8. december 2009 / PATRIK ELIAS TIED FOR THIRD IN ALL-TIME POINTS AMONG CZECH PLAYERS
With his assist on Brian Rolston’s game winning goal on Monday night in a 3-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres, Patrik Elias has reached career point number 717 (298g, 419a), tying Martin Straka and Peter Nedvěd for all-time points among Czech hockey players. Because Straka and Nedvěd are no longer active in the NHL, the Devil’s star can grab sole possession of third with his next point.
Patrik currently trails former teammate Bobby Holik whose 747 points (326g, 421a) keeps him at second place and Jaromír Jagr who sits at first place with 1,599 career points (646g, 953a). In January 2009, The Hockey News ranked Patrik as the #1 active Czech player in the league. Patrik will likely reach another milestone this season as he is two away from career goal #300.
Patrik’s assist on Monday night in Buffalo came with just over two minutes left in the first period, breaking a 0-0 tie. Forward Vladimir Zharkov gained the Buffalo zone with a full head of steam, peeled up and tossed a soft shot towards goal which Patrik deflected on goaltender Ryan Miller. Miller kicked the puck out of the crease but Brian Rolston was waiting in front to attack the rebound and slide the puck under the sprawling goaltender’s pads. Travis Zajac and Niclas Bergfors added insurance goals as the Devils improved their record to 20-7-1 and 11-2-1 on the road. The team’s 41 points tie them with the Pittsburgh Penguins atop the Atlantic Division. (Dan Altano)