Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Updated: October 26, 10:55 AM ET
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Joe Sakic became the 11th player in NHL history to reach the 1,500-point mark when he assisted on Andrew Brunette's first-period goal Wednesday night. Remarkably, five of the previous 10 players who recorded 1,500 points -- Ron Francis, Steve Yzerman, Paul Coffey, Ray Bourque and Mario Lemieux -- reached that mark within a 14-month period from November 1999 to December 2000. But Sakic was the first to do so since then.
It took Sakic 1,247 games to score 1,500 points -- roughly twice as many games as it took Wayne Gretzky (620).
Sakic scored his first point on Oct. 6, 1988, and the details make it seem even longer ago. It was an assist on a goal by Anton Stastny, whose nephew Paul now plays with Sakic for the Avalanche. One of the opposing players on the ice when Stastny scored was the Avs' current coach, Joel Quenneville. Sakic's Quebec Nordiques defeated the Whalers, 5-2, at the Hartford Civic Center Coliseum.
• Olaf Kolzig made 45 saves in the Capitals' 5-3 win over the Avalanche, his highest save total in any of his 257 career victories.
• Ed Belfour made 35 saves in the Panthers' 4-2 victory over the Rangers. Belfour, 41, became the oldest goaltender to earn a victory at Madison Square Garden since 44-year-old Jacques Plante and the Bruins posted a 6-3 win there on March 28, 1973, in the final regular-season game of Plante's career.
• The Panthers had been held to two or fewer goals in each of their previous seven games at Madison Square Garden. They were outscored, 26-9, in posting a 1-6 record during that span (2001-06).
• And then there were none: Petr Prucha of the New York Rangers became the 47th and last of last season's 30-goal scorers to light the lamp this season. Others with only one goal to date this season: Daniel Alfredsson, Anson Carter, Erik Cole, Paul Kariya, Fredrik Modin, Miroslav Satan and Teemu Selanne.
• Jon Sim scored against Cam Ward for the Thrashers in a 5-4 loss to the Hurricanes. It was Sim's fifth goal in three games against Ward, passing Alexander Ovechkin and Mark Recchi for the most goals against the Hurricanes goaltender. Sim has scored five times against one other goalie: Olaf Kolzig.
• Ilya Kovalchuk maintained his league lead in shots on goal with seven against the Hurricanes (including a game-tying goal in the third period). Kovalchuk now has 56 SOG in 10 games, the highest total after 10 games since 2001 when Bill Guerin led the league with 58.
• Henrik Sedin scored two goals in the Canucks' 5-0 win at Chicago. Although Sedin had scored 62 goals coming into Wednesday's game, it was the first multiple-goal game of his NHL career. Sedin had been within one of Kenny Jonsson's all-time record of 63 goals without ever scoring more than one in a game.
• The Red Wings avoided their first four-game losing streak since Dec. 18-26, 1998, with a 2-1 victory over the Sharks. Every other team has had at least two losing streaks of four or more games since Jan. 1, 1999.
• Evgeni Nabokov was the goaltender in the Sharks' loss, as Ron Wilson continued to alternate Nabokov with Vesa Toskala. Each has started five games this season; neither has started two in a row. Over the last 10 years, only two other teams alternated two goalies over the first 10 games or further into the season: the Kings in 2005 (Mathieu Garon and Jason LaBarbera for 12 games) and the Hurricanes in 1997 (Trevor Kidd and Sean Burke for 15 games).
• Pierre-Marc Bouchard assisted on all three goals in the Wild's 3-1 win over the Kings. Bouchard became the first Minnesota player in the team's six seasons to record assists on every goal in a game in which the Wild scored at least three times.
• The Ducks put only 20 shots on goal in Wednesday night's 6-2 win over the Oilers. It was the first time in team history that Anaheim scored as many as six goals on 20 or fewer SOG. The Ducks have been outshot by their opponent in all three periods of each of their last two wins.