanders 2-0 at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday night. It was Brodeur's 10th shutout against the Islanders. The only other active goaltender with that many shutouts against a particular team is Ed Belfour, who has 10 against Anaheim. Brodeur did not post a shutout in any of his first 24 career starts versus the Islanders (1992-99), but he has 10 over his past 36 starts against them (2000-07).
• Mats Sundin scored two goals and won 18 of 26 faceoffs in the Maple Leafs' 4-3 win over the Oilers. This was the third time over the past two seasons that Sundin has scored more than one goal and been "plus-10" or better on faceoffs. No other NHL player has had more than one such game over that span.
• Simon Gagne had a goal and an assist in the Flyers' 5-3 win over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Gagne has recorded at least one goal and at least two points in each of his past five games. He's the first NHL player to have five straight multiple-point games with at least one goal in each game this season. Three players had streaks of that type and length last season: Ilya Kovalchuk (six games), Jaromir Jagr (six games) and Jason Spezza (five games). Gagne's streak matches the longest of its kind in Flyers history. It was done six previous times, last by John LeClair in March 1996.
• Philadelphia beat the Rangers despite being outshot 43-25. The Flyers have won a league-high seven games in which they allowed at least 40 shots on goal this season (they're 7-3-0), including six such wins on the road (6-1-0), also a league-best figure.
• The Senators trailed the Thrashers 3-2 at the second intermission but scored three times in the third period and won 5-3. Saturday was the 18th time over the past two seasons that Ottawa has scored three or more goals in the final period. Only Detroit (19) has had more big third periods over that span.
• Nathan Horton scored 29 seconds into overtime, giving the Panthers a 5-4 win against the Lightning. That was the second-fastest overtime goal ever for Florida. Jesse Belanger scored 23 seconds into sudden death on Dec. 2, 1993, the second overtime win in franchise history.
• Henrik Zetterberg recorded his first career hat trick in the Red Wings' 4-1 win at Phoenix. Entering Saturday, Zetterberg had scored 66 goals over the past two seasons, which was the most by any player who hadn't scored at least three in a game over that span. That distinction reverts to Jarome Iginla (63 goals since 2005-06).
• It was no surprise that Jason Kapono won the NBA's Three-Point Shootout in Las Vegas. Kapono has shot 89-for-159 (56 percent) from behind the line this season, the best pre-All-Star Game long-distance shooting performance ever by an NBA player with at least 75 attempts.
• Phil Mickelson sits atop the leaderboard after 54 holes at the Nissan Open. It's the sixth time in his past seven rounds played on the PGA Tour that he has been atop the leaderboard at the conclusion of the round. This is the second time in Mickelson's PGA Tour career that he has had a stretch of rounds this good. In 2005, Mickelson had a streak of 10 rounds on tour of holding the lead; starting with the opening round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, leading wire-to-wire at the FBR Open and ending in round three of the Ford Championship at Doral.
• Padraig Harrington has recorded 18 holes under par through the first three rounds of the Nissan Open. In only one other PGA Tour event has Harrington recorded more holes under par after 54 holes of play. In the 2004 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Harrington had 19 holes under par after 54 holes of play and stood in 11th place on the leaderboard.
• Rich Beem shot a 6-under-par 65 on Saturday to climb into contention at the Nissan Open. The 65 by Beem was good for low round of the day. It's only the second time in Beem's 645 rounds played on the PGA Tour that he has posted the low round of the day. During Round 4 at the 2002 Players Championship, Beem carded a low round of 6-under 66.
• Sergio Garcia is averaging 26.7 putts per round after 54 holes of the play at the Nissan Open. For Garcia, this is the best putts-per-round average through 54 holes of a PGA Tour event since the 2002 Nissan Open, when he averaged 25.3 putts per round after 54 holes.
• Miguel Cabrera won his arbitration case against the Marlins. Cabrera is one of five players in major league history to hit 100 home runs and win a World Series before his 24th birthday. The others are all "inner-circle" Hall of Famers: Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron.
Cabrera and Albert Pujols are the only major leaguers with a .300 batting average and 75 extra base hits in each of the past two seasons.
• Eric Bedard and the Orioles agreed on a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration. Bedard's 3.10 ERA after the All-Star break was third best in the American League in 2006, behind Johan Santana (2.54) and C.C. Sabathia (2.97). It was the best "second half" ERA by an Orioles left-handed pitcher since Scott McGregor (2.95) in 1983, the last year Baltimore won the World Series.
ESPN TOP HEADLINES
- Doc wins in return as Clippers top Celtics
- Redskins' Cousins to start in place of RG III
- MLB plans to ban home plate collisions by '15
- NCAA may work with power 5 conferences