-What does Kris Letang's contract mean for Sergei Gonchar (PG+)?
-Happy 45th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Tom Barrasso (right). An all-star with the Sabres, Barrasso was acquired early in the 1988-89 season along with a draft pick in a trade which sent Doug Bodger and Darrin Shannon to Buffalo. Barrasso would spend parts of the next 12 seasons in Pittsburgh and became the greatest goaltender in franchise history. In his first season as the starter (1988-89) the team reached the postseason for the first time in seven years. Two years later, he helped lead the franchise to its first Stanley Cup title. In the Cup-clinching win, an 8-0 road win against the North Stars, Barrasso made 39 saves in the shutout. The following season, Barrasso and the Penguins repeated as champions. In 1992-93, Barrasso set a career high by leading the NHL with 43 wins. Injuries (and a lockout) limited Barrasso's playing time over the next four seasons, but he rebounded in 1997-98 with his finest statistical season as a Penguin. Under defensive-minded coach Kevin Constantine, Barrasso won 31 games, set career bests with a 2.07 goals against average, .922 save percentage and seven shutouts and helped the Penguins claim the Northeast Division crown. Barrasso's play declined over the next two seasons and at the 2000 trade deadeline, the Penguins traded their franchise goaltender to the Senators in exchange for Ron Tugnutt and Janne Laukkanen.
-After bouncing around with Ottawa, Carolina, Toronto and St. Louis and winning a silver medal as the third goaltender for the United States in the 2002 Olympics, Barrasso retired. He is currently the Hurricanes goaltending coach. Barrasso owns virtually ever goaltending record in Penguins history. In 460 games with the Penguins, he went 226-153-53 with a 3.27 goals against average, an .896 save percentage and 22 shutouts. Barrasso is also one of the most accomplished American goaltenders in NHL history. With 369 career wins, he is one of three United States-born goaltenders with over 300 wins. John Vanbiesbrouck (374) and Mike Richter (301) are the others. Barrasso's 48 points are the most by a goaltender in NHL history.
-Today would've been the 72nd birthday of former Penguins forward Bill Hicke. An all-star with Montreal and Oakland, Hicke was acquired prior to the 1971-72 season from the California Golden Seals in exchange for cash. He appeared in 12 games for the Penguins that season and scored two goals. In November, he was traded to the Red Wings in exchange for for cash. He passed away, July 18, 2005.
-The Rangers kept their playoff hopes alive. Olli Jokinen and Vaclav Prospal (above) each had a goal and an assist for the Rangers in a 4-3 win against the rival Islanders. Henrik Lundqvist had 25 saves in the victory. The Rangers are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 78 points four fewer than the eighth-place Bruins.
-Happy times for Rangers forwards Aaron Voros and Marian Gaborik. No so much for Islanders defenseman Jack Hillen:
-Gaborik was surrounded by the enemy here:
-Lundqvist has issues with this puck. The Islanders, not so much:
-Happy times for the Rangers:
-Flyers forward Daniel Carcillo was suspended two games for cross-checking Devils forward David Clarkson in the face Sunday.
-The Rangers signed college free agent goaltender Cameron Talbot. He formerly played with Alabama-Huntsville. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
-Scoreboard Watch for the Penguins: Patrice Bergeron's (above, with teammates Mark Recchi, No. 28, Mark Stuart, No. 45, and Dennis Wideman, No. 6) goal with 18.3 seconds left in overtime gave the Bruins a 1-0 win at New Jersey. Tuukka Rask made 21 saves in the shutout. The Devils are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference and second place in the Atlantic Division with 94 points, one less than the Penguins who are second and first place respectively.
-Boston captain Zdeno Chara warming up with his shadow:
-Rask denying New Jersey's Zach Parise in tight:
-The Devils were highly critical of the officials after the game.
-Former Penguin Alex Kovalev's overtime goal gave the Senators a 5-4 win at Washington. Fire Craig Patrick. Jason Spezza added two goals and two assists for Ottawa while teammates Daniel Alfredsson and Erk Karlsson each recorded three assists. Brian Elliott made all of 17 saves in the victory which was the Senators fifth in a row. Alexander Semin led the Capitals with two goals.
-Happy times for the Senators:
-Semin beat Elliott with this shot:
-Semin made a really spaced out face while celebrating:
-Happy times for the Capitals:
-Kovalev's goal was his first in 13 games.
-A shoulder injury will sideline Canadiens forward Glen Metropolit six to eight weeks.
-The Canadiens signed college free agent defensman Brendon Nash to a two-year contract. He formerly played for Cornell.
-The Maple Leafs will change their uniforms next season.
-Maxim Afinogenov and Nik Antropov each had a goal and an assist for the Thrashers in a 3-2 win at Toronto. Ondrej Pavelec (above) made 27 saves in the victory. The Thrashers are in ninth place with 80 points, two fewer than the eighth-place Bruins. Viktor Stalberg scored both of the Maple Leafs' goals.
-Check out the puck handling by Afinogenov on his goal:
-Check out this pass by Atlanta's Marty Reasoner to set up Evgeny Artyukhin's goal:
-Check out the pass by Toronto's Tyler Bozak to set up Stalberg's first goal:
-Check out the re-direction by Antropov for his goal:
-The Maple Leafs were officially eliminated from postseason contention.
-Antropov said it was "nice to hear" his former team was eliminated from the postseason.
-Captials defenseman John Carlson suffered an "upper-body" injury last night.
-While the Hurricanes have had a rotten season, Brandon Sutter has emerged as one of the team's top players.
-The Norfolk Admirals, the Lightning's AHL affiliate, put together this clever recreation of the opening scene to "Slap Shot" wth forward Juraj Simek and broadcaster Pete Michaud:
-Brad Stuart's goal with 1:07 left in regulation gave the Red Wings a 5-4 win against the Oilers. Johan Franzen had a goal and an assist for Detroit while teammates Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom (above, with Edmonton's Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers) each recorded two assists. Jimmy Howard made 22 saves in the victory which was Detroit's sixth win in a row. Tom Gilbert led Edmonton with two goals.
-The Blues kept their playoff hopes alive. Alexander Steen had two goals and an assist for St. Louis in a 4-2 win against the rival Blackhawks. Teammate Erik Johnson added a goal and an assist while Chris Mason made 32 saves in the victory. Jonathan Toews led Chicago with two assists. The Blackhawks have lost four out of their past five games.
-Chicago's Nick Boynton and St. Louis' Cam Janssen had a wild fight:
-Blues forward Paul Kariya left the game due to a "lower-body" injury.
-Rick Nash scored two goals and led the Blue Jackets to a 3-2 win against the Lightning. Teammate Kristian Huselius added two assists while Steve Mason made all of 16 saves in the victory.
-Check out this pass by Columbus' R.J. Umberger, a native of a certain steel-producing part of the world, to set one of Nash's goals:
-The Red Wings signed forward Landon Ferraro, a second-round pick in 2009, to an amateur tryout contract.
-The Blues signed defenseman Brett Ponich, a second-round pick, to an entry-level contract.
-Henrik Sedin (above) had a goal and two assists for the Canucks in a 4-1 defeat of the Coyotes. Alex Burrows added a goal and an assist while Roberto Luongo made 32 saves in the victory. Phoenix has lost three out its past four games.
-One of Sedin's goals was off a brutal turnover by Phoenix's Ilya Bryzgalov:
-Sedin's second goal was off a brilliant pass from his brother Daniel:
-Check out this violent hit by Vancouver's Ryan Kesler on Phoenix's Derek Morris:
-Kesler was given a boarding major and a game misconduct for that hit. A lot of people have griped about the call but when you consult the NHL's rule book, this is what it says on boarding:
"A boarding penalty shall be imposed on any player or goalkeeper who checks an opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to be thrown violently in the boards. The severity of the penalty, based upon the degree of violence of the impact with the boards, shall be at the discretion of the Referee."
-Happy times for the Canucks. Not so much the Coyotes:
-The Canucks have essentially suspended defenseman Shane O'Brien.
-With 28 goals, Penguins trainer Avalanche forward Chris Stewart has broken out this season.
-The Avalanche signed forward Mark Olver, a fourth-round pick in 2008, to a three-year entry level contract.
-The Canucks have sold out 299 consecutive games at GM Place.
-A hip injury will sideline Wild goaltender Josh Harding for the rest of the season.
-Jonathan Bernier (above, with teammates Jarret Stoll, No. 28, Brad Richardson, and Dustin Brown, No. 23) made 34 saves and led the Kings to a 2-0 shutout win at Nashville. The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for Los Angeles. The Kings are in seventh place in the Western Conference with 92 points, one less than sixth-place Detroit.
-With goaltender Jonas Hiller dealing with a wonky back, the Ducks recalled goaltender J.P. Levasseur from Springfield of the AHL.
-Happy 82nd birthday to "Mr. Hockey" Gordie Howe.
-Happy 39th birthday to the guy who was Alex Ovechkin before Alex Ovechkin. "The Russian Rocket" Pavel Bure.
(Photos: Barrasso-Peter Diana/Post-Gazette; Rangers/Islanders-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images and Kathy Willens/Associated Press; Senators/Capitals-Greg Fiume/Getty Images and Nick Wass/Associated Press; Thrashers/Maple Leafs-Canadian Press; Oilers/Red Wings-Jerry S. Mendoza/Associated Press; Coyotes/Canucks-Canadian Press; Kings/Predators-Mark Humphrey/Associated Press)