Dolphins routed, 40–0
The Dolphins were routed by the Ravens on Thursday night, 40–0. It was the eighth 40-plus-point shutout in which Miami has played during its 52-season history. The Dolphins won five of those games (52–0 vs. the Patriots in 1972, 44–0 vs. the Colts in 1973, 43–0 vs. the Jets in 1975, 42–0 vs. the Colts in 1978, and 42–0 vs. the Chiefs in 1987) and lost three (41–0 to the Chiefs in 1967, 41–0 to the Colts in 1997, and 40–0 to the Ravens on Thursday night).
Since 1966, no other team has played in as many 40-plus-point shutout games as have the Dolphins. The Chiefs and Bears have participated in the next most such games, six apiece.
Antetokounmpo is first to average 35/10/5 over first five games of season
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the first player in NBA history to average at least 35 points, 10 rebounds and five assists over his first five games of a season. Antetokounmpo earned that distinction with a 28/10/7 game against the Celtics on Thursday night, which increased his season totals to 175 points, 53 rebounds and 28 assists.
Over the last ten seasons, the only other players to average 35/10/5 over any five-game stretch within a season are Kevin Durant (in 2013-14), Kevin Love (2013–2014), Russell Westbrook (several times in both 2014-15 and 2016-17), and James Harden (twice in 2016-2017).
Cousins socks it to Sacramento
DeMarcus Cousins had 37 points and 13 rebounds last season in his first game against the Kings, and he added 41 points and 23 rebounds on Thursday night, in his second game versus Sacramento. The only other player in NBA history with minimums of 30 points and ten rebounds in each of his first two games against his former team was the Lakers’ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who did so in his first three games against the Bucks.
Bulls rookie on the mark
Lauri Markkanen scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to help the Bulls, now 1–3, to their first win of the season. Markkanen, who has scored 63 points to go along with 40 rebounds, is the fifth player to average at least 15 points and 10 rebounds over his first four games with the Bulls––joining Chet Walker (1969), Nate Thurmond (1974), Artis Gilmore (1976) and Donyell Marshall (2002). Only Gilmore, who came to the Bulls from the ABA, and Markkanen did so over their first four NBA games.
Gasol’s fourth straight 25-point game
Marc Gasol scored 25 points in the Grizzlies’ win over the Mavericks, for his fourth consecutive game with at least 25 points. This is the second-longest 25-point streak of Gasol’s NBA career; he scored 25 or more points in five straight games in January 2017.
Quick blanks Canadiens
Jonathan Quick posted his second shutout of the season with a 40-save 4–0 win against the Canadiens in Montreal. The last time a Kings goaltender recorded a shutout in which he faced 40 or more shots on goal was the last time Quick played in Montreal, a 45-save 3–0 victory at Bell Centre on Dec. 17, 2015. In the NHL’s expansion era (1967–68 to date), the only other regular-season road shutout with 40 or more saves against the Canadiens was by the Canucks’ Kirk McLean at the Montreal Forum on Dec. 4, 1991 (3–0, 45 saves).
Three assists for Nieves
Rookie Boo Nieves, playing in only the second game of his NHL career, assisted on three goals to help the Rangers beat the Coyotes, 5–2. Nieves is the fifth player to make his NHL debut with the Rangers in the expansion era and register three points in one of his first two games in the league. The other players to do that since 1967–68 are Mike Allison in 1980 (three goals in second game), James Patrick in 1984 (three assists in second game), Dominic Moore in 2003 (three assists in first game) and Derek Stepan in 2010 (three goals in first game).
Heinen scores twice in 2-1 win
Rookie Danton Heinen scored the first two goals of his NHL career in the Bruins’ 2–1 win over the Sharks on Thursday. Heinen is the first player ever to produce a multiple-goal game for the Bruins in the first NHL game in which he scored a goal while also scoring every one of Boston’s goals in that game. But Heinen is not the first player this season to get his first two NHL goals in the same game while scoring all of his team’s goals. Mikhail Sergechev did that in Tampa Bay’s 2–0 win at Columbus on October 19.
Kucherov stays hot
Nikita Kucherov tallied a goal and an assist for the Lightning in its 3–2 victory over the Red Wings. Kucherov has scored 12 goals this season and he’s produced at least one goal in 10 of Tampa Bay’s 11 games. After 1992–93, when Mario Lemieux began the season with a 12-game goal-scoring streak, the only NHL player besides Kucherov to score goals in 10 of his team’s first 11 games of a season was Alexander Steen for the Blues in 2013–14.
Pageau scores short-handed goal
Jean-Gabriel Pageau tied his career high for points in one game when he scored one goal and assisted on two for the Senators in their 5–4 victory over the Flyers. Pageau’s goal, his first of the season, was a shorthanded tally which gave Ottawa a 3–0 lead in the first period. Pageau led the NHL with seven shorthanded goals in the 2015–16 season but he didn’t score any SHGs while playing in all 82 games for the Senators last season.
Kessel is OT hero again
Phil Kessel scored in overtime for the second straight game to earn the Penguins a 2–1 win against the Jets on Thursday. Kessel, whose OT goal on Tuesday gave Pittsburgh a 2–1 victory over the Oilers, is only the second player to score in overtime for the Penguins in each of two consecutive games in one season. Aleksey Morozov did that in OT victories against the Hurricanes and the Rangers in 2004 (March 19–21). Kessel is the first NHL player to score OT winners in consecutive games this season. Three players did that last season: Montreal’s Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk, and Detroit’s Andreas Athanasiou.
Hat trick for Vrbata
Radim Vrbata scored three goals for the Florida Panthers in their 8–3 win against the Ducks on Thursday. It was Vrbata’s first hat trick for the Panthers and the seventh hat trick of his 16-season NHL career. Florida is the fifth NHL team that Vrbata has recorded a hat trick for, having previously notched three for the Coyotes and one each for the Avalanche, Hurricanes and Canucks. He’s the only active player to have registered a hat trick for five or more different NHL teams and one of only six players ever to do so. The others are Bill Guerin (with a record 6 clubs), Ivan Boldrirev (5), Tony McKegney (5), Eddie Shack (5) and Brendan Shanahan (5).
First career goal is short-handed
Minnesota’s Luke Kunin and Zack Mitchell each scored the first goal of their NHL career in the Wild’s 6–4 win over the Islanders. Kunin’s goal was the second of two shorthanded goals scored by the Wild in Thursday’s game. (Eric Staal scored the other one.) Kunin is the first player ever whose first NHL goal was a shorthanded tally for the Wild, but he was only the second player yesterday to get his first career goal while his team was shorthanded, with the Bruins’ Danton Heinen having done so earlier in the evening. Some of the other active players whose first NHL goal was scored shorthanded are Jordan Eberle, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Brad Marchand and Jordan Staal.