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BULLS RACE TO 15 WINS
From Elias: The Bulls improved to 15-3 with a win over the Bobcats on Saturday. Chicago has reached 15 wins with no more than three losses only three other times in team history, all in the glory years: they started 15-1 in 1996-97, and 15-2 in both 1995-96 and 1991-92.
76ERS CAN'T STOP BOSH AND JAMES
From Elias: Chris Bosh scored 30 points and LeBron James had 28 in Miami's win over Philadelphia on Saturday. Before the game, the most points any player had scored against the 76ers this season was 28, by Denver's Andre Miller. That leaves Detroit and Miami as the only NBA teams that have not allowed a 30-point game to any player this season.
GALLINARI HAS CAREER GAME VS. FORMER TEAM
From Elias: Danilo Gallinari had 37 points and 11 rebounds in Denver's double-overtime win over the Knicks on Saturday. Only three other players in NBA history had at least 35 points and 10 rebounds in their first game against a former team: Charles Barkley for Phoenix vs. Philadelphia in 1993; Dominique Wilkins for the Clippers against the Hawks in 1994; and Al Harrington for the Knicks vs. the Warriors in 2008.
NETS HAVING TROUBLE HITTING ONE
From Elias: The Nets were out-shot by the Thunder in terms of field-goal percentage on Saturday, 41 percent to 31 percent, and they have now had a lower field goal percentage than their opponent in each of their 16 games this season and 33 of their last 34 games dating back to last season. New Jersey is the first team in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55) to be outshot in 33 of 34 games.
ROCKETS BEST SHOOTING VS. SPURS SINCE 1986
From Elias: The Rockets made 44 of 79 shots in their win against the Spurs on Saturday, 55.7 percent. That was Houston's highest field-goal percentage in a game against San Antonio in more than 25 years, since they made 57 of 98, 58.2 percent on Apr. 3, 1986. Hakeem Olajuwon led the charge for Houston that day, making 11 of 13 shots in a 136-110 Rockets win.
A LOVE NOT SUPREME VS. JAZZ
From Elias: The Jazz held Kevin Love to 15 points and eight rebounds on Saturday. That's Love's fewest rebounds and second-fewest points in any game this season, and he had reached double figures in both points and rebounds in each of the Timberwolves' first 15 games of the season. That was the longest such streak to start a season in 30 years, since Moses Malone posted at least ten points and ten rebounds in each of the Rockets' first 16 games of the 1981-82 season.
JOHNSON SCORES 25 IN UNDER A HALF-HOUR
From Elias: Joe Johnson scored 25 points in 29:31 of playing time in the Hawks' win over the Cavaliers on Saturday. It's only the third time in Johnson's NBA career that he scored 25 or more points in less than 30 minutes of play. On Dec. 16, 2009 he had 26 points in 28:37 against Memphis and on Jan. 4, 2011 he had 29 in 29:35 against Sacramento.
GRIZZLIES HAVE THE HOT HAND (PAW?)
From Elias: The Grizzlies made 54.3 percent of their field-goals on Saturday and over their last four games they've shot 53.8 percent from the floor. That's the third-best field-goal percentage over any four-game span in team history; the two higher marks were in February 1997, when the team was still in Vancouver, and March 2003.
STUCKEY LEADS PISTONS TO WIN
From Elias: Rodney Stuckey led the Pistons with 28 points in their win over Portland on Saturday. It was only the second time this season that Stuckey has been Detroit's high scorer in a game; he was the co-leader with Jonas Jerebko in the Pistons' season opener. Stuckey led Detroit in scoring (either outright or tied with another player) 19 times last season (tied with Tayshaun Prince for the team lead) and a team-high 23 times in the 2009-10 season.
HORNETS CAN'T STING FROM FAR AWAY
From Elias: The Hornets made only two of 19 three-point attempts in their loss to the Mavericks on Saturday. It's the fifth time this season that New Orleans has made less than 15 percent of its three-point attempts in a game, tying the Lakers for the most such games in the NBA this season.
RANGERS AND BRUINS REKINDLE RIVALRY
From Elias: The Rangers beat the Bruins 3-2 in overtime on Saturday afternoon at Boston in a matchup of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference. It was the first time that the two clubs played each other in January or later while they had the top two point totals in their conference since March 10, 1994, when the #1 Rangers and #2 Bruins played a 2-2 tie at Boston Garden.
The Rangers have not allowed more than three goals in any of their last 26 games against the Bruins (after a 4-1 Boston win at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 20, 2004). It's the longest such streak by one NHL team against another since the Ducks held the Blackhawks to three or fewer goals in 28 consecutive games from 2001 to 2008. It's also the longest streak of its kind by the Rangers over one opponent and the second-longest such streak against the Bruins. The Maple Leafs held the Bruins to three or fewer goals in 39 consecutive games from 1953 to 1955.
LUONGO ETCHES NAME IN VANCOUVER RECORD BOOK
From Elias: Roberto Luongo took sole possession of the record for most career wins by a Canucks goaltender with a 4-3 victory over the Sharks on Saturday. It was Luongo's 212th regular-season win for Vancouver, moving him one ahead of Kirk McLean at 211. Luongo is also the all-time leader in wins for the Panthers; he won 108 games for Florida from 2000-01 through 2005-06. He's the only goaltender who holds the career wins record for two current NHL franchises. One netminder was the wins leader for two defunct NHL franchises: Roy Worters, with the Pittsburgh Pirates (later the Philadelphia Quakers) and New York Americans. Worters, who is the shortest player in NHL history, at 5'3", was known as "Shrimp".
HODGSON SCORES TWICE FOR CANUCKS
From Elias: Rookie Cody Hodgson scored two goals, including the game-winner with 4:17 remaining in the third period, in the Canucks' 4-3 victory against the Sharks. It was only the second multiple-goal game by a Vancouver rookie over the last three seasons. The other one was by Michael Grabner (now with the Islanders), who scored three goals for the Canucks at Anaheim on April 2, 2010.
LIDSTROM'S 17TH 10-GOAL SEASON
From Elias: Nicklas Lidstrom reached double-figures in goals for the 17th time in his 20-season NHL career when he scored on the power play in the second period of the Red Wings' game against the Blue Jackets. That ties him with Larry Murphy for the third-most seasons of 10 or more goals by a defenseman in NHL history, behind Ray Bourque (21 seasons) and Al MacInnis (19). The only other active defensemen with even half as many 10-goal seasons as Lidstrom are Sergei Gonchar (12) and Chris Pronger (9).
TAVARES EXTENDS POINT STREAK
From Elias: John Tavares scored both goals for the Islanders in their 2-1 overtime win against the Hurricanes. With his first goal Tavares extended his point streak to an NHL season-high 12 games. Only two NHL players recorded a point streak of a dozen games or more last season: Sidney Crosby (25 games) and Ilya Kovalchuk (12). Tavares' point streak is the longest by an Islanders player in one season since Mark Parrish's 12-game skein in 2001-02.
PIETRANGELO'S POINTS STREAK
From Elias: Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo's point streak is at nine games after his two-assist night for the Blues in their 4-2 victory over the Sabres on Saturday. Pietrangelo's point streak is the longest in the NHL by a defenseman this season. The only other defenseman in Blues history to record points in each of nine or more consecutive team games was Jeff Brown, who had two such streaks in 1992-93 (nine games and ten games).
SABRES SKID CONTINUES
From Elias: The Sabres lost at St. Louis on Saturday to extend their road losing streak to 12 games. That's the second-longest road losing streak since the 1993-94 season, behind only a 16-game skid by the Blackhawks in 2003-04. Buffalo has hardly been competitive in its last 12 road games: the Sabres have been outscored 50-17 and 11 of the 12 losses have been by two-plus goal margins.
ST. LOUIS ENDS GOAL DROUGHT
From Elias: Martin St. Louis ended his 13-game goal drought when he scored to give the Lightning a 3-0 lead in the second period at Phoenix on Saturday. It was St. Louis' second-longest goalless streak in his 11 seasons with the Lightning; he didn't have a goal in his first 14 games for the team, in 2000. St. Louis remained productive during his dry spell, recording a league-high 16 assists over that stretch (Dec. 23-Jan. 20).
HARTNELL LEADS FLYERS TO WIN OVER DEVILS
From Elias: Scott Hartnell scored two goals against Martin Brodeur in the Flyers' 4-1 win at New Jersey. It was the 24th multiple-goal game of Hartnell's NHL career and his third against the Devils in Newark. That's the most multi-goal games by any visiting player at Prudential Center, which opened in October 2007. The only other visitor with more than one multiple-goal game at "The Rock" is Thomas Vanek with two. Hartnell had scored only four career goals against Martin Brodeur (in 25 regular-season games) before Saturday's two-goal outburst.
Brodeur is now 2-9-2 in his last 13 regular-season starts against Philadelphia and he's allowed at least three goals in 11 of those 13 games (since Apr. 4, 2008). Brodeur also faced the Flyers in the 2010 playoffs, losing four of five games and allowing three or more goals in four of the five games. Prior to this stretch, Brodeur had won 16 of his previous 18 games against Philadelphia (16-1-1 from Apr. 1, 2006 through Mar. 28, 2008).
HILLER'S BEEN HOT
From Elias: The Ducks' winning streak reached four games with their 2-1 victory over the Senators on Saturday afternoon. Jonas Hiller has been in goal for all four Anaheim wins and he's limited the opposition to two or fewer goals in each game. It's the second time in Hiller's five seasons in the NHL (all with the Ducks) that he's won four consecutive team games while allowing no more than two goals in any of those victories. Hiller had a similar four-game winning streak in 2010 (January 5-10).
TWO FIRST-TIME GOAL SCORERS IN MINNESOTA
From Elias: Dallas defenseman Philip Larsen and Minnesota center Chad Rau each scored the first goal of their NHL careers in the Wild's 5-2 win over the Stars on Saturday. It was the second game this season in which a player on both teams scored for the first time in the NHL. That also happened in New Jersey's shootout win at Philadelphia on November 13, with the Devils' Adam Henrique and Flyers' Zac Rinaldo as the first-time scorers.
KOSTITSYN CARRYING NASHVILLE
From Elias: Sergei Kostitsyn, who recorded a goal and an assist in the Predators' win over the Blackhawks on Saturday, leads Nashville in both goals (7) and points (11) in the team's 10 games this month. Kostitsyn got off to a good start this season, tallying eight points in nine games in October, but he registered only three points in 11 games in November (all three in one game) and four points in 12 December games.
VERSTEEG IS A ROAD WARRIOR
From Elias: Kris Versteeg had a hand in all three of the Panthers' goals in their shootout win at Winnipeg on Saturday. It was Versteeg's fourth road game with three or more points this season and his second such game at Winnipeg. Versteeg, who recorded three goals and one assist in Florida's previous game at MTS Centre (a 5-2 win on November 10), tied the Flyers' Claude Giroux for the most road games of three-plus points by an NHL player this season.
ELLER LIKES THE NEW BOSS BETTER
From Elias: Lars Eller scored the final goal for the Canadiens in their 3-1 victory at Toronto on Saturday night. Eller has scored a team-high eight goals in the 16 games that Montreal has played since Randy Cunneyworth replaced Jacques Martin as the team's head coach just over a month ago. (Four of those goals came in one game: January 4 vs. Winnipeg.) Eller scored only two goals in the 30 games he played this season before the coaching switch.