Stats & Info: Florida Panthers

Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories.


1. LUCK MAKES IT FOUR: The first round of the 2012 NFL Draft was held on Thursday. The Indianapolis Colts selected Andrew Luck with the first overall pick. Luck is the fourth Stanford QB to be picked first overall in the history of the NFL Draft, joining John Elway (1983), Jim Plunkett (1971) and Bobby Garrett (1954). Stanford is the first school to have four QBs drafted first overall and the first school to have four No. 1 picks at any single position.

2. DEVILS MOVE ON: The New Jersey Devils defeated the Florida Panthers in Game 7, 3-2, in double overtime. It marked the fifth time under the current playoff format (since 1993-94), that a Game 7 had multiple overtime periods. Adam Henrique scored the game-winning goal. According to Elias, he is the second rookie to score an overtime goal in a Game 7. The other was Montreal’s Claude Lemieux in 1986 against the Hartford Whalers.

3. RANGERS MOVE ON: The New York Rangers defeated the Ottawa Senators, 2-1, in Game 7. It’s the Blueshirts’ first Game 7 win since the 1994 Stanley Cup Final against the Vancouver Canucks. The Rangers now face the seven-seed Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. In their two previous playoff appearances, the Rangers were eliminated each time by the Capitals.

Kevin Durant
Durant
4. DURANT WINS TITLE: Thursday marked the final day of the NBA regular season. Kobe Bryant did not play in the Los Angeles Lakers finale against the Sacramento Kings. As a result, Kevin Durant won the 2011-12 NBA scoring title for the third straight season. At the age of 23, Durant is the youngest player to win three straight scoring titles.

5. HUMBER ROUGHED UP: The Boston Red Sox defeated the Chicago White Sox, 10-3. The game marked the first start for White Sox pitcher Philip Humber since his perfect game last Saturday. Humber allowed a career-high nine earned runs in five innings. According to Elias, Humber became the first pitcher in major-league history to allow as many as nine runs in his first appearance after pitching a perfect game.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories.

1. BRUINS BOUNCED: The Washington Capitals beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 in overtime in Game 7. The Bruins lost when facing elimination for the first time in six games. It is the fourth time in the expansion era (since 1967) that both Stanley Cup finalists from the previous season lost in the quarterfinals the following season. FROM ELIAS: It was the first series in Stanley Cup history in which all seven games were decided by a one-goal margin, and only the second series to go to overtime in Game 7 with the two teams having scored the same number of goals in the series. There are two more Game 7s Thursday (Ottawa Senators at New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils at Florida Panthers).

Kobe Bryant
Bryant
Kevin Durant
Durant
2. KOBE OR KD: Kevin Durant scored 32 points in his final regular-season game. Durant averaged 28.03 PPG this season, 0.17 ahead of Kobe Bryant. Bryant needs 38 points against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday to win the scoring title. Bryant has scored 38 points 152 times in regular-season games in his career, including nine against the Kings. Durant or Bryant will become the eighth player in NBA history to win at least three scoring titles.

3. CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL SET: Bayern Munich advanced to the UEFA Champions League final (tied 3-3 on aggregate; advanced 3-1 on penalty kicks) over Real Madrid. It was the first time that a UEFA Champions League semifinal went to penalty kicks since 2007. Bayern Munich will face Chelsea on May 19 in Munich. They will be the first club since Roma in 1984 to play the European Cup Final in its home stadium.

4. NBA FUTILITY: The Charlotte Bobcats lost for the 22nd straight time on Wednesday. They end the regular season at home against the New York Knicks on Thursday. If the Bobcats lose, they will set the record for the worst winning percentage in a single-season in NBA history (would finish at .106 win pct), passing the 1972-73 76ers (finished at .110). Charlotte is still looking for its first win since March 17.

5. NFL DRAFT: The first round of the NFL Draft begins Thursday at 8 ET on ESPN. QB Andrew Luck and QB Robert Griffin III are expected to be the first two players taken. It would be the fifth time in the Common Draft Era (since 1967), and first since 1999, that quarterbacks were selected first and second overall.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories.


1. ANOTHER GAME 7: The New Jersey Devils stayed alive and forced a Game 7 with their 3-2 OT win against the Florida Panthers. Travis Zajac scored the game-winning goal, his third goal of the series. He only had two goals in the regular season. This is already the third playoff series that has gone to seven games, all in the Eastern Conference. The first of those Game 7s will be played Wednesday as the Boston Bruins host the Washington Capitals, with the Bruins looking to win their sixth straight game when facing elimination.

2. YU GOT IT: Yu Darvish pitched 8 1/3 IP and struck out 10 New York Yankees batters in a 2-0 Texas Rangers win. FROM ELIAS: Since divisional play began in 1969, only two other pitchers have hurled at least eight shutout innings with 10-or-more strikeouts in their first career start against the Yankees: Baltimore’s Bob Milacki on September 28, 1988 and Cleveland’s Bartolo Colon on September 21, 1998. Darvish is also the second Japanese-born starting pitcher to start 3-0 in his MLB career.

3. CHELSEA MOVES ON: Chelsea advanced to the UEFA Champions League Final (3-2 on aggregate) over defending champion Barcelona. Barcelona completed almost 1,200 more passes than Chelsea and took 34 more shots. Chelsea only put four shots on goal in the two games, but three of them went in. They will face the winner of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. That semifinal takes place at 2:45 ET and the final takes place on May 19.

4. ALL THAT JAZZ: The Utah Jazz beat the Phoenix Suns to clinch the final playoff spot. It will be the Jazz’s 1st playoff appearance since the 2009-10 season. All 16 playoff spots have been clinched. Other clinchings on Tuesday included the Chicago Bulls winning the East for the second straight season, and the Los Angeles Lakers winning the Pacific division. It is the 32nd division title for the Lakers, the most of any team.

Metta World Peace
World Peace
5. MISSING METTA: Lakers forward Metta World Peace was suspended seven games (including playoffs) for hitting James Harden in the head with an elbow. It is the second time that World Peace has been suspended as a Laker. He was suspended for one game after smacking J.J. Barea in the face during the playoffs last season. World Peace was averaging 14.1 PPG on 47.3 FG pct in April (both season-highs) after averaging just 6.1 PPG from December to March.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

1. WORKING OVERTIME: The Phoenix Coyotes beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in OT to take a 2-1 series lead. FROM ELIAS: All three games in the Chicago-Phoenix series have been decided in overtime. It’s the fifth series in NHL history in which each of the first three games were decided in overtime. The other four were Boston-Toronto in 1933, the Montreal-Toronto Stanley Cup Final in 1951 in which all five games went to OT, Edmonton-Los Angeles in 1991 and Colorado-Minnesota in 2008.

Jamie Moyer
Moyer
2. HISTORIC WIN: Jamie Moyer gave up two runs (both unearned) in seven innings to get the win as the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 5-3. Moyer is the oldest pitcher to win a MLB game at 49 years, 151 days old. Jack Quinn was the oldest pitcher to win a MLB game at 49 years, 70 days old on September 13, 1932.

3. PANTHERS COME BACK: FROM ELIAS: The Panthers trailed 3–0 after only 6:16 had been played in Game 3 of their series against the New Jersey Devils but Florida made a goaltending change at that point and Scott Clemmensen blanked his former team the rest of the way while the Panthers rallied for a stunning 4–3 victory. It was only the second time in the last 25 playoff years that an NHL team won a playoff game in which it trailed by three goals in the first seven minutes. The Flames did that in Game 3 of their first-round series against the Sharks in 2008. San Jose scored three goals in the first 3:33 but Calgary came back to win 4-3.

Carmelo Anthony
Anthony
4. 'MELO GETS HELP: Carmelo Anthony recorded his second career triple-double as the New York Knicks beat the Boston Celtics. Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith and Steve Novak each had 20-point games with Smith and Novak doing so off the bench. FROM ELIAS: The last time an NBA team had a player score 30 points in a triple-double while three of his teammates scored at least 20 points in a non-overtime game was on January 15, 1991 when the Trail Blazers did it in a 132-117 win at Minnesota. Clyde Drexler had the 30-point triple-double while Mark Bryant, Jerome Kersey and Terry Porter all scored at least 20 points.

5. RED SOX HAMMERED: The Texas Rangers hit six home runs on their way to an 18-3 rout of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. FROM ELIAS: It was the 10th time in Red Sox history that they lost a game by 15 or more runs in a game played at Fenway Park, with the last such embarrassment coming on June 19, 2000, when they lost 22-1 to the Yankees.
After missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a record-setting 10 straight seasons, the Florida Panthers’ first playoff game since 2000 ended just like their last postseason contest -- with a loss. The Panthers quickly fell into a 3-0 hole on Friday and lost Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series to the New Jersey Devils, 3-2.

The Panthers have now lost their last nine playoff games. Bill Clinton was still in office the last time Florida won a postseason game, a 3-0 win over the New York Rangers at Miami Arena to open the 1997 playoffs.

Some other quick notes on the Panthers’ playoff losing streak:

• All nine losses have been to the NHL’s New York-area teams. The first four defeats of the streak came against the Rangers, and the last five have been at the hands of the Devils.

• Offense has been an issue for the Panthers during their playoff losing streak. They've been held to two goals or fewer in seven of the nine defeats.

• The Panthers have been in almost every game during the playoff drought. Their Game 1 loss on Friday was the seventh one-goal loss of the streak, with two of the defeats coming in overtime.

Also of note:

• In the 15 years since their last playoff victory, the Panthers have had 10 different head coaches: Doug MacLean, Bryan Murray, Terry Murray, Duane Sutter, Mike Keenan, Rick Dudley, John Torchetti, Jacques Martin, Peter DeBoer (now coach of their playoff opponent, New Jersey) and Kevin Dineen.

• Four current NHL teams (the Predators, Thrashers/Jets, Blue Jackets and Wild) were not even in existence when the Panthers last won a postseason game.

Heading into today's Game 2, the good news for Panthers fans is that they are nowhere near the all-time record for consecutive playoff games losses. That belongs to the Chicago Blackhawks, who once lost 16 in a row. However, the Blackhawks’ playoff losing streak ran far fewer years, lasting from 1975-80.

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