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Empty Netter Assists - 5-2-09

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Playoff Stuff

Penguins-Capitals

-"It's hard to say it was good." -Mike Yeo being incredibly understated in discussing the Penguins' power play in the first round.

-Gene Collier says Russian hockey players are kind of good.

-"Mr. Leonsis has given us orders not to sell tickets to Penguins fans."

-Washington forward Alex Ovechkin (right) sort of denied he is injured.

-"I don't really care. I don't like history. I don't like looking back 10 years ago, 15 years ago." - Alex Ovechkin on the Capitals' less than stellar postseason history against the Penguins.

-Mike Wise of the Washington Post has a wonderful profile of Capitals goon Donald Brashear.

-Penguins offense > Rangers offense.

-Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post says Capitals in seven games.

-LeBron James and Alex Ovechkin are tight.

-Patience has paid off for Capitals general manager George McPhee.

-Japers' Rink has a brilliant examination of the Capitals fans' dislike of Penguins fans.

-NHLPA official Glenn Healy doesn't like NBC.

Bruins-Hurricanes

-Marc Savard scored two goals and led the the Bruins to a 4-1 win against the Hurricanes. Michael Ryder added a goal and an assist while teammate Phil Kessel recorded two assists for Boston which has a 1-0 lead in the series.

-Remember how the Bruins' long layoff was supposed to throw them off their game? Well the Bruins didn't get that memo.

-Boston found a way to shutdown Carolina forward Eric Staal.

-Here's something you don't see every day. A team scoring a goal and getting penalized on the same play. Carolina's Ryan Bayda ran over Tim Thomas after Jussi Jokinen's goal:

-Marc Savard is doing quite a bit to shed his poor playoff reputation.

-The Hurricanes didn't exactly give the Bruins too much credit for the win.

-Carolina coach Paul Maurice thought his team turned the puck over too much.

-Goaltender Cam Ward played in his 31st career playoff game for Carolina and broke a tie for the franchise record with Arturs Irbe.

Red Wings-Ducks

-Nicklas Lidstrom had two goals and an assist for the Red Wings in a thrilling 3-2 defeat of the Ducks. Chris Osgood made 22 saves in the win which gave Detroit a 1-0 series lead. Ryan Getzlaf and Chris Pronger each recorded two assists for Anaheim.

-Lidstrom's winning goal with roughly 50 seconds left in regulation:

-Check out this brutal hit by Anaheim's Mike Brown on Detroit's Jiri Hudler:

-Despite his facial injuries, Hudler returned. Brown was given a five minute major for interference and a game misconduct. It was a similar call Rangers forward Colton Orr received for a hit on Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton late in the regular season:

-We have a problem with the penalty given to Brown. Unlike Orr's hit on Eaton, Hudler had the puck and was hit by Brown approximately one second after releasing it. You are supposed to get a few seconds leeway in terms of hitting a player who has just released the puck. Eaton at no point had the puck when he was hit by Orr.

-Additionally, taking a look at the reverse angle of the hit, it looks like Brown caught Hudler shoulder on shoulder. This fuzzy, blurry screen capture of the YouTube clip is clearly definitive proof:

-Perhaps the officials saw the blood and overreacted, but the Ducks got a raw deal in our book on this hit.

-"We timed the hit. From the time he passed the puck until the time Mike Brown made contact with him, there wasn’t a second went off the clock. It was at 8:36 (left), and the clock did not move by the time he had made contact. The video doesn’t lie." Ducks coach Randy Carlyle on the hit.

-"That's dangerous. I think that hit was intentional. ... He put his elbow in Hud's head. ... It was a dirty hit." Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg on the hit.

-Hudler suggested the bleeding was caused by his visor.

-Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson wasn't putting up with any of Anaheim forward Corey Perry's garbage:

-Ryan Getzlaf was forced to play over 28 minutes last night because he had to cover some of Brown's shorthandeded duties.

-The rest of this series will be nasty.

-Nicklas Lidstrom didn't play like a 39 year old.

-Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski did not play last night due to an "upper-body" injury.

-Detroit coach Mike Babcock hit up his old friend Sharks coach Todd McLellan for advice on how to play the Ducks. Anaheim beat San Jose in the first round, 4-2. McLellan used to be an assistant coach in Detroit under Babcock.

-Pavel Datsyuk should win the Hart Trophy just based on this display of stickhandling:

Canucks-Blackhawks

-Speaking of head shots, guess who was up to his old tricks Thursday night. That's right. Blackhawks forward Ben Eager went high on Canucks forward Rick Rypien:

-Eager said he would gladly put that hit on Rypien again.

-Canucks forward Mats Sundin is dealing with a knee injury.

-Vancouver defenseman Sami Salo has found a way to score two game-winning goals this postseason.

-Why can't Chicago goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin beat the Canucks?

-Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews is dealing with the flu.

-Unlike say the guys picked before him, Blackhawks defenseman Cam Barker, the third pick in the 2004 draft, took a little while to find his place in the NHL.

-Chicago needs forwards Jonathan Toews (right) and Patrick Kane to pick it up in Game 2.

IIHF World Championships

-Former Flyers forward Sami Kapanen had two goals, including one in overtime, and led Finland to a 2-1 victory against Slovakia.

-A goal and two assists from Blues forward David Backes helped the United States stomp France, 6-2. Freedom fries all around.

-Sabres forward Thomas Vanek had a goal and two assist an and led Austria to a 6-0 shutout of Hungary.

-Patrick Galbraith made 25 saves for Denmark which beat Germany 3-2.

-Canada's power-play is clicking at 50 percent.

Non-Playoff Stuff

Atlantic Division

-The Islanders claim their season ticket sales have increased since they acquired the top pick in this year's draft.

Smythe Division

-Coaches Claude Julien of Boston, Todd McLellan of San Jose and Andy Murray of St. Louis were named finalists for the Jack Adams Award.

-Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur was convicted of obstruction of justice in a Quebec court. He got into trouble when he gave contradictory evidence at a bail hearing for his son in 2007.

(Photos: Ovechkin-Evan Vucci/Associated Press; Toews-Richard Lam/Getty Images)

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