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Arrieta makes a stellar postseason debut
Jake Arrieta pitched a four-hit shutout and fanned 11 in the Cubs' 4-0 win over the Pirates in the N.L. Wild Card game. The only other pitchers in major-league history to pitch a shutout while allowing four or fewer hits and striking out 10 or more batters in their first postseason appearance are Bill Dineen on October 2, 1903 (three hits allowed, 11 K's), Big Ed Walsh on October 11, 1906 (two hits allowed, 12 K's) and Tim Lincecum on October 7, 2010 (two hits allowed, 14 K's).
Arrieta posted a 1.77 ERA during the regular season. The last pitcher to toss a shutout in a postseason game after having a regular-season ERA as low as Arrieta's was Bob Gibson in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series. Gibson registered a miniscule 1.12 ERA during the 1968 regular season.
Schwarber provides the offense in Cubs' win
Kyle Schwarber delivered a run-scoring single in the first inning and followed that up with a two-run homer in the third inning leading the Cubs' to a 4-0 win over the Pirates in the N.L. Wild Card game on Wednesday. Since MLB began officially tracking RBIs in 1920, the only other rookies to drive in a run in each of their first two postseason plate appearances are Oakland's Angel Mangual (1971), Atlanta's Mike Mordecai (1995) and Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria (2008).
Schwarber is only the third Cubs' rookie to hit a home run in a postseason game, joining Frank Demaree (1932) and Geovany Soto (2007).
Both road teams post shutouts in the Wild Card round
A day after the Astros blanked the Yankees by a score of 3-0 in the A.L. Wild Card game at Yankee Stadium, the Cubs shut out the Pirates by a 4-0 score in the N.L. Wild Card game in Pittsburgh. That equals the total number of shutouts by the road team during the entire 2014 postseason. The Giants were the winners in both road shutouts last season, blanking the Pirates in Pittsburgh in the N.L. Wild Card game and holding the Cardinals scoreless in Game 1 of NLCS in St. Louis.
Pacioretty nets two in his 400th career game
Max Pacioretty scored a pair of goals in the Canadiens' 3-1 win in Toronto. Pacioretty, a Connecticut native, was playing in the 400th game of his NHL career. His total of 146 goals is the third-highest at that point of his career among active U.S.-born players. The only current U.S.-born NHL players who scored more goals in their first 400 games than Pacioretty are Zach Parise and Bobby Ryan, with 157 each.
Galchenyuk steps up his game in the third period
Alex Galchenyuk's tiebreaking goal with 7:58 left to play in the third period was the game-winner in the Canadiens' 3-1 victory over the Maple Leafs. Galchenyuk, who is beginning his fourth season in the NHL, has scored 43 goals in his career and 22 of them have come in third periods, including 11 among his 20 goals last season.
Subban assists on all three goals in Canadiens' season opener
P.K. Subban assisted on all three goals for the Canadiens in their win at Toronto. Subban is the seventh defenseman in Canadiens history to record three assists in the team's first game of a season and he's the first to do so since Gaston Gingras in 1986-87. The others are Sprague Cleghorn (1924-25), Jacques Laperriere (1965-66), J.C. Tremblay (1971-72), Guy Lapointe (1973-74) and Larry Robinson (1976-77).
Rangers open season with a win over the champs
The Rangers began their 2015-16 schedule with a 3-2 win over the Blackhawks in Chicago. It's the first time that the Rangers have opened a season with a victory against the defending Stanley Cup champion since 1937-38, when their first game was a 3-0 win against the Red Wings in Detroit.
Rangers' first goal of season comes from an unexpected source
Oscar Lindberg, playing in only his second game in the NHL, scored the goal which gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in their season opener against the Blackhawks in Chicago. It was the fifth time in the last 60 years that the Rangers' first goal of a season was also a player's first career goal in the NHL. The other players over that span whose first NHL goal was also the first goal of a season for the Rangers were Don Murdoch (1976-77), Mike Allison (1980-81), Doug Weight (1991-92) and Derek Stepan (2010-11).
Another road win for Lundqvist
Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves to lead the Rangers to a 3-2 win at Chicago in their season-opening game. Lundqvist's victory was the 150th regular-season road win of his NHL career. That's the most road wins by any NHL goaltender since October 2005, when Lundqvist made his debut. The only other goaltenders within 25 road wins of Lundqvist total are Ryan Miller (144), Marc-Andre Fleury (133) and Roberto Luongo (130).