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BLUES OUTSHOOT OPPONENT BY WIDE MARGIN AGAIN
From Elias: The Blues, who lost their season opener to the Predators, 4-2, despite outshooting Nashville, 33-16, beat the Flames in their second game, 5-2, outshooting Calgary 35-17. St. Louis is only the third team in the NHL's expansion era (i.e., 1967-68 to date) to record more than twice as many shots on goal as its opponent in each of its first two games of a season. The other teams to do that over that span were the 1967-68 Kings (in the first two games in franchise history) and the 1975-76 Sabres.
BIG NAMES, NO PRODUCTION
From Elias: The Tampa Bay-Washington game seemed likely to feature lots of goals, with big-name stars such as Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin in the two lineups. Those six players combined for 1001 points over the last two seasons (406 goals, 595 assists). And the game lived up to expectations, with the teams evenly dividing ten goals before the Capitals won via a shootout. But remarkably, the six superstar forwards failed to register a single point in Monday's game. Of the nine goal scorers for the Caps and Lightning, only Jason Chimera, whose two goals were the 100th and 101st of his career, has scored at least 75 goals in the NHL.
VARLAMOV BLANKS DEFENDING CHAMPS
From Elias: Semyon Varlamov recorded the fifth regular-season shutout of his NHL career and his first for the Avalanche with a 1 -0 win over the Bruins in Boston on Monday afternoon. Varlamov was the first goaltender to post a 1 -0 shutout on the road against a defending Stanley Cup champion since Oct. 25, 2007, when Alex Auld, then with Phoenix, won by the minimum score at Anaheim. The only other 1-0 road shutout over a Cup holder by an Avs or Nordiques netminder was Patrick Roy's victory at Detroit on Feb. 6, 2003.
LEHTONEN TOUGH AT HOME
From Elias: Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped 40 of the 41 shots on goal he faced in his 2-1 shootout victory against the Coyotes in Dallas. Lehtonen has an 11-2-3 record in 16 career home games in which he faced 40 or more shots on goal and he's 6-0-1 at home in such games since the start of the 2008-09 season.
DEVILS DUO LEADS VICTORY OVER HURRICANES
From Elias: Zach Parise scored two goals, including the empty-net clincher, and Ilya Kovalchuk tallied once to lead the Devils to a 4-2 win against the Hurricanes on Monday afternoon. Due to the knee injury which sidelined Parise for most of the 2010-11 season, he's played only 40 regular-season games and five playoff games with Kovalchuk since New Jersey acquired Kovalchuk from the Thrashers in a trade on Feb. 4, 2010. Monday's game marked only the sixth time that the two star left wings have scored goals for the Devils in the same game.
MACDONALD SCORES ON LONG ISLAND
From Elias: Defenseman Andrew MacDonald scored the first goal for the Islanders in their 2-1 win over the Wild at Nassau Coliseum. MacDonald has scored only six goals in his four seasons in the NHL but he's tallied all of those goals on Long Island (60 games for the Isles at Nassau Coliseum, no goals in 51 road games).
CRUZ SLAMS TIGERS
From Elias: Nelson Cruz hit a game-tying home run in the seventh inning and then beat the Tigers with the first walk-off grand slam in major-league postseason history. The only other player in MLB history to hit a game-tying and game-ending home run in a playoff game was, ironically, Magglio Ordonez, who was replaced on Detroit's roster earlier in the day because of an ankle injury. Ordonez did it in Game Four of the 2006 ALCS against the Athletics. That victory at Comerica Park clinched the American League pennant for the Tigers.
RANGERS FOILED IN 9TH INNING ON RARE DOUBLE PLAY
From Elias: The Rangers had a great opportunity to win in the bottom of the ninth inning, when they loaded the bases with nobody out. But Jose Valverde escaped without allowing a run, thanks in part to an inning-ending first-to-catcher-to-first double play turned by Miguel Cabrera and Alex Avila.
It was the first 3-2-3 double play in the postseason since Game Seven of the 1991 World Series, when the Twins got out of an eighth-inning jam by retiring Sid Bream on a GIDP of that type, preserving a scoreless tie. (Three batters earlier, the Braves' Lonnie Smith failed to score on a double by Terry Pendleton after Smith was faked out on the play by Minnesota's infielders.) The Twins went on to win that game in 10 innings, 1-0.
The Rangers became only the second team in major-league history to win a postseason game in extra innings after failing to score with the bases loaded and nobody out in the ninth inning or later. The other game was one of the most famous in major-league history. In Game Six of the 1975 World Series at Fenway Park, the Red Sox scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the Reds, 6-6, but Boston could not score in the ninth inning despite having the bases full with no outs. Carlton Fisk eventually led off the last half of the 12th inning with a home run, forcing a Game Seven.
TIGERS SQUANDER LATE LEAD
From Elias: The Tigers, who led 3-2 until Cruz's game-tying solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning, lost only seven games during the regular season after leading in the seventh inning or later, the fewest such defeats for any team in the major leagues in 2011. It was only the second game in this postseason in which the winning team trailed in the seventh inning or later. The other was the Rangers' victory over the Rays in Game Three of the ALDS.
CARDINALS BASH BREWERS AND TIE MLB RECORD
From Elias: The Cardinals routed the Brewers, 12-3, at Miller Park on Monday night, defeating a team that was 57-24 (.704) at home this season. That tied a postseason record for the largest margin of victory by a visitor against a team that had a .700 or higher winning percentage at home during that regular season. The other such wins were by the 1946 Cardinals in Game Four of the World Series at Fenway Park (12-3 over the Red Sox) and the 1969 Orioles in Game Three of the ALCS (11-2 over the Twins at Metropolitan Stadium).
GUESS WHICH NFL TEAM HAS NOW GONE THE LONGEST WITHOUT A 5-0 RECORD?
From Elias: The Lions, with Monday night's victory, are 5-0 for the first time since 1956, ending what was the NFL's longest current streak for any team without five consecutive victories to start a season. That distinction now belongs to, believe it or not, the Raiders! Oakland, a franchise that dates back to 1960, has never begun a season 5-0.
LIONS OVERCOME HALFTIME DEFICIT
From Elias: The Lions were behind going into the third quarter in each of their last three games. It's the first time in franchise history that Detroit has won three consecutive games, despite trailing at halftime in each of them.
STAFFORD TIES 60-YEAR OLD FRANCHISE RECORD
From Elias: Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes on Monday night, giving him 19 over his last seven games. That ties the Lions record for TD passes over seven games, set six decades ago by Bobby Layne, who threw 19 scoring passes in a seven-game span in 1951.
BEST OF THE BEST
From Elias: Jahvid Best ran for 163 yards on 12 carries on Monday night, an average of 13.6 yards per rush. He set a Lions record for the highest yards per carry in a game (minimum: 10 attempts) and he also produced the highest such average by any player for any team in a game against the Bears.