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JOHANSEN MAKES HIS FIRST TWO GOALS COUNT
From Elias: The Blue Jackets beat the Ducks, 3-1, on Sunday to earn only their second win in 12 games this season. In both Columbus victories the game-winning goal was scored by rookie Ryan Johansen, and those two goals are the only ones he's scored in the NHL. Johansen is only the third player whose first two NHL goals were game-winners in his team's first two victories of a season. The others were Marco Sturm with San Jose in 1997 and Hall-of-Famer Howie Meeker with Toronto in 1946.
LEHNER TOPS INTRAPROVINCE RIVALS IN FIRST START FOR SENS
From Elias: Rookie Robin Lehner, making his 2011-12 season debut for Ottawa, made 23 saves to lead the Senators to a 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs. Lehner, whose only other NHL win was against the Islanders last season, is the fourth rookie goaltender to post a win for the Senators versus their Ontario rival. The others were Jani Hurme (2000-01), Ray Emery (2005-06) and Brian Elliott (2008-09).
NUGENT-HOPKINS STARTS FAST, LIKE THE GREAT ONE IN `79
From Elias: Ryan Smyth scored two goals and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins assisted on two others in the Oilers' 4-2 win over the Blues. From the Gratuitous Gretzky Reference Dept.: Nugent-Hopkins is the first player to record at least 11 points in his first 11 NHL games and to do so for Edmonton since Wayne Gretzky and a pair of his teammates, Blair MacDonald and Brett Callighen, did it in 1979, when the NHL absorbed the Oilers AND three other WHA teams.
HEJDA PAYS AN EARLY DIVIDEND
From Elias: When the Avalanche signed Jan Hejda to a four-year, eight-figure contract last summer, this was what they had in mind. Hejda recorded four hits and four blocks in the Avs' 3-2 win over the Kings on Sunday night. No Colorado player had at least four blocks and at least four hits in any of the team's last 60 games last season.
NEWTON SETS ANOTHER RECORD
From Elias: Another week, another milestone for Cam Newton, who passed for 290 yards and three touchdowns in the Panthers' 24-21 loss to the Vikings. Newton's total of 1,381 passing yards in October is the highest in NFL history by a rookie in one calendar month. The previous record was 1,230 yards by Matthew Stafford in November 2009. The three most recent record-holders prior to Stafford were Peyton Manning, Jake Plummer and Dan Marino.
PONDER OUTDUELS NEWTON IN UNPRECEDENTED MATCHUP
From Elias: Christian Ponder passed for 236 yards in the Vikings' win over Cam Newton and the Panthers, a game in which neither quarterback threw an interception. It was first game in the history of the National Football League in which opposing rookies both passed for at least 200 yards without throwing an INT.
BELICHICK'S PATRIOTS LOSE DESPITE NO GIVEAWAYS
From Elias: It's not supposed to work this way, or so Bill Belichick must have thought following the Patriots' 25-17 loss at Pittsburgh in which New England didn't commit a turnover. Belichick and the Patriots had won their previous 30 consecutive regular-season games in which they didn't give the ball away. That was the longest such streak by any coach in NFL history.
RICE FUELS RAVENS' RALLY TO DOWN CARDINALS
From Elias: Ray Rice scored three touchdowns in the second half as the Ravens overcame a 24-3 deficit to defeat the Cardinals, 30-27. Over the last 40 years, only three other players rushed for three TDs to rally their team to victory after falling behind by at least 21 points: Antowain Smith of the Bills in 1997 (against the Colts), quarterback Rich Gannon of the Raiders in 2000 (against the Colts) and LaDainian Tomlinson of the Chargers in 2006 (against the Bengals).
BOLDIN TORCHES HIS FORMER TEAM
From Elias: Anquan Boldin caught seven passes for 145 yards on Sunday, an average of 20.7 per reception. That was Boldin's highest average in a game of seven or more catches - something he's now done 44 times - since he caught 10 passes for 217 yards in his NFL debut in 2003.
Boldin's receiving-yardage total was the highest ever recorded in one game against the Cardinals by a former member of the team. That mark was previously held by Randal Hill, who gained 124 receiving yards for the Saints against the Cardinals in 1997.
BILLS BLANK SHANAHAN'S REDSKINS
From Elias: The Bills defeated the Redskins, 23-0, to hand Mike Shanahan the first shutout loss of his 18-season NFL head-coaching career. Before Sunday's loss, Shanahan held the league record for most regular-season games as a head coach without being shut out (266). That mark now reverts to Jim Mora the Elder (231).
DALTON COMPLETES A RARE PERFECT MONTH
From Elias: Andy Dalton threw a pair of first-half touchdown passes in the Bengals' 34-12 win at Seattle. It was the Bengals' fourth straight win, all with Dalton at quarterback. He became only the fourth rookie QB in the expansion era to win at least four games with no losses or ties in one calendar month. The others were Phil Simms (October 1979), Kyle Orton (November 2005) and Ben Roethlisberger, who did it in three consecutive months (Oct.-Nov.-Dec. 2004).
49ERS' RUSHING STREAK IS LONGEST IN 91 YEARS
From Elias: Frank Gore's scoring run against the Browns and a 49ers defense that did not permit a TD on the ground made the Niners the first NFL team in 91 years to score, but not allow, a rushing touchdown in each of its first seven games of a season. The Buffalo All-Americans did that in the NFL's first season, but several of their games were played against non-NFL teams. In 1920, and only 1920, the NFL counted in its standings all games played by teams, even those against non-league opponents.
RAMS UPSET SAINTS FOR FIRST WIN OF SEASON
From Elias: The Rams recorded the day's biggest upset, recording their first win of the season with a 31-21 win over the Saints. It was only the second time in the last 14 seasons that a winless team with at least six losses defeated a first-place team. The last such victory was posted by the 0-6 Dolphins over the 4-2 Rams in 2004.
It also marked only the second time in the last 30 years that the NFL's lowest-scoring team defeated the league's highest-scoring club. The Rams came into the game scoring an average of 9.3 points per game, compared to the Saints' average of 34.1 points.
MANNING SETS TEAM RECORD FOR 300-YARD GAMES
From Elias: Eli Manning passed for 349 yards in the Giants' 20-17 win over the Dolphins. Manning, who passed for 321 yards against the Cardinals and 420 against the Seahawks earlier in October, became the first player in Giants history with three 300-yard games in one calendar month.
LIONS ROUT BRONCOS FOR BIG ROAD WIN
From Elias: The Lions routed the Broncos, 45-10, at Denver. It was Detroit's largest margin of victory in a road game since a 40-0 win at Lambeau Field in September 1970. That was also the last season in which the Lions posted two or more wins by at least 35 points each. (Detroit defeated Kansas City, 48-3, last month.)
SPELL DETROIT WITH A CAPITAL "D"
From Elias: Chris Houston (100-yard interception return) and Cliff Avril (24-yard fumble return) scored a pair of touchdowns to complement seven sacks by the Lions' defense in Sunday's win at Denver. That was the highest sack total since 2000 by a team that scored TDs on an INT and a defensive fumble recovery in the same game.
COLTS END STRING OF OPPONENT SCORING AT 51 POINTS
From Elias: The Colts fell behind the Titans, 20-0, in Sunday's 27-10 loss. Indianapolis also conceded the last 31 points in a 62-7 loss to the Saints last week. The total of 51 unanswered points was the most against Indianapolis since 1992, when the Colts suffered consecutive shutout losses to the Chargers (26-0) and Dolphins (28-0).