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Elias Says ...

3/30/2007 - NHL MLB Soccer + more

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

NHL
Sidney Crosby recorded three assists in the Penguins' 4-2 win at Boston. Crosby's career total of 218 points is the fifth highest in NHL history over a player's first two seasons in the league. Crosby surpassed Kent Nilsson's total on Thursday night.

Erik Christensen scored twice in the first period of the Penguins' victory. It was the third two-goal game this month for Christensen, who scored multiple goals only once in 74 previous games in the NHL.

Teemu Selanne scored a third-period goal and assisted on three others to rally the Ducks to a 5-2 win at Columbus. It was the third time in Selanne's career, but the first since 1995, that he recorded four or more points in one period.

Selanne was the first player with three third-period power-play assists in one game since Dale Hawerchuk did it in 1990.

• The Red Wings posted a 2-1 victory at Nashville to tie the Predators for the Central Division lead with 105 points. (Detroit has a game in hand.) It was the Wings' sixth win over the Predators this season. Only three other NHL teams posted six wins in one season against a team that finished with at least 105 points: Kings, 6-2-0 vs. Stars in 2005-06; Rangers, 6-0-0 vs. Devils in 1993-94; and Flames, 6-1-1 vs. Oilers in 1986-87.

Jarome Iginla scored three goals in the Flames' 4-2 win at Minnesota. It was Iginla's fifth career hat trick, but his first in more than three years -- since Feb. 3, 2004, to be exact. The common thread? Craig Conroy, who returned to the Flames in January after a season-and-half with the Kings. Conroy assisted on two of Iginla's goals Thursday night and on eight of his 13 goals in four previous hat tricks.

• The Oilers are 1-14-1 over their past 16 games after a 5-2 loss at St. Louis on Thursday night, and it's not going to get any easier. That was the second game of a six-game trip for Edmonton -- the longest season-ending trip in NHL history. The current record is five by the Maple Leafs in 1986 and the Winnipeg Jets in 1991.

NBA
Ben Wallace grabbed 19 rebounds in the Bulls' 83-81 win over the Pistons. Over the past 10 seasons, only one other player recorded that many rebounds in one game against a team for which he had played in the previous season: Donyell Marshall had 24 rebounds against the Bulls in 2004. But Wallace himself also did it three other times during that 10-year span -- all against the Magic during the 2000-01 season.

Ben Gordon, an 87 percent free-throw shooter this season, opened the door for the Pistons by missing three consecutive foul shots in the final three minutes of the game. Amazingly, Gordon isn't the best foul shooter to have done so this season. Wally Szczerbiak (.897) missed three straight free throws in the closing minutes of a Celtics victory over the Trail Blazers on New Year's Day.

Zach Randolph scored 43 points with 17 rebounds and five assists, but the Trail Blazers lost to the Grizzlies 96-92. Over the past 25 years, only three other players posted 40/15/5 games in a regulation loss: Amare Stoudemire (2005) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1996).

MLB
Sammy Sosa hit his fifth home run of the exhibition season in the Rangers' 7-5 loss to the Royals. Sosa is tied for second this spring in home runs among players who did not play in the majors last season. Brad Eldred of the Pirates is the leader in that category (6); Ryan Braun of the Brewers shares second place with Sosa.

David Newhan went 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs in the Mets' 13-2 rout of the Dodgers. Over the past three preseasons, only two other players went 4-for-4 or better and hit two home runs in one game. Nick Markakis did it a week ago, and Ryan Howard did it in his first appearance of the 2006 exhibition season. (Little did we know then!)

Fausto Carmona became only the second pitcher since 2000 to throw at least six innings in an exhibition game and not allow a hit. Mark Buehrle pitched six scoreless innings against the Royals two years ago. Carmona improved his spring record to 3-1 in the Indians' 8-2 win over the Braves.

• For the second day in a row, Craig Wilson of the Braves went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. Over the past six exhibition seasons, the only other player to post consecutive three-strikeout games was Bill Hall in the Brewers' first two games of the 2007 preseason.

MLS
• According to ESPN's Allen Hopkins, the Red Bulls have reacquired Clint Mathis, who scored 33 goals in 67 games for the team when it was known as the MetroStars (2000-03). But since returning to MLS in 2005 after a stint with Hannover 96 in the Bundesliga, Mathis has recorded more than twice as many cards (10 yellow, two red) as he has goals (5) in 52 games.