Date: March 21, 2012

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN.com

NBA

KNICKS BEGIN THE WOODSON ERA WITH FOUR LOPSIDED WINS

From Elias: The Knicks defeated Toronto to post their fourth win in as many games since Mike Woodson replaced Mike D'Antoni as the team's head coach. New York has outscored its opponents by 90 points under Woodson. It's the largest positive point differential for any team in NBA history over its first four games following a coaching change. The Knicks' four-game winning streak is the second-longest in franchise history to immediately follow a coaching change. They won five games in a row to begin Red Holzman's second stint as head coach after he replaced Willis Reed behind the bench in November 1978.

New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors

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Durant

UTAH CONTROLS DURANT

From Elias: Utah limited Kevin Durant to 18 points in its 97-90 victory over the Thunder. Durant had scored at least 20 points in each of his 18 previous games, one game shy of the longest streak of its kind in the NBA this season. Durant himself registered the league's longest streak of the season - 19 consecutive games with at least 20 points from January 6 through February 9. That streak was snapped when the Jazz held Durant to 19 points at Salt Lake City on February 10.

Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder

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Bosh

BOSH HAS THE HEAT'S HOTTEST HAND

From Elias: Chris Bosh scored 29 points while making 12 of 16 field-goal attempts to help the Heat dispose of the Suns. It was the ninth game of Bosh's NBA career, but only his second with Miami, in which he made at least 12 shots from the floor and posted a field-goal percentage of 75 percent or higher. Bosh made 12 of 15 field-goal attempts (80%) at Detroit on January 25.

Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns

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Granger

AS GRANGER GOES, SO GO THE PACERS

From Elias: Danny Granger scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Pacers to a 102-89 win over the Clippers. Indiana is 14-5 (.737) this season in games in which Granger was its outright leading scorer, compared to 12-13 (.480) in all other games.

Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers

ROCKETS COME BACK FROM WAY BEHIND TO BEAT L.A.

From Elias: The Rockets erased a 17-point deficit to beat the Lakers, 107-104. It was the Lakers' second loss this season in a game that they led by 17 or more points. The first one was less than two weeks ago, when Los Angeles blew a 21-point lead in a loss to the Wizards on March 7. The Lakers lost only one game in which they led by at least 17 points over the past four seasons combined (Nov. 26, 2010 at Utah).

Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers

ARENAS RETURNS TO THE NBA

From Elias: The Grizzlies signed Gilbert Arenas before Tuesday night's tipoff at Sacramento. Arenas, who hasn't played in the NBA this season, averaged 15.0 points per game over the past four seasons (2007-08 through 2010-11) while playing a total of only 117 games. But Arenas was an All-Star in each of three straight seasons from 2004-05 through 2006-07, and over that span only Kobe Bryant (7,801) and LeBron James (6,785) scored more points than Arenas (6,489).

Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings

NHL

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Hemsky

HATS FIT OILERS

From Elias: Ales Hemsky recorded the first hat trick of his NHL career with three goals for the Oilers in their 6-3 win at Nashville. Hemsky is the fifth different Edmonton player to register a hat trick this season, following Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Oct. 15), Taylor Hall (Nov. 19), Ryan Jones (Nov. 19) and Sam Gagner (Feb. 2). The Oilers are the first NHL team to have five or more players notch hat tricks in one season since the Canucks had six in 2009-10. The last time the Oilers had five hat tricksters in one season was 1989-90, which was Edmonton's last Stanley Cup-winning season. Glenn Anderson, Martin Gelinas, Adam Graves, Normand Lacombe and Mark Messier turned the tricks for the Oilers that season.

Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators

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Kovalchuk

MILESTONE GOAL IS THE ONLY GOAL

From Elias: Ilya Kovalchuk's 400th career goal was the only entry in the scoring summary of the Devils' 1-0 win at Ottawa. Kovalchuk is only the second player in NHL history to score a century milestone goal numbered 400 or higher in a 1-0 game. The first was Luc Robitaille, whose 600th career goal came in the Red Wings' 1-0 victory at Anaheim on Nov. 9, 2001.

New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators

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Hedberg

ANOTHER 1-0 VICTORY FOR HEDBERG

From Elias: Johan Hedberg posted his fourth shutout of the season with a 34-save, 1-0 win at Ottawa and set a Devils franchise record of sorts. Hedberg is the first goaltender in Scouts/Rockies/Devils franchise history other than Martin Brodeur to record four shutouts in one season. Brodeur has done that 15 times.

Hedberg had to stop a penalty shot by Erik Condra in the first period of Tuesday's game. It was the second time this season that he faced a penalty shot in a 1-0 shutout win; he did that against the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on November 25. Not only is Hedberg the first NHL goaltender with two 1-0 shutout wins in which he also faced a penalty shot in one season, he's the first NHL netminder with two such wins in his career.

New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators

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Malkin

MALKIN AND LEMIEUX

From Elias: Evgeni Malkin recorded his fourth five-point game of the season with two goals and three assists in the Penguins' 8-4 win against the Jets. Malkin, who had three five-point games in his career entering this season, is the first NHL player to score five or more points in a game four times in one season since 1995-96, when the man who now signs Malkin's paychecks, Mario Lemieux, had six such games for Pittsburgh, and Peter Forsberg did it four times for Colorado.

Pittsburgh Penguins, Winnipeg Jets

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Ryder

THREE GOALS RESULT IN THREE POINTS FOR THREE TEAMMATES

From Elias: The Stars beat the Coyotes in a shootout after the teams played to a 3-3 deadlock on Tuesday night. Dallas' offense was supplied by only three players: Michael Ryder (2 goals, 1 assist), Loui Eriksson (1 goal, 2 assists) and Mike Ribeiro (3 assists). The Stars were the first NHL team to score exactly three goals in one game with three players each registering three points since Nov. 17, 2006, when Jamie Langenbrunner, Zach Parise and Travis Zajac did that for the Devils in a 3-2 win against Ottawa.

Dallas Stars, Phoenix Coyotes

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Jones

JONES HAS THE TOUCH IN OVERTIME

From Elias: David Jones scored in overtime to give the Avalanche a 2-1 victory against the Flames on Tuesday. It was the fifth overtime goal of Jones's five-year NHL career and all of his extra-time tallies have come since January 2011. That's the most regular-season overtime goals by any NHL player over the last 15 calendar months.

Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche

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Keith

FOUR ASSISTS FOR BLACKHAWKS DEFENSEMAN

From Elias: Duncan Keith tallied four assists in the Blackhawks' 5-1 win at Columbus. Keith, who had recorded only two assists in his last 12 games entering play on Tuesday, is the first Chicago defenseman to post a four-assist game since Oct. 7, 2005, when Brent Seabrook, in only the second game of his NHL career, set up four goals in a 6-3 Blackhawks win over San Jose. Keith was the third defenseman to register four assists in a NHL game this season; the first two were Brian Campbell (Oct. 17) and Kimmo Timonen (Oct. 27).

Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets

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Tavares

THREE IS THE CHARM FOR TAVARES

From Elias: John Tavares recorded three points with assists on three of the Islanders' five goals in their win at Toronto. It was Tavares' ninth game with three or more points this season, tying him with Claude Giroux, Evgeni Malkin and Eric Staal for the NHL high this season. Tavares is the first Islanders player with nine three-point games in one season since 1996-97, when Zigmund Palffy had 10 games with at least three points.

New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs

FIVE STRAIGHT WINS FOR PANTHERS

From Elias: The Panthers extended their winning streak to five games with a 2-1 victory at Philadelphia on Tuesday. It's the Cats' longest winning streak since March 2008, when they won seven consecutive games. Florida's fifth straight win leaves only two NHL teams without a winning streak of five games or more over the last four seasons: the Islanders and Maple Leafs.

Philadelphia Flyers, Florida Panthers


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