Elias Says: March 21, 2018

Wolves score in packs

Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Jeff Teague and Jamal Crawford each scored 20 or more points on Tuesday after also doing so in Minnesota’s previous game, against Houston on Sunday. They’re the first quartet of teammates to score 20-plus points in back-to-back games since Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Rick Fox and Eddie Jones did so for the Lakers in 1998.

Tatum stepping up for Celtics

Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 23 points in their stunning win over the Thunder on Tuesday, after he led Boston in scoring in their loss in New Orleans on Sunday. Tatum is the first Celtics rookie to lead the team in scoring in consecutive games, while the team had a winning record, since Larry Bird did so in March 1980.

The Celtics were the first NBA team to win a game after trailing by six or more points in the last 20 seconds since Cleveland did so in an overtime win over Orlando on Jan. 2, 2014.

Schroder snaps skid

Dennis Schroder scored 41 points in the Hawks’ win in Utah on Tuesday, ending Atlanta’s streak of 684 regular-season games without a 40-point scorer. (During that streak, Paul Millsap scored 45 points in a playoff game.) That snapped the third-longest streak without a 40-point scorer in a regular-season game in NBA history. Joel Embiid snapped the 76ers streak of 885 games earlier this season; and the Clippers had a 737-game streak from 1994 to 2003.

Rockets quell Blazers

James Harden scored 42 points as the Rockets snapped the Trail Blazers’ 13-game winning streak. Harden has scored 691 points in 20 games for Houston against Portland, an average of 34.6 points per game. That’s the most points any active players has scored in his first 20 games for one team against another.

A point per minute for Davis

Anthony Davis scored 37 points in 35 minutes in the Pelicans’ win over the Mavericks on Tuesday. It was the 13th game this season in which Davis averaged a point per minute, which is the second highest total in the NBA, three behind James Harden.

Toronto bench to the rescue

The Raptors defeated the Magic on Tuesday, with their bench contributing nearly half of the points (46 of 93 to be exact), and with two starters not scoring at all. Only two other NBA teams have won a game this season with two or more starters going scoreless (Warriors vs. Hornets, Dec. 6; Lakers vs. Knicks, Jan. 21).

Barzal etching his name on the Calder Trophy

Mathew Barzal tallied one goal and one assist in the Islanders’ 4–1 win over the Penguins. Barzal leads NHL rookies with 75 points this season (20 goals, 55 assists). Since 1994–95, the only other NHL rookies to record 75 or more points in one season were Alex Ovechkin (106) and Sidney Crosby (102) in 2005–06, Evgeni Malkin (85) and Paul Stastny (78) in 2006–07, and Artemi Panarin (77) in 2015–16. The only active NHL players besides Barzal who racked up at least 55 assists in their rookie season are Crosby (63) and Nicklas Backstrom (55 in 2007–08).

Draisaitl zooms to 200 points

Leon Draisaitl produced the second four-point game of his NHL career when he scored one goal and set up three more in the Oilers’ 7–3 win at Carolina. Draisaitl’s first point in Tuesday’s game in Raleigh was the 200th of his NHL career. He’s the first player selected in the 2014 Entry Draft to reach the 200-point plateau in the NHL. (Draisaitl was picked third overall by Edmonton.) The only other 2014 draftees with 150 or more career points are Boston’s David Pastrnak (193) and Winnipeg’s Nikolaj Ehlers (157).

Bread Man likes MSG

Artemi Panarin recorded the second hat trick of his NHL career when he scored three goals for the Blue Jackets in their 5–3 victory against the Rangers in New York. Panarin’s first NHL hat trick was also in a 5–3 win against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, though he was a rookie playing for the Blackhawks at the time (Feb. 17, 2016). Panarin is only the fourth player with multiple regular-season hat tricks against the Rangers at the current MSG, which opened in February 1968. The others (all with two) are Mario Lemieux, Peter Bondra and Simon Gagne. Tim Kerr and Eric Lindros each had two hat tricks as a visitor in MSG combining regular-season and playoff games (one of each for both players).

Panthers have many heroes

Six different players each tallied one goal and at least one assist for the Panthers in their 7–2 win against the Senators in Ottawa. Jared McCann led the way for Florida with one goal and two assists, and Nick Bjugstad, Evgenii Dadonov, Jamie McGinn, Frank Vatrano and Keith Yandle each chipped in with one goal and one assist for the Panthers. This was the first game in Panthers history in which they had as many as six players each produce at least one goal and one assist. Two other NHL teams have had six players do that in one game this season: the Lightning in their 8–5 win at Florida on October 30 and the Bruins in their 7–2 win versus Columbus on December 18.

Lightning storm in Tampa

Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonagh, Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn scored the goals for the Lightning as they overcame a 3–0 deficit to beat the Maple Leafs, 4–3, in Tampa on Wednesday. It was the fifth time in the Bolts’ 25-season history that they won a game in regulation time after trailing by three goals, and the first time since their 4–3 home-ice victory against the Rangers on Dec. 23, 2006.

Connor 2, Kings 1

Rookie Kyle Connor scored both goals for the Winnipeg Jets in their 2–1 overtime win against the Kings. It was Connor’s fifth multiple-goal game this season, which ranks him second among NHL rookies, behind the Canucks’ Brock Boeser with six. Connor is the fourth NHL rookie to produce a multi-goal game in which he scored every goal for his team in a win this season. The other rookies to do that are the Blue Jackets’ Sonny Milano (Oct. 10 at Carolina, 2–1 in OT), Tampa Bay defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (Oct. 19 at Columbus, 2–0) and the Bruins’ Danton Heinen (Oct. 26 vs. San Jose, 2–1).

Carlson’s goal is the difference

John Carlson’s tiebreaking goal with 4:59 remaining in the third period was the game-winning tally for the Capitals in their 4–3 victory against the Stars in Washington. It was Carlson’s fourth game-winning goal this season (tying the career high he set in 2015–16) and his 14th game-winner over the last four seasons. Carlson’s 14 game-winning goals since 2014–15 tie him with Brent Burns, Aaron Ekblad and Dougie Hamilton for second-most over that span among NHL defensemen, behind Oliver Ekman-Larsson with 19.

Larkin knocks in two

Dylan Larkin scored two goals in a game for the first time this season in the Red Wings’ 5–4 shootout win against the Flyers. Larkin’s first goal gave Detroit a 1–0 lead just past the six-minute mark of the second period, and his second goal put the Red Wings’ ahead 4–3 with a little less than six minutes remaining in the third period. This was only the second time that a player scored two go-ahead goals in one game for the Red Wings this season. Andreas Athanasiou did that in Detroit’s 2–1 overtime victory against Ottawa on January 3.

Varlamov withstands a peppering

Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 44 saves, including 19 in the third period, in his 5–1 win against the Blackhawks in Chicago. Varlamov has a 3–0–2 record in road games in which he faced at least 40 shots on goal this season, and his career record in such games is 18–5–7. Varlamov has won all three of his career road games versus the Blackhawks in which he faced 40 or more shots on goal.