A couple of Russians with hat tricks, a rookie goaltender with a shutout on the road, an embarrassing effort from the Buffalo Sabres, a pile of injuries, lineup news and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking. Authentic Bobby Smith Jersey . HEROES Vladimir Tarasenko – The sturdy and skilled Blues winger notched three goals, including the overtime winner, to go with an assist in a 4-3 overtime win at Dallas. He and C Jori Lehtera, who had a goal and two assists, carried the day for the Blues. The third-year forward has had a major spike in shots on goal, from 2.13 per game last season to 4.50 per game this year. According to Puckalytics, among players with at least 75 minutes of 5-on-5 play, Tarasenko ranks second in shots per 60 minutes. SHOOTERS PLAYER TEAM POS. EV SHOTS/60 Nick Bjugstad Florida C 14.90 Vladimir Tarasenko St. Louis RW 14.78 Marcus Kruger Chicago C 14.12 Rick Nash N.Y. Rangers LW 13.56 Brendan Gallagher Montreal RW 13.50 Zach Parise Minnesota LW 13.26 James Neal Nashville RW 13.01 Mike Cammalleri New Jersey LW 12.58 Jason Pominville Minnesota RW 12.41 Max Pacioretty Montreal LW 12.38 Lightning Sophs – Nikita Kucherov registered his first career hat trick, giving him seven points in the past three games, and C Tyler Johnson put up four assists, leaving him with 12 points in the first 10 games of the season. Between them, they also sent 15 shots towards the Arizona goal and were Tampa Bays top two possession forwards in the game. As little as Kucherov has played (12:25 per game), his recent run has thrust him among the top point-per-minute scorers in the league: EFFICIENT POINT PRODUCERS PLAYER TEAM POS. EV PTS/60 Rick Nash N.Y. Rangers LW 6.22 Tyler Toffoli Los Angeles RW 4.90 Jeff Carter Los Angeles C 4.82 Tanner Pearson Los Angeles LW 4.80 Jakub Voracek Philadelphia RW 4.76 Nikita Kucherov Tampa Bay RW 4.64 Brock Nelson N.Y. Islanders LW 4.37 Ryan Strome N.Y. Islanders RW 4.36 Jamie Benn Dallas LW 4.29 Tyler Johnson Tampa Bay C 4.20 John Gibson – The Ducks rookie goaltender posted a 38-save shutout in Chicago. Whether the Blackhawks have been going through some offensive troubles or not – and they have – a 38-save shutout at the United Centre is an accomplishment. ZEROES Buffalo Sabres – There will be many nights over the course of the season that the Sabres could qualify for this dubious honour, but 10 shots on goal against a Maple Leafs team that was allowing 33.9 shots per game previously is an extra special level of mailing it in. Mike Smith – The Coyotes goaltender surrendered six goals on 33 shots, in 49 minutes, against his former team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Its early, of course, but Smiths .858 save percentage in six games could start opening the door for backup Devan Dubnyk to earn more playing time. Cory Schneider – Gave up five goals on 23 shots and was pulled after the second period in an 8-3 loss to Pittsburgh. Over the previous four seasons, Schneider has the best save percentage (.928) among goaltenders to play in at least 100 games. This season, hes sitting at .901. SHORT SHIFTS Bruins rookie RW Seth Griffith scored two goals and added an assist in a 4-3 loss to Minnesota…Jets LW Andrew Ladd scored a pair of goals and C Bryan Little added three assists at the Islanders…Islanders LW Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist and D Johnny Boychuk had a pair of assists against the Jets…Senators LW Clarke MacArthur scored two goals and added an assist in a 5-2 win at Columbus, while D Erik Karlsson had a goal and an assist and C Kyle Turris chipped in two assists…Penguins C Sidney Crosby had a couple of goals and nine shot attempts (6 SOG) against New Jersey, while wingers Blake Comeau, Pascal Dupuis, Patric Hornqvist and Steve Downie each contributed a goal and an assist…The line of Crosby, Hornqvist and Chris Kunitz was on for better than 82% of the even-strength shot attempts. Maple Leafs C Tyler Bozak and RW Phil Kessel both had a goal and an assist against Buffalo…Avalanche G Semyon Varlamov stopped 49 of 51 shots in a 3-2 shootout loss to San Jose…Canucks C Brad Richardson scored a pair of goals in a 4-1 win over Carolina…Canadiens G Carey Price turned aside 37 of 38 shots in a 2-1 shootout win at Calgary…Bruins D Zach Trotman led the team with eight shot attempts (3 SOG) in 11:16 of ice time vs. Minnesota…Kings RW Justin Williams was up to his old possession tricks (29 shot attempts for, 12 against, 70.7%) at Philadelphia…Blue Jackets enforcer Jared Boll had nice possession stats (14 shot attempts for, 2 against, 87.5%)in the 5-2 loss to Ottawa…Senators enforcer Chris Neil was on the other end (2 for, 12 against, 14.3%)…Stars RW Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist, with a dozen shot attempts (6 SOG) in a 4-3 overtime loss to St. Louis. Seguin now leads the league with 15 points in nine games…Sharks D Brent Burns had a goal on 11 shot attempts (5 SOG), with dominant possession stats (27 for, 5 against, 84.4%) and RW Joe Pavelski recorded 10 shots on goal at Colorado…Colorados fourth line – Cody McLeod, Daniel Briere and Marc-Andre Cliche – started two-thirds of their shifts in the offensive zone, yet had fewer than 10% of the shot attempts at even strength…Flames rookie LW Johnny Gaudreau had an assist and a career-high six shots on goal, with the Flames best possession stats (18 for, 6 against, 75.0%) against Montreal. LINEUP NEED TO KNOW Blues C David Backes left Tuesdays game against Dallas with an upper-body injury. Its a good thing the Blues have such depth down the middle if theyre going to be missing both Backes and Paul Stastny. Jets D Zach Bogosian missed Tuesdays game at the Islanders with an upper-body injury. With Bogosian out, Paul Postma played a season-high 19:23 and scored a goal. Wild D Jonas Brodin sat out against the Bruins, one night after being sent into the boards hard by Rangers LW Chris Kreider, so Mathew Dumba ended up playing a career-high 16:43 for Minnesota. Islanders LW Nikolay Kulemin was ejected after hitting Jets D Mark Stuart from behind. Blue Jackets C Artem Anisimov is going through concussion protocol, and likely out at least a week, after getting flattened by Senators D Eric Gryba. Blue Jackets D James Wisniewski joins the growing Columbus injured list, out one-to-two weeks with a broken finger. With Wisniewski out, David Savard should be the likely candidate to move up to Columbus first power play unit. G Curtis McElhinney started for the Blue Jackets, with Sergei Bobrovsky out for the next one-to-two weeks with his own broken finger. Thats a notable downgrade, as McElhinney has a career .901 save percentage. A little bit of good news for Columbus. Blue Jackets RW Cam Atkinson returned to the lineup, joining C Ryan Johansen and LW Scott Hartnell on the top line. With Kings C Anze Kopitar out, Mike Richards moved up the depth chart to play between Dwight King and Dustin Brown at Philadelphia. Richards played 17:51 and scored his first goal of the year. Lightning LW Alex Killorn returned to the lineup, recording an assist in 18:13 of ice time. As a result, LW Jonathan Drouin ended up playing 11:50, second-lowest among Tampa Bay skaters. With Corey Crawford out, Scott Darling made another start for the Chicago Blackhawks, and stopped 24 of 25 shots in a 1-0 loss. Canadiens C Lars Eller was benched, playing just 5:46 for Montreal at Calgary, not taking another shift after a roughing penalty at 16:01 of the second period. Flames centres Joe Colborne and Matt Stajan were hurt against Montreal. Colborne left with an upper-body injury and Stajan took a knee-on-knee hit from Canadiens D Jarred Tinordi. Senators D Mark Borowiecki had an excellent possession game (15 for, 3 against, 83.3%) against Columbus before leaving with an upper-body injury. D Carl Gunnarsson played in his first game for the Blues, logging a modest 12:53 of ice time, at Dallas. Hurricanes C Eric Staal returned to the lineup after missing two-and-a-half weeks. He played 19:50 against Vancouver, picking up an assist and five shots on goal. FANTASY FOCUS A couple of players to have an eye on in a light night on the NHL schedule: With Washington at Detroit, keep tabs on the Red Wings Darren Helm, who has recently been skating on the left side with very skilled linemates, Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Tatar. Nashville is in Edmonton and Predators D Ryan Ellis has been playing a much bigger role. More minutes leads to more points for a puck-mover like Ellis. Much of the data included comes from www.war-on-ice.com, www.puckalytics.com, www.hockeystats.ca and www.naturalstattrick.com Scott Cullen can be reached at email@example.com Authentic Jaromir Jagr Jersey . It all would have been for naught, however, had it not been for some clutch shooting in the fourth quarter by Kobe Bryant and a couple of equally critical hustle plays by Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol in the final minutes. Authentic Gemel Smith Jersey . The Toronto Argonauts running back hurt his left ankle during the teams practice Friday afternoon at Rogers Centre. http://www.cheapstarsjerseysauthentic.com/?tag=authentic-jason-spezza-jersey . Toronto FC hosts the three-time Italian league champions in a friendly Aug. 7 at BMO Field, a game that Roma CEO Italo Zanzi said falls within a key part of their pre-season.Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Joe Flacco tossed both of his touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and the Baltimore Ravens rallied past the Cleveland Browns 20-10 on Sunday afternoon to clinch a playoff berth. As time expired in Baltimore, the clock was also ticking down the final seconds in Kansas City, where a 19-7 Chiefs victory wrapped up a Ravens trip to the postseason for the sixth time in the last seven years. Baltimore failed to make the playoffs in 2013. The Browns led 10-3 heading into the fourth quarter before the Ravens ripped off 17 unanswered points to seize control. Flacco, who threw for 215 of his 312 yards in the second half, completed 22- of-36 passes for Baltimore (10-6), which won three of its last four games to close the regular season. Undrafted rookie Connor Shaw was 14-of-28 for 177 yards with an interception in his first NFL start for the Browns (7-9), who finished their campaign with five consecutive losses. Shaw got the nod after Johnny Manziel suffered a hamstring injury against Carolina last Sunday, while Brian Hoyer is dealing with shoulder and biceps injuries. Final Score: Kansas City 19, San Diego 7 Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - The Kansas City Chiefs sacked Philip Rivers seven times in a 19-7 win over San Diego on Sunday that eliminated the Chargers from playoff contention on the final day of the regular season. It came almost a year to the day that San Diego clinched a berth with an overtime win against Kansas City at home and some help from the rest of the league. It was simple this year: The Chargers (9-7) controlled their own fate after a comeback win over San Francisco last week. Needing only a win, they never even had a lead, their only points coming on Branden Olivers 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to get them within 10-7. Linebacker Justin Houston dropped Rivers four times by himself, breaking Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas single-season franchise record with 22 sacks, just a half-sack from Michael Strahans NFL mark. Rivers finished 20-of-34 for 291 yards with two interceptions and a fumble. The Chiefs (9-7) were in position to steal a playoff berth with a win before Baltimore and Houston both came back to win their games. The Ravens ended up with the AFCs final wild-card berth by beating Cleveland. Chase Daniel made his second NFL start, completing 16-of-27 passes for 157 yards with Alex Smith sideline because of a lacerated spleen he suffered last week against Pittsburgh. Final Score: New Orleans 23, Tampa Bay 20 Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Entering the fourth quarter with a 20-7 lead, Tampa Bay allowed 16 unanswered New Orleans points in a 23-20 loss to the Saints, and also clinched the top pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Drew Brees threw three interceptions for the Saints (7-9) but his 36-yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston just before the two-minute warning put New Orleans ahead for the first time in the game. Brees threw for 281 yards on 24-of-38 passing. Mark Ingram led the Saints with 57 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown, while Khiry Robinson also ran for score in the win. Kenny Stills was their leading receiver with 82 yards on five catches. The Buccaneers (2-14) totaled 183 yards on the ground, including 108 from Doug Martin. Charles Sims carried the ball 18 times for 69 yards and a touchdown. Final Score: Houston 23, Jacksonville 17 Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Andre Johnson had 10 catches for 134 yards and a touchdown and J.J. Watt made NFL history as the Houston Texans defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 23-17 on Sunday. Watt finished with three sacks to become the first player to ever record 20- plus sacks in multiple seasons (2012, 2014) for the Texans (9-7), who despite doing their part in the win were unable to secure the playoff spot due to Baltimores win over Cleveland. Case Keenum completed 25-of-35 passes for 250 yards with two touchdown passes and one interception and Arian Foster made a 10-yard touchdown catch before exiting late in the first quarter with a hamstring injury. Blake Bortles completed 14-of-33 passes for 117 yards and also rushed for 61 yards on three carries for the Jaguars (3-13), who finished the season with an 0-8 road record. Final Score: NY Jets 37, Miami 24 Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - If the Jets had played this well all season, Rex Ryans job security would never have been an issue. Geno Smith threw for a career-high 358 yards with three touchdowns, including a 74-yard scoring strike to Eric Decker that ignited a run of 23 unanswered points, as New York concluded a dismal year with a 37-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Sun Life Stadium. Decker caught 10 passes for 221 yards for the Jets (4-12), who hadnt scored more than 25 points in a game all year and gave Ryan a victory in what could be his final game as New Yorks head coach after six seasons. Ryan compiled a record of 46-50 and is expected to soon learn his fate, although indications are that he, and possibly general manager John Idzik, will be fired. Ryan took the Jets to the AFC Championship Game after each of his first two seasons, but New York hasnt had a winning record since and this years finish was the worst for the franchise since a 4-12 mark in 2007. Miami coach Joe Philbin is set to return next year after owner Stephen Ross made the announcement following last Sundays victory over Minnesota. The Dolphins (8-8) finished Philbins third year with a second straight .500 campaign. Miami was 7-9 in Philbins first season and 8-8 last year, when a loss to the Jets on the final day of the season cost the Dolphins a playooff spot. Authentic Dino Ciccarelli Jersey. Final Score: Minnesota 13, Chicago 9 Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Teddy Bridgewater had a touchdown pass and Blair Walsh kicked a pair of field goals as the Minnesota Vikings closed out the season with a 13-9 victory over the Chicago Bears. Bridgewater was 17- of-25 for 209 yards with an interception for the Vikings (7-9), who snapped a two-game losing streak. Matt Asiata carried the ball 19 times for 91 yards. Jay Cutler, back under center after being benched for last weeks game, was 23-of-36 for 172 yards for the Bears (5-11), who dropped their final five games of the season to finish last in the NFC North. After missing the playoffs for a seventh time in the past eight years, Chicago might be looking to clean house as head coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery are on the hot seat. Final Score: Buffalo 17, New England 9 Foxboro, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Kyle Orton threw a touchdown pass, Boobie Dixon ran for another score and the Buffalo Bills concluded their season with a 17-9 win over the New England Patriots. Orton was 16-of-23 for 176 yards as the Bills (9-7) finished a campaign with a winning record for the first time since 2004. Buffalo, which ended a 13-game losing streak at New England, will miss the playoffs for the 15th straight season, the longest active drought in the league. With home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs already locked up, New England quarterback Tom Brady played just the first half in a game in which wide receiver Julian Edelman and tight end Rob Gronkowski were inactive. Brady completed 8-of-16 passes for 80 yards over five series. Rookie Jimmy Garoppolo totaled 90 yards on 10-of-17 passing for New England (12-4), which had its regular-season home winning streak against AFC opponents snapped at 35 games. Final Score: Philadelphia 34, NY Giants 26 East Rutherford, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Mark Sanchezs two touchdown passes and a key play from the Eagles special teams enabled Philadelphia to end a disappointing December on a high note with a 34-26 win over the New York Giants. Trey Burtons 27-yard runback of a punt blocked by James Casey early in the third quarter helped the Eagles (10-6) halt a costly three-game skid that eliminated the club from playoff contention, while Sanchez put up 292 yards with an interception on a solid 23-of-36 completion rate in the former Jets return to MetLife Stadium. Jordan Matthews aided Philadelphias cause as well by coming up with 105 yards and a touchdown on eight catches, with LeSean McCoy contributing 99 rushing yards on 17 carries. New York (6-10) had a three-game win streak stopped despite 429 passing yards from Eli Manning and career days from Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle. The Giants ended their first 10-loss season since Mannings rookie year of 2004. Beckham finished out a sensational rookie campaign by amassing 185 yards and a touchdown on 12 receptions, while Randle finished with a personal-best 158 yards on six grabs. Manning hit on 28-of-53 throws with one touchdown and an interception. Final Score: Indianapolis 27, Tennessee 10 Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Andrew Luck threw a pair of touchdown passes in only one half of action, leading the AFC South champion Indianapolis Colts to a 27-10 win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at LP Field. Luck finished 10-of-16 for 160 yards and set the Colts single-season passing yardage record with 4,761 yards, surpassing Peyton Mannings previous mark of 4,700 in 2010. Matt Hasselbeck also threw a touchdown pass in the second half for the Colts (11-5), who will open the playoffs at home next weekend. Indianapolis bounced back from a dreadful performance at Dallas last week and completed a sweep of the AFC South for a second straight year. The Colts, who managed only 229 yards in last Sundays 42-7 loss, totaled 378 on Sunday en route to their 13th straight divisional win. Charlie Whitehurst threw a scoring pass in defeat for Tennessee (2-14), which closed the year with 10 straight losses in Ken Whisenhunts first season as head coach. The Titans managed just 192 total yards and nine first downs on Sunday, finishing their worst season since moving from Houston in 1997. The two wins were the franchises fewest since a 2-14 record in 1994. Final Score: Dallas 44, Washington 17 Landover, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Tony Romo had a pair of touchdown passes to Dez Bryant as the Dallas Cowboys pounded the Washington Redskins, 44-17, in the final game of the regular season. Dallas came into the game having already secured its first NFC East crown since 2009. With the win, the team has a chance to secure a first-round bye, and possibly even the top spot in the NFC. Should the Green Bay/Detroit game end in a tie, with either an Arizona loss or a Seattle win, the Cowboys will find themselves atop the NFC. Also, losses from Arizona and Seattle will give the team a first-round bye. Romo finished the game 22-for-34 for 299 yards with an interception, and DeMarco Murray set a franchise record for rushing yards in a season for the Cowboys (12-4), who won their final four games of the season to post their best mark since a 13-3 finish in 2007. Murray, who totaled 100 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, finished the regular season with an NFL-best 1,845 yards to surpass Emmitt Smiths single- season mark of 1,773 yards in 1995. Robert Griffin III finished off a lackluster season with 336 yards and a touchdown along with two interceptions on 27-of-41 attempts for the Redskins (4-12), who finished last in the division for a second straight year. 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