Elias Says ...

2/26/2007 - NHL

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:


• Pistons center Chris Webber scored 21 points in a 95-93 win over the Bulls on Sunday in Ben Wallace's first game at the Palace since leaving Detroit following the 2005-06 season. Opposing centers rarely scored like that at the Palace when Big Ben was wearing a Pistons jersey. During Wallace's last five seasons with Detroit, the only visiting center to start against the Pistons and score more than 20 points was Shaquille O'Neal (who did it three times).

Gilbert Arenas made only 4 of 22 field-goal attempts in the Wizards' 98-94 loss to the Timberwolves. It was the 15th time this season that Arenas missed at least 15 shots from the field to give him sole possession of the league lead in that category with one more than Tracy McGrady. Arenas had only 16 such games during the entire 2005-06 season.

• Neither side could make its free throws in the Heat's 86-81 win over the Cavaliers. Miami made 15 of 30 foul shots; Cleveland made 10 of 21. It was the first NBA game since the shot clock was instituted in 1954 in which both teams took at least 20 foul shots but neither made more than half of them.

• The Suns defeated the Hawks 115-106 at Atlanta to improve their record to 13-0 when visiting Eastern Conference opponents this season. That victory established a new NBA record for consecutive road wins in interconference games in one season. The previous record was 12 by the Celtics in 1964-65.

Vince Carter scored 40 points in the Nets' 101-92 victory over the Knicks, snapping a streak of 87 consecutive regular-season games between the New York-area rivals in which no player on either side reached the 40-point mark. The last player to do so was
Gerald Wilkins of the Knicks on Feb. 21, 1987.

Lest you think, "They don't really keep records for that, do they?" we'd like to report that the longest such streak in NBA history was 140 games between the Cavaliers and the Bucks without a 40-point scorer (1972-2002).

Kevin Martin scored 21 of the Kings' 40 points in the third quarter of their 110-93 win at Indiana. Martin was only the third visiting player to score 20 or more points in a quarter at Indiana over the last 10 seasons. The others were Tracy McGrady (2004) and Jerry Stackhouse (1997).

Tracy McGrady scored 34 points, including 15-for-18 from the foul line, in the Rockets' 97-93 win at Orlando. It was the first time McGrady scored as many as 15 points on free throws in his three seasons with the Rockets. He did so eight times in four seasons with the Magic.


• The Ducks defeated the Avalanche 5-3 on late third-period goals by Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger. It was only the second time in NHL history that a pair of defensemen scored the go-ahead and insurance goals in the last five minutes of the third period. The other teammates to do so were Ron Stackhouse and
Randy Carlyle for the Penguins in a victory over the Red Wings in 1980.

• The Devils got away with one on Sunday, defeating the Capitals 3-2 with Scott Clemmensen in goal. It was New Jersey's first victory in which Martin Brodeur wasn't the goaltender of record since March 24, 2006, when Clemmensen defeated the Bruins.

Brodeur's streak of 49 consecutive regular-season wins for the Devils matched the second-longest streak of team wins posted by one goaltender for a particular club in the NHL's expansion era.
Olaf Kolzig had 52 consecutive wins for Washington from December 1999 to December 2000; Tony Esposito earned all 49 Chicago victories from November 1975 to March 1977.

• Clemmensen's appearance snapped Brodeur's streak of 32 consecutive starts. The only goaltender to record a longer streak in any of the last five seasons was Tomas Vokoun, who started the Predators' last 38 games of the 2002-03 season.

On Saturday, Brodeur played his 60th game of the season, extending his record streak to 11 consecutive seasons with 60 or more games played. The previous record for goaltenders was nine seasons by Glenn Hall (1955-56 to 1963-64).

• For only the second time in NHL history, a team lost in overtime after leading 1-0 with 30 seconds to play. Philippe Boucher of the Stars tied Sunday's game against the Canucks at 1-1 with 29 second remaining in the third period, and Jere Lehtinen scored at 4:17 of overtime to give Dallas a win. The only other such game was a 2-1 win by the Maple Leafs over the Canadiens in 1934.

Marian Gaborik scored his 20th goal of the season in the Wild's 4-1 win over the Oilers. Gaborik reached the 20-goal plateau in his 29th game this season, having missed 34 games due to a groin injury. Of the 81 other players with at least 20 goals this season, only two reached that mark in fewer games than Gaborik: Marian Hossa and Brendan Shanahan (both in 27 games). Like Gaborik, Ryan Smyth needed just 29 games to score 20 goals.

• The Blackhawks defeated the Blues 5-1 despite being outshot by St. Louis 23-17. It was only the third time this season that an NHL team scored at least five goals in a game in which they had no more than 17 shots on goal, and it was the first time that Chicago did that since Dec. 31, 1995, when they had only 15 shots in a 5-0 win over the Devils.