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Nava breaks up no-hit bid late
From Elias: Daniel Nava's single with one out in the ninth inning ended the Tigers' bid for a no-hitter in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. It was the second no-hit bid snapped in the ninth inning in postseason history. The Dodgers' Cookie Lavagetto rapped a pinch-hit double with two outs in the ninth inning to break up the no-hit bid of the Yankees' Bill Bevens in Game 4 of the 1947 World Series. Lavagetto's hit didn't only break up the no-hitter; it knocked in two runs to give the Dodgers a 3-2 walk-off victory.
Sanchez strikes out 12, does not allow a hit
From Elias: Anibal Sanchez struck out 12 Red Sox batters and did not allow a hit in the Tigers' Game 1 victory over the Red Sox. That's the most strikeouts by a pitcher before he allowed a hit in a postseason game in major-league history. The previous record for such a thing belonged to Sandy Koufax, who struck out 10 Yankees before Elston Howard got the Yankees first hit, a two-out single in the fifth inning, in Game 1 of the 1963 World Series.
Sanchez issued six walks to go along with his 12 strikeouts. The only other pitcher with at least a dozen strikeouts and six walks in a postseason game was Walter Johnson. "The Big Train" struck out 12 batters and issued six walks for the Senators against the Giants in Game 1 of the 1924 World Series.
Tigers strike out 17 Red Sox
From Elias: Five Tigers pitchers combined to strike out 17 batters in Game 1 of the ALCS. That matches the most strikeouts by one team in a postseason game that lasted nine or fewer innings in major-league history. Bob Gibson struck out 17 Tigers in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series and Kevin Brown (16) and Trevor Hoffman (1) combined to strike out 17 Astros in Game 1 of the 1998 NLDS.
Cardinals' team batting average is .134 in the series
From Elias: The Cardinals won the first two games of the 2013 National League Championship Series despite a team batting average of .134 in the series (9-for-67). That's the lowest batting average for a team that won the first two games of a postseason series in major league history. The previous low was .150 by the Braves in the 1996 NLDS against the Dodgers.
The Cardinals won Game 2 of the NLCS, 1-0, despite recording only two hits. That tied the record for fewest hits in a 1-0 postseason victory, which was done twice before: Game 1 of the 1948 World Series, Johnny Sain and the Boston Braves over the Indians; and Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS between the Yankees and Athletics, better known as the "Derek Jeter flip" game.
Wacha is dominant
From Elias: Michael Wacha pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings for the Cardinals in their Game 2 win over the Dodgers improving his numbers to 2-0 with a 0.64 earned-run average in two career postseason starts. Three other rookie pitchers won each of their first two career postseason starts with an ERA as low as Wacha: Mike Boddicker in 1983 (2-0. 0.00), Dave Righetti in 1981 (2-0, 0.00) and Orlando Hernandez in 1998 (2-0, 0.64).
Fontaine ties NHL record
From Elias: Minnesota rookie Justin Fontaine, playing in his fifth NHL game, scored the first goal of his NHL career in the Wild's 5 -1 win over the Stars, but fans at Xcel Energy Center who got to their seats late would have missed it since Fontaine scored it 12 seconds after the puck was dropped for the opening faceoff. That matches the quickest goal ever from the start of a game by a player scoring the first goal of his NHL career. Rick Boh scored his first career goal for the North Stars 12 seconds into a game at Boston Garden on Feb. 27, 1988. That was the seventh game of Boh's NHL career.
Eriksson scores clutch goals
From Elias: Loui Eriksson's first goal for the Bruins snapped a 1-1 tie in the first minute of the third period and that goal proved to be the game-winner in Boston's 3-1 victory at Columbus. Eriksson, who was traded to the Bruins by Dallas in July, led the Stars with 20 game-winning goals over the past five seasons and he registered 13 of them in the third period (7) or overtime (6).
Four times three equals win
From Elias: Daniel Alfredsson, Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg each recorded three points for the Red Wings in their 5-2 win over the Flyers. It was the first time that Detroit had four players tally three or more points in the same game since their 6-4 win against the Blackhawks at Wrigley Field on New Year's Day 2009. Zetterberg was also one of the Red Wings' three-point foursome in that game; the others were Marian Hossa, Jiri Hudler and Brian Rafalski.
Crosby tricks Lightning
From Elias: Sidney Crosby recorded the eighth regular-season hat trick of his NHL career (and first in 34 months) when he scored three goals as he led the Penguins to a 5-4 win over the Lightning at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Crosby had not scored three goals in a regular-season game since he did so twice in a six-day span in 2010 (Nov. 27 vs. Calgary and Dec. 10 vs. Atlanta), and he had not done so in a regular-season road game since he notched his first NHL hat trick on Oct. 28, 2006 at Philadelphia.
Varlamov beats old mates
From Elias: Former Capitals goaltender Semyon Varlamov faced his old team for the first time on Saturday night and he made 40 saves to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 5-1 win in Washington. Varlamov's 40 saves were the most ever by a former Capitals goaltender in a win against Washington. The previous high was 38 saves by Rick Tabaracci in Tampa Bay's 4-1 home-ice victory over the Caps on Feb. 15, 1997.
Blackhawks sweep back-to-back set
From Elias: The Blackhawks completed their first set of "back-to-back" games this season by posting a 2-1 win over the Sabres in Chicago on Saturday, after beating the Islanders by a 3-2 score on Friday. Chicago played games on consecutive days 12 times during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season and they won both games a league-high eight times.
Four points for Steen
From Elias: Alexander Steen scored one goal and assisted on three goals scored by his St. Louis teammates in the Blues' 5-3 win over the Rangers. It was the third time that Steen scored four or more points in an NHL game and the second time he did so for St. Louis. He registered four points in a Blues win at Edmonton on Dec. 21, 2009 and a career-high five points for the Maple Leafs in their 10-2 win at Boston on Jan. 4, 2007. Alexander Steen has a long way to go to match his father, Thomas, who scored four or more points in a game 16 times in a 14-year NHL career spent entirely with the original Winnipeg Jets.
One and One for Ellis
From Elias: The Predators came from behind to beat the Islanders, 3-2, on Saturday night. Defenseman Ryan Ellis assisted on Nashville's tying goal in the last minute of the second period and then scored the game-winning goal early in the third period. Ellis has recorded only six goals and 13 assists in his 67-game NHL career, but in five of the six games in which he's scored a goal he's also had an assist.
Bolland and Leafs works overtime
From Elias: Dave Bolland's goal at the 2:09 mark in overtime earned the Maple Leafs a 6-5 win over the Oilers in Toronto. It was the second overtime goal of Bolland's NHL career and his first for the Maple Leafs, but it wasn't his first OT goal in Toronto. Bolland, who was acquired by the Maple Leafs from Chicago in a trade last summer, scored his only other NHL overtime goal while playing for the Blackhawks in a game against the Leafs in Toronto on Nov. 22, 2008.
Bolland was able to score in overtime because his teammate Joffrey Lupul tied the score at 5-5 at the 19:29 mark of the third period. It was the first time that the Maple Leafs won a game in overtime after scoring a tying goal in the final minute of the third period since their 6-5 victory at Buffalo on March 15, 2004. In that game, Gary Roberts tied the score with 38 seconds remaining in the third period and Tomas Kaberle tallied the overtime winner.