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NIEMI WINS IN SHARKS DEBUT
From Elias: Antti Niemi made 30 saves in his Sharks debut, a 3-2 win over the Blue Jackets in Stockholm, Sweden. Niemi, who recorded all 16 victories for the Blackhawks in the 2010 playoffs, is only the third goaltender in the expansion era (1967-68 to date) to notch four wins in a Stanley Cup Final and then begin the next season with a different NHL team. The others were Mike Vernon, who won the Cup with the Red Wings in 1997 and started the 1997-98 season with San Jose, and Nikolai Khabibulin, a Cup winner with Tampa Bay in 2004 but a member of the Blackhawks in 2005-06, following the strike-canceled 2004-05 season.
SKINNER IS THIRD-YOUNGEST TO SCORE IN SHOOTOUT
From Elias: Jeff Skinner, the second-youngest player in the NHL, was the only player to score in the shootout that gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 win over the Wild in Helsinki, Finland. Skinner (age 18 years, 145 days as of Friday) is the third-youngest player to score in a shootout in the six seasons that the tiebreaker has been used by the NHL. The younger shootout scorers were Sam Gagner (five times, the first on Oct. 25, 2007 when he was 18 years, 76 days old) and Sidney Crosby (twice, first on Nov. 10, 2005 at age 18 years, 95 days).
Skinner also picked up his first NHL point when he assisted on Tuomo Ruutu's second-period goal. He's the youngest player to record a point in Whalers/Hurricanes franchise history, breaking a mark set by Paul Lawless when he got his name on the scoresheet for Hartford in December 1982 at age 18 years, 172 days.
DALLAS WINS OT GAME ON ROAD
From Elias: Loui Eriksson's second goal of the game earned the Stars a 4-3 overtime victory in New Jersey. Eriksson is the first Dallas player to score an overtime goal in a regular-season road game since Dec. 21, 2007, when Mike Ribeiro notched the winner at Calgary. The Stars were the only NHL team without a road win in overtime over the past two seasons.
RED WINGS BLANK DUCKS IN OPENER
From Elias: The Red Wings scored twice in the first six minutes and coasted to an easy 4-0 win over the Ducks in the season opener for both clubs, with Jimmy Howard needing to make only 21 saves to record the shutout. It's only the second time since 1952 that Detroit has posted a shutout in its first game of a season. The other one was a 2-0 win against Buffalo by Chris Osgood on Oct. 2, 1999.
SWEET OPENER FOR KANE
From Elias: Evander Kane scored two goals, the second on a penalty shot, to lead the Thrashers to a season-opening win over the Capitals. Kane is the fourth Atlanta player in the last three years to score twice in the team's opening game, following Bryan Little in 2008-09, and both Ilya Kovalchuk and Rich Peverley last season. No Thrashers player had recorded a multiple-goal game in a season opener until two years ago.
ROY SCORES TWICE
From Elias: Derek Roy scored both goals for the Sabres in their 2-1 season-opening win at Ottawa. Roy scored 54 goals for Buffalo over the past two seasons but only 1 in 21 games played in October (one in 10 games in 2008, none in 11 games in 2009).
PHILLIES AND BRAVES RALLY FROM FOUR-RUN DEFICITS
From Elias: The Phillies and Braves each rallied from 4-0 deficits to win Game Two of their respective NLDS series on Friday night. It was the first day in major-league history on which two teams won postseason games after trailing by four-or-more runs.
GLAUS STARTS GAME-SAVING GDP
From Elias: Troy Glaus started a 5-4-3 inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning, allowing the Braves to win the game on Rick Ankiel's home run in the next inning. It was the first time in postseason history that a team turned an inning-ending 5-4-3 GDP in the ninth inning or later, with the potential winning run on third base.
ANKIEL HITS GAME-WINNING HOME RUN
From Elias: Rick Ankiel's game-winning home run in the top of the 11th inning on Friday night tied the latest Braves home run in postseason history. Rafael Furcal hit an 11th-inning walk-off home run off of Houston's Dan Miceli in Game Two of a 2004 Division Series.
BURRELL GOES DEEP IN FIRST INNING
From Elias: Pat Burrell hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the first inning on Friday night. The only other Giants player to hit a home run in the first inning of a postseason game played at home was Mel Ott in Game One of the 1933 World Series against the Washington Senators at the Polo Grounds.
Burrell hit 20 home runs during the 2010 regular season, but only one of them came in the first inning - a solo shot off Roy Oswalt on August 17 at Citizens Bank Park.
PHILLIES MATCH THEIR LARGEST COMEBACK POSTSEASON WIN
From Elias: The Reds blew a 4-0 lead in losing Game Two of their series with the Phillies. The Phillies had won only one other postseason game after having trailed by four runs. That came in the opening game of the 1980 World Series, at Veterans Stadium, when the Royals saw their early 4-0 lead evaporate under an assault that produced a 7-6 Phillies win, with Bake McBride's three-run homer the big blow.
Friday's game also matched the largest lead that the Reds have ever had in a postseason game that they wound up losing. In Game Two of the 1970 World Series, the Reds led at home, 4-0, but the Orioles rode a five-run fifth to a 6-5 win. And in Game Six of the infamous 1919 World Series, with the Reds holding a four-games-to-one lead in a best-of-nine format, the Reds, playing at home, took a 4-0 lead over the Black Sox but the Sox rallied to win, 5-4, in 10 innings. (The winning run was produced on a leadoff double by Buck Weaver, a bunt single by Shoeless Joe Jackson, and a run-scoring single by Chick Gandil. All three players would eventually be barred from Organized Baseball by Commissioner Kenesaw M. Landis for conspiring with gamblers to lose the 1919 Series).
REDS AND PHILLIES COMBINE FOR SIX ERRORS
From Elias: There were six fielding errors in Game Two of the NLDS between the Reds and Phillies, four by Cincinnati and two by Philadelphia. That was the highest total in a postseason game that did not go into extra innings since Game Three of the 1997 World Series, when the Marlins and Indians each committed three errors in a game won by Florida, 14-11.
REDS MAKE HISTORY WITH FOUR ERRORS AND THREE HBP
From Elias: In addition to four fielding errors, Reds pitchers hit three batters with pitches. It was the first time in postseason history that a team committed at least four errors in the field and hit three or more batters with pitches in the same game.
CONTRERAS AND CHAPMAN ARE PITCHERS OF DECISION
From Elias: Jose Contreras was the winning pitcher and Aroldis Chapman took the loss in the Phillies' Game Two victory over the Reds on Friday night. It was the first postseason game in major-league history in which both pitchers of decision were born in Cuba. There have been only two regular-season games of that type over the last 30 years: Rolando Arrojo (Red Sox) defeated Orlando Hernandez (Yankees) in 2000 and Livan Hernandez (Expos) beat Micheal Tejera (Marlins) in 2003.