Saturday, December 16, 2006
Updated: December 17, 7:27 AM ET
Elias Says ... A truly Great Dane
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Morten Andersen's second extra point in the Falcons' 38-28 loss to the Cowboys was the 2,435th point of his career, moving him into first place all-time. Andersen is the sixth player in the last 60 years to hold this record, starting with Don Hutson, who retired in 1945 with 823 points. Lou Groza passed Hutson in 1961. Bobby Walston briefly overtook Groza later in 1961, but Groza re-gained the lead in 1962 and held it until George Blanda passed him in 1968. Blanda was then overtaken by Gary Anderson in 2002. Gary Anderson finished up with 2,434 points, holding the record until Saturday.
• Terrell Owens caught two touchdown passes from Tony Romo in the first half. These were Owens' tenth and eleventh touchdowns of the season but the first two that were in the first half of games. Only two other players had ever scored nine consecutive touchdowns in the second half (or overtime) within a single season: Jim Brown in 1962 and LaDainian Tomlinson in 2001. T.O. was the first player to ever score his first nine touchdowns of a season after halftime.
• Michael Vick threw touchdown passes of 1, 9, 8 and 5 yards. Only two other players in NFL history have thrown at least four touchdown passes in a game, all of fewer than ten yards. Y.A. Tittle of San Francisco tossed four against Baltimore on Dec. 13, 1953 and Jack Trudeau of Indianapolis threw four against Miami on Dec. 17, 1989.
• DeMarcus Ware intercepted a Michael Vick screen pass and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown. The last Cowboys player to intercept a pass behind the line of scrimmage and return it for a touchdown was Greg Ellis on Sept. 20, 1999, against Danny Kanell, also of the Falcons.
• The Mavericks' 90-79 win in New Orleans was their 19th straight over the Hornets, the longest current streak by one NBA team over another. Dallas' wins over the Hornets have come in five different arenas since Feb. 3, 2000: Reunion Arena (2), Charlotte Coliseum (2), American Airlines Center (8), New Orleans Arena (5) and Ford Center (2).
• Dwyane Wade, who missed the Heat's last two games after having his wisdom teeth pulled, scored 41 points as Miami beat Memphis 98-90. Before Saturday, only one Heat player had ever scored 40 or more points after not playing in the previous two (or more) games. Wade himself scored 40 against Washington on March 8, 2006 after missing two games.
• Chauncey Billups scored 27 points and added 11 assists and 5 steals in the Pistons' 90-82 win at New Jersey. Billups is the first Detroit player with at least 20 points, 10 assists and 5 steals in a game since Isiah Thomas had 43/10/5 at Boston Garden on April 9, 1993. Thomas had 16 such games in his career. All other Pistons players combined, including Billups tonight, have four (one each by Chris Ford, Kevin Porter and John Long). The NBA began recording steals in the 1973-74 season.
• J.J. Redick converted a four-point play in the Magic's 81-74 win over the Cavaliers, the first four-point play by an NBA rookie since Toronto's Charlie Villanueva on Feb. 5.
• The Suns tied a franchise record with their 14th consecutive win, 105-98 at Sacramento. Phoenix is the first team to win 14 straight while scoring at least 90 points in each since the Jazz won 15 straight in this fashion from March to April 1997.
• Dominik Hasek and the Red Wings beat Martin Brodeur and the Devils Saturday afternoon in a match-up of future Hall-of-Fame goaltenders. It was the ninth time that Hasek won a regular-season game in which Brodeur was the opposing goaltender of record. The only other goaltenders with that many wins against Brodeur are Ed Belfour (9) and Olaf Kolzig (9). Mike Richter (8) and Patrick Roy (8) round out the top five.
• Pavel Datsyuk and Brett Lebda scored goals 2:16 apart midway through the third period to give Detroit a 2-1, come-from-behind win over the Devils at the Meadowlands. It was the Red Wings' first victory in New Jersey since Nov. 20, 1993, when they won in overtime 4-3 with Tim Cheveldae notching the win for Detroit and Chris Terreri taking the loss for the Devils. The Red Wings had been 0-6-1 in seven regular-season games at Continental Airlines Arena since then, and if you include the last two games of the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals (both won by the Devils), Detroit's winless streak in New Jersey had been nine games.
But one streak for the Red Wings at New Jersey continues: Detroit has scored no more than two goals in each of its ten games at the Meadowlands since that 4-3 overtime win in Nov. 1993 (eight regular-season and two playoff contests).
• Dallas defenseman Philippe Boucher had a goal and an assist in the Stars' 4-3 shootout win in Los Angeles. Boucher, who played 312 games for the Kings over eight seasons from 1994-95 to 2001-02, has five goals and two assists in three games versus L.A. since Oct. 28, after scoring only five points (one goal, four assists) in his previous 18 career games against his former team.
• The Maple Leafs outscored the Rangers 5-1 in the first period of their game at Air Canada Centre on Saturday night. (The Rangers had allowed only seven goals during the five-game winning streak they brought into Saturday's contest.) It was the most first-period goals allowed in one game by the Rangers since Dec. 26, 1991 at Washington, when the Capitals scored six times in the opening period. The Blueshirts overcame a 6-1 deficit to post an 8-6 win in that 1991 game, but there was no miracle comeback against Toronto as the Leafs went on to a 9-2 victory.
In the last ten NHL seasons (1996-97 to 2006-07), only one team on a winning streak of five or more games has allowed five or more first-period goals. The Hurricanes, on their way to winning the Stanley Cup, saw their nine-game winning streak end on Nov. 12, 2005, allowing five first-period goals and losing 9-0 to the Thrashers.
• Rick DiPietro stopped all 37 Atlanta shots on goal to lead the Islanders to a 6-0 win over the Thrashers on Long Island. It was the Islanders' largest margin of victory in a shutout since DiPietro blanked the Sabres in Buffalo 6-0 on Oct. 11, 2003, and their biggest shutout win at home since Oct. 26, 1993, when Ron Hextall whitewashed the Kings 7-0.
The Islanders' shutout came one night after allowing seven goals in Pittsburgh. The last team to post a shutout one day after allowing at least seven goals was the Lightning on Jan. 3, 1996 (beating the Oilers 5-0 after losing 10-0 to the Flames). The Islanders had pulled this trick only once in their history. They shut out the Nordiques 2-0 on March 6, 1988 the day after losing to the Penguins 8-3.
• Saku Koivu scored two goals in the Canadiens' victory over Tampa Bay on Thursday, and he scored two more in Montreal's win over Pittsburgh on Saturday. They were the 15th and 16th multiple-goal games of Koivu's 11-year NHL career but the first consecutive multiple-goal games. Koivu has scored two goals in a game four times this month (in eight games), one more than he had in 222 games from Dec. 2002 through Nov. 2006.
• The Blackhawks beat the Blue Jackets 6-4 to improve their record to 6-1-3 in ten games since Denis Savard replaced Trent Yawney as the team's head coach. Savard is the first Chicago coach to win as many as six of his first ten games behind the team's bench since Orval Tessier started 6-2-2 in Oct. 1982.
• Paul Kariya scored a second-period goal and converted the only successful attempt of the shootout in Nashville's win over St. Louis. Kariya has scored on eight of his 11 shootout attempts since the NHL introduced that tie-breaking measure prior to the start of the 2005-06 season. Kariya's success rate in shootouts (72.7 percent) ties him with Atlanta's Slava Kozlov (also 8-for-11) for the second-highest percentage among players with at least ten attempts. Dallas' Jussi Jokinen remains the best with a 75.0 percent conversion rate (12-for-16), even though Jokinen hit the post with his attempt in the Stars' shootout victory in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon.
• Jarome Iginla scored two goals in the Flames' 6-3 win over the Coyotes, giving him 20 goals in Calgary's 30 games this season. It's the fourth time that a Flames player has scored 20 or more goals in the team's first 30 games of a season. Iginla set the franchise high with 23 goals in Calgary's first 30 games in 2001-02, and Lanny McDonald (1982-83) and Joe Nieuwendyk (1988-89) each had 20 goals at the 30-game mark.