Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Stamkos in elite company; Richards without a hat?
By Elias and ESPN Sports and Information Group
Interesting notes from Tuesday night's games:
• Steven Stamkos scored his 49th and 50th goals of the season in the Lightning’s 6–1 win over the Bruins. It’s the second 50-goal season for the 22-year-old Stamkos, who tallied 51 goals in 2009–10. Stamkos is the seventh player in NHL history to score 50 or more goals in one season at least twice before turning 23 years old. Wayne Gretzky did that an amazing five times, while Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Joe Nieuwendyk, Pavel Bure and Alex Ovechkin each had two such seasons.
• Brad Richards scored 2 more goals for the Rangers, his second consecutive multigoal game. It’s the first time in Richards’ 11-year NHL career that he’s recorded consecutive two-goal games. It was also Richards' 3rd straight game with a goal. Interesting that this was Richards' 841st NHL game and he's never had a hat trick. In addition to Richards (2G, 1A), Carl Hagelin (1G, 2A) and Marian Gaborik (1G, 2A) had 3-point games as well. Martin Biron made 27 saves in goal (Henrik Lundqvist was out with the flu). Rangers equal their win total (44) for all of last season. Rangers lead the surging Penguins by 6 points in the Eastern Conference as those teams play Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
• Jarome Iginla reached the 30-goal plateau for the 11th consecutive season in the Flames’ game against the Sharks. Iginla is the seventh player in NHL history to score at least 30 goals in each of 11 or more consecutive seasons but he’s only the third player to do so for one team. Bobby Hull had 13 straight seasons with at least 30 goals for Chicago from 1959–60 through 1971–72, and Marcel Dionne had an 11-season streak for the Kings from 1975–76 through 1985–86.
• John Tavares reached the 30-goal mark for the first time in his three seasons in the NHL when he scored the second of his two goals in the Islanders’ shootout loss to the Capitals. Tavares, who was 21 years, 175 days old as of Tuesday, is the first player to score 30 or more goals in one season for the Islanders before his 22nd birthday since 1985–86, when Pat LaFontaine tallied his 30th goal at age 21 years, 43 days. The other players to do that for the Islanders are Bryan Trottier (three times), Mike Bossy (twice), Clark Gillies and Brent Sutter.
• Ilya Bryzgalov recorded his third consecutive shutout with a 3–0 win over the Devils. Bryzgalov is the second goaltender in Flyers history to post three straight shutouts in one season, joining John Vanbiesbrouck, who did it in October 1999. The Russian native is only the second goaltender born outside North America to record three consecutive shutouts in the NHL’s “modern era” (i.e., 1943–44 to date). A fellow Russian, Nikolai Khabibulin, notched shutouts in three straight games for Phoenix in March 1997.
• Their shootout loss to the Blackhawks marked the first time this season the Blues have lost when scoring three or more goals. They were 36-0-0 entering the game. They had allowed two or fewer goals in their previous 10 games. The Blues also conceded a power-play goal in the third period, breaking a streak of 51 consecutive penalties killed. They had not allowed a power-play goal in 14 consecutive games entering Tuesday.
Corey Crawford replaced Ray Emery in goal for Chicago to begin the second period with the Blackhawks trailing the Blues, 3–1, and he went unscored upon in regulation time, overtime and in the shootout that earned the Hawks a 4–3 win over St. Louis. Crawford is the fourth NHL goaltender to record a shootout win in a game he did not start but in which he played at least 40 minutes and did not allow a goal of any kind. Washington’s Braden Holtby became the first goaltender to earn a relief shootout win in that fashion (March 7, 2011), and Johan Hedberg (Oct. 13) and Dwayne Roloson (Nov. 6) did the same earlier this season.