Elias Says ...

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:


• Start spreadin' the news: Tuesday was Hockey Night in New York, as the metropolitan area's Rangers, Devils and Islanders all came away victorious on the same day for the third time this season. Since the Devils took root in New Jersey in 1982, it's the fourth season in which there have been three "everyone-wins" days. But there have never been four such days in one season.

Blend in the Nets' victory, and Greater New York's teams went 4-0 on Tuesday -- the first time in more than three years that at least four of the area's NBA and NHL teams have played and won on the same day. That last happened on Dec. 27, 2003. (And yes, there once was a 5-0 day: on Feb. 4, 1984, the Rangers, Devils, Islanders, Nets and Knicks all won!)

Martin Brodeur set a career high with his 12th shutout of the season in leading the Devils to a 1-0 win in Pittsburgh. It was Brodeur's third 1-0 shutout of the season and the 19th of his career, the most by any goaltender in the NHL's "modern era" (starting with the 1943 introduction of the red line). (Back in the pre-red line days, George Hainsworth set the all-time mark with 32 shutout wins by the minimum margin.)

But Brodeur really had to work to earn his shutout -- at least by his standards -- making 31 saves. It was the first of his 12 shutouts this season in which he faced 30 or more shots on goal, and only the 14th of his 92 career shutouts in which that was true.

• We don't care what you say; it's still special when one "original-six" team shuts out another -- especially when the team getting blanked is hockey's premier franchise, the Canadiens.

And so the Rangers' 4-0 victory was indeed special. You have to go back more than 16 years, to Oct. 12, 1990, to find the last regular-season whitewash by the Rangers over Montreal (John Vanbiesbrouck in goal); then you go back another 20 years until you find another one, on Oct. 18, 1970 (Ed Giacomin in goal).

On Tuesday, Henrik Lundqvist needed to make only 19 saves to record the fifth shutout of his two-season NHL career. All five of Lundqvist's shutouts have come at Madison Square Garden: two last season and three this season.

• The Islanders' Jason Blake scored three goals in the first period against the Flyers, turning in the first opening-period hat trick for an Islanders player since Alexei Yashin scored three times in the first period of a game at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 30, 2002.

The first of the three goals was his 30th of the season. At 33, Blake became the fourth oldest player in NHL history at the time of his first 30-goal season; Vaclav Nedomansky (age 35 with Detroit in 1978-79), Mike Sillinger (34 with St. Louis and Nashville last season) and Lorne Carr (33 with Toronto in 1943-44) were older at the time they hit the Big 3-0 for the first time.

• The Islanders acquired Ryan Smyth from the Oilers in a deal made just before Tuesday's trading deadline. Smyth has been dynamite on the power play: he has scored 116 power play goals over the last 10 NHL seasons (1996-97 to date), tying him with Keith Tkachuk for third-most in the league over that span, behind Brendan Shanahan (129) and Teemu Selanne (126).

• Colorado rookie Paul Stastny extended his point streak to 13 consecutive games with a goal in the Avalanche's 3-2 win over the Blue Jackets. Stastny's point streak is the longest by an NHL rookie since 1992-93, when Teemu Selanne finished his first season in the league with points in 17 consecutive games.

And get this: Only two other rookies had point streaks of at least 13 games for the Quebec/Colorado franchise: Paul's father, Peter (16 games in 1980-81) and his uncle, Marian (13 games in 1981-82)!

• Florida's Olli Jokinen recorded his third hat trick of the season -- tying him for the league lead with Ottawa's Dany Heatley. The only other players in Panthers history with a "hat trick full of hat tricks" in a single season were Ray Sheppard (three in 1996-97) and Pavel Bure (four in both 1999-2000 and 2000-01).

The Panthers went on to defeat the Capitals in a shootout, their first victory in their last nine shootouts. Florida avoided tying the NHL record for consecutive unsuccessful shootouts; the Flames have seen their opponents win the last nine shootouts in which they have been involved.

Alexander Ovechkin may petition the league office for a different method of settling games tied after the five-minute overtime period. On Tuesday against Florida, Ovechkin again failed to score on his shootout attempt. Ovechkin scored on each of his first four shootout tries last season but has succeeded on only three of 19 tries (including only one of his last 14 chances) since then.

In the first three periods of the game, we saw the real Ovechkin, as he matched his career high with four points (two goals, two assists). It was the third time that he has had a four-point game; the previous two instances were both in December 2005.

Kyle Calder, acquired by Detroit in a three-way trade on Monday, scored at the 1:46 mark of the first period in his Red Wings debut in Chicago. We know what you're thinking: "That must be the quickest goal this season by a player making his debut for a particular team."

Not so, Zamboni breath; it's not even in the top three. Already this season, these NHL players have scored a goal within the first two minutes of their first game with a team: Dan Hinote for St. Louis (Oct. 5 at 0:36), J.P. Dumont for Nashville (Oct. 5 at 0:39) and
Todd Fedoruk for Philadelphia (Dec. 2 at 1:37).

Tomas Holmstrom scored all three goals for the Red Wings in their last game (an overtime loss to Nashville on Saturday) and he scored twice in Detroit's win in Chicago on Tuesday. It's only the second time that Holmstrom has recorded consecutive multiple-goal games in his 10-season NHL career. He had back-to-back two-goal games in November 2005.


Vince Carter took game honors with 27 points, but it was Jason Kidd who put on a show that Meadowlands fans will remember long after the team settles in Brooklyn. Kidd sunk five 3-point field goals within a span of three minutes, 10 seconds in the third quarter of the Nets' 113-101 victory over the Wizards.

The last NBA player to make five 3-pointers in a span of less than four minutes was Quentin Richardson, then with Phoenix, in December 2004. Prior to that, Kobe Bryant turned the five-3s-in-less-than-four-minutes trick in January 2003.

And, no, that's not a typo on Jason Collins' line: he played 30:47 without attempting a field goal or a free throw. The last starting center to play at least 30 minutes in an NBA game and take no shots was Lorenzo Williams of the Mavericks on Jan. 23, 1995.

• The Mavericks won 91-65 in Minneapolis, and they are now 11-0 this season on the second day of back-to-back games. Dallas has five such games remaining this season; no NBA team has ever gone through a season losing fewer than two such games.

• The Mavericks succeeded in doing what no team had ever done to the Timberwolves: hold them below 30-percent shooting from the floor. Through their 18 seasons in the NBA, the Wolves had gone 1,418 games into their existence without a sub-30-percent clunker; impressive, yes, but not even halfway to the NBA record for such thing.

The Bucks don't have much going for them these days, but they have kept intact their distinction of having never shot below 30 percent from the floor in any game in their 39-season history. Milwaukee shot 54 percent from the floor in its 122-101 win over the Warriors on Tuesday, extending its streak to 3,142 games -- more than 500 games longer than Cal Ripken's consecutive-games-played streak!

• The Pacers, playing at home, led the Suns 77-59 with less than five minutes remaining in the third quarter, but Phoenix outscored Indiana 44-15 over the final 16:24 of the game to earn an 11-point victory.

It was the first time that the Pacers had lost at home, after leading by so many points so late in a game, since April 2, 2002, when the Celtics roared back from an 18-point deficit with less than four minutes left in the third quarter to beat the Pacers -- also by an 11-point margin.