Date: October 4, 2013

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to



Barkov is the youngest NHL goal-scorer since 1944

From Elias: Aleksander Barkov, the second overall pick in the 2013 Entry Draft, made his NHL debut on Thursday and scored his first goal, a tying marker in the third period for the Florida Panthers who came from behind to post a 4-2 win in their season opener at Dallas. At age 18 years, 31 days, Barkov was the youngest goal-scorer in an NHL game since Jan. 8, 1944, when Ted Kennedy scored a goal for the Maple Leafs in their 12-3 rout of the Bruins at age 18 years, 27 days.

Florida Panthers


Bruins' first goal of the season is a penalty-shot goal

From Elias: Chris Kelly's penalty-shot goal gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead in the first period of their season-opening game against the Lightning. It was only the second time in NHL history that a team's first goal of a season was tallied on a penalty shot. That first time it happened was when Mats Sundin notched the Maple Leafs' first goal in their 2006-07 season opener against Ottawa. Unfortunately for the Leafs, that was the only goal they scored in a 4-1 home-ice loss.

Besides Sundin and Kelly, two other NHL players scored a penalty-shot goal in their team's first game of a season (though in both instances it wasn't the team's first goal): the North Stars' Bo Berglund in 1985-86 and the Thrashers' Evander Kane in 2010-11.

Boston Bruins


Fleury notches a shutout and stops a penalty shot in the Penguins' opener

From Elias: Marc-Andre Fleury recorded the 24th shutout of his NHL career and his second shutout in a season-opening game with a 3-0 victory over the Devils on Thursday night. The only other active goaltenders with two shutouts in season openers are Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo. Fleury preserved his shutout by stopping Adam Henrique on a penalty shot with 3:59 remaining in the third period. He's the second goaltender in NHL history to register a shutout in his team's first game of a season and face a penalty shot while doing so. Ken Dryden did that with a 9-0 win over the Kings at the Montreal Forum in the Canadiens' 1975-76 opener, facing a penalty shot by defenseman Bart Crashley.

Fleury has been specializing with his recent shutouts: the last seven have all been against teams from the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area (Islanders 3, Rangers 2, Devils 2).

Pittsburgh Penguins


Ovechkin scores on two of his 11 shots

From Elias: Alex Ovechkin scored twice on his 11 shots on goal in the Capitals' 5-4 shootout win over the Flames. It was the 14th regular-season game in Ovechkin's NHL career in which he registered at least two goals and ten shots on goal. Since Ovechkin made his NHL debut in October 2005, the only other players with more than one such game are Dany Heatley, Jaromir Jagr, Rick Nash, James Neal and Eric Staal with two each.

Washington Capitals


Vrbata's hat trick leads the Coyotes to an opening-night win

From Elias: Radim Vrbata, who scored three goals for the Coyotes in their final game last season, tallied three times to lead Phoenix to a win in their opener this season. He's the fourth player in Jets/Coyotes franchise history to register a hat trick in the team's first game of a season and the first to do so since the team relocated to Phoenix in 1996. The Winnipeg players to do that were Scott Arniel (1983-84), Teemu Selanne (1993-94) and Igor Korolev (1995-96).

Phoenix Coyotes


Carter has Backstrom's number

From Elias: Jeff Carter's goal against Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom tied the score at 2-2 with 6:46 remaining in the third period and the Kings went on to post a 3-2 shootout victory in the season opener for both teams. Carter has scored seven goals in 12 career games versus Backstrom and one goal in each of his last four games against him.

Los Angeles Kings

Blues score three first-period goals in their first game

From Elias: The Blues jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the 9:45 mark of the first period of their season-opening game against the Predators, and after Nashville made the score 3-2 in the second period St. Louis tallied once more and held on for a 4-2 win. The Blues scored three first-period goals in their season opener only twice before: versus Pittsburgh in 1981-82 (won 6-2), and at San Jose in the lockout-shortened and delayed 1994-95 season (won 5-2).

St. Louis Blues



Beltran is the real "Mr. October"

From Elias: Carlos Beltran finished the regular season with only one home run in his last 104 at-bats. But this is October, and with his home run in the third inning of the Cardinals' 9-1 win over the Pirates, Beltran tied Babe Ruth for the highest postseason home-run rate in major-league history (minimum: 100 at-bats). Beltran and Ruth have both hit 15 homers in 129 postseason at-bats, an average of one homer every 8.6 ABs. Beltran has never gone more than 17 at-bats without a home run in one playoff year.

St. Louis Cardinals


A.J. was K.O.'d by a seven-run third inning

From Elias: The Cardinals scored seven runs off A.J. Burnett in the third inning and cruised to a 9-1 win over the Pirates. Burnett was the seventh pitcher to allow at least seven runs in one inning of a postseason game, but he was only the second to do so before he recorded an out in the inning. The first was Tom Glavine, who allowed eight runs without retiring a batter before being pulled in the second inning of Game 6 of the 1992 NLCS between the Braves and Pirates.

St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates


Kershaw tied a postseason record with six straight strikeouts

From Elias: Clayton Kershaw struck out 12 batters in seven innings, including a streak of six consecutive strikeouts from the fourth to the sixth inning, as he pitched the Dodgers to a victory over the Braves in the opener of their N.L. Division Series. Kershaw's run of six straight strikeouts tied a single-game postseason record set by Hod Eller in 1919 and previously equaled by Moe Drabowsky (1966), Todd Worrell (1985), Mike Hampton (2003) and Homer Bailey (2012). Before Kershaw, the Dodgers record for consecutive strikeouts by a pitcher in a postseason game was five by Sandy Koufax against the Yankees in Game 1 of the 1963 World Series.

Los Angeles Dodgers


Gonzalez's homer bucked two recent trends

From Elias: Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run home run to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead in the third inning of their game against the Braves. Gonzalez's homer off Atlanta starter Kris Medlen seemed to break all the rules. He had hit only one home run in his last 53 at-bats at Turner Field, dating back to 200, and Medlen didn't allow a home run in his last six starts of the regular season, posting a 5-0 record with a 0.84 ERA during that span.

Los Angeles Dodgers


Browns come from ten points behind to win

From Elias: The Browns fell behind, 10-0, but rallied to defeat the Bills, 37-24. That ended Cleveland's streak of 25 consecutive losses in games in which trailed by at least eight points, which was the longest current streak of that kind for any NFL team. Prior to Thursday night, the Browns' last such victory was in December 2009 at Kansas City, when Eric Mangini was their head coach.

Cleveland Browns