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• Bob Geren is expected to be named manager of the Oakland Athletics on Friday. Geren began his brief major league playing career with the 1988 Yankees and played for two managers in New York that year: Billy Martin and Lou Piniella. That was Martin's final season as a manager; he was fired in June and replaced by Piniella.
Five current managers played in the majors for Martin: Willie Randolph, Charlie Manuel, Piniella, Jerry Narron and Mike Hargrove. Randolph is the only current skipper who played under Piniella.
• The Athletics averaged 95.5 wins per season over the past six years. In the expansion era (1961 to date), only two rookie managers hired in the offseason inherited a team that averaged 95 or more wins per year over the previous six seasons: Gene Michael (1981 Yankees) and Yogi Berra (1964 Yankees).
• Ray Lewis, who had minor surgery Thursday, is listed as questionable for the Ravens' game against Atlanta this Sunday. Over the past five seasons, Baltimore is 28-22 while allowing an average of 16.8 points per game when Lewis plays, compared to 11-12 with an average of 21.6 points per game allowed when he does not play.
• On Tuesday night, Houston squandered a 19-point lead in the second half and lost at home to the Spurs. On Thursday night, the Rockets took a 21-point lead in the second half against Chicago before holding on to beat the Bulls by one point. In the past four seasons, only one NBA team lost back-to-back games having led by at least 15 points in the second half in each of them (the Cavaliers in March 2006.).
• Philadelphia 76ers president Billy King said Thursday that he recently spoke with Chris Webber after the 14-year veteran expressed disappointment about his playing time. Webber is averaging 30.6 minutes per game this season, which is lower than his average in any previous season. He logged 32.1 minutes per game as a rookie with the 1993-94 Warriors and averaged at least 35 minutes per game in every other season of his career, including 38.6 last season.
• The Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime Thursday night, one night after beating the Capitals 3-2 in a shootout. All seven of Boston's wins this season have been by a one-goal margin. The Bruins are the third team in NHL history whose first seven wins in a season were all by the minimum margin. The Capitals' first seven wins in 2002-03 and 2005-06 were also all by a one-goal spread.
Boston is the only NHL team that has not won a game by two or more goals. Every other team in the league has at least two victories by more than one goal.
• Montreal lost 5-1 in Florida. The Canadiens have scored exactly one goal in each of their five losses this season; they're 10-0-3 in games in which they've scored two or more goals. Detroit (12-0-1) is the only other team in the league with points in every game in which it has scored at least two goals this season.
• In Minnesota's 7-6 shootout win against Nashville, 12 different players accounted for the 12 goals scored. In the past 10 years, there was only one other NHL game in which 12 or more goals were scored and no player scored more than once; that happened in a 7-6 win for Edmonton against Vancouver on Dec. 21, 2005.
• Defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron scored a pair of power-play goals in Edmonton's 6-2 win over St. Louis on Thursday night. The Oilers went nearly 10 years (March 1996 to January 2006) without a defenseman scoring two power-play goals in one game, but four of Edmonton's five instances since then have been by backliners (two by Bergeron and two by Chris Pronger; Ryan Smyth had the other two-PPG game).