Eric Gordon wins three-point shooting contest
Eric Gordon won the NBA three-point shooting contest on Saturday night. The use of the three-point shot has evolved since it was first introduced to the league in 1979-80. Thirty-two percent of the field goal attempts in the NBA this season have come from three-point range, the highest percentage in NBA history. Only 3.1 percent of the field goal attempts in 1979-80, the season the NBA introduced the shot, were beyond the arc. That percentage has steadily increased since then: 1989-90 (7.6%), 1999-2000 (16.7%), 2009-10 (22.2%), 2014-15 (26.8%), 2015-16 (28.5%).
Gordon has made 307 field goals this season, 184 from three-point range (59.9%). That’s the fourth-highest such percentage in the NBA this season among players with at least 200 field goals made, behind Nick Young (61.0%), Trevor Ariza (60.8%) and Ryan Anderson (60.6%).
Burns scores twice more
Brent Burns scored goals #26 and #27 of the season in the Sharks’ win over the Coyotes, matching his career high which he set last season. Burns is the fifth defensemen in NHL history to score 27 or more goals in back-to-back seasons. Bobby Orr had a six-season streak, Paul Coffey had a five- and a two-season streak, Denis Potvin and Al MacInnis also did it.
Laine records points #49 and #50
Patrick Laine earned his 49th and 50th points of the season by assisting on one goal and adding an empty-net goal in the Jets’ win over the Canadiens on Saturday afternoon. At age 18 years, 305 days, Laine has reached the 50-point mark in a season at a younger age than all but three other current NHL players. Sidney Crosby reached 50 points at age 18 years, 161 days in the 2005-06 season, Nathan McKinnon did it at age 18 years, 184 days in 2013-14 and Jeff Skinner did it at age 18 years, 300 days in 2010-11.
Julien makes season-debut as coach of the Habs
Claude Julien made his season-debut as the head coach of the Canadiens after serving in the same capacity for the Bruins for their first 55 games of the season. Julien is the ninth man in NHL history to be the head coach of two different teams in the same season. The most recent of the previous eight were Bruce Boudreau (Washington and Anaheim) and Randy Carlyle (Anaheim and Toronto), both in 2011–12.
Zetterberg contributes in Red Wings’ shootout win
Henrik Zetterberg assisted on both Detroit goals in regulation time and scored the deciding goal in the shootout in the Red Wings’ shootout win over the Capitals on Saturday afternoon. Zetterberg is 3 for 3 in shootouts this season. He was 13 for 58 in shootouts in his career entering this season (22.4%) and 2 for his last 27 (dating back to November 2009).
With the win the Red Wings improved to 7-0 in games that were decided by a shootout this season, becoming only the fourth NHL team to win each of its first seven games in a season that went to a shootout, behind the Stars in 2005-06 (won first 11 games that went to a shootout), Penguins in 2009-10 (seven) and Avalanche in 2011-12 (seven).
Lehner makes 16 third-period saves
Robin Lehner stopped 16 of the Blues’ 17 third-period shots in the Sabres’ win. Lehner improved his third-period save percentage to .935 with his performance, the third-highest third-period save percentage in the NHL this season among goaltenders with at least 30 games played, behind John Gibson (.938) and Matt Murray (.938).
40 saves for Schneider
Cory Schneider stopped 40 of 42 shots in the Devils’ win over the Islanders. It was third time this season that Schneider made 40 or more saves in a game, tied for third-most in the NHL, behind Mike Smith (eight) and Frederik Andersen (five). Marc-Andre Fleury, Robin Lehner and Semyon Varlamov also have three games with at least 40 saves this season.
Zucker leads Wild to another win
Jason Zucker scored two goals and assisted on another in Minnesota’s 5-2 win over Nashville. Minnesota has a 16-0-0 record this season in games in which it scores five or more goals, the best in the NHL, and they’ve won their last 33 such games dating back to last season.
Stone scores one goal, assists on four others
Mark Stone scored one goal and assisted on four others in the Senators’ win over the Maple Leafs. It’s the fifth time in Senators history that a player scored at least one goal and had four assists in the same game. Daniel Alfredsson had two such games, including one in which he scored thrice with four assists. Jason Spezza and Joe Corvo also had games like that for Ottawa.
Roussel scores thrice
Antoine Roussel scored the Stars’ first three goals in their 4-3 overtime win over the Lightning on Saturday night. Roussel is the sixth player this season to score his team’s first three goals of a game. The other players to do this were Auston Matthews, Michael Cammalleri, Travis Zajac, Brayden Schenn and Ryan Kesler.