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Empty Netter Assists - 4-21-09

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Playoff Stuff

Penguins-Flyers

-Rob Scuderi (right) hates his team's offense.

-Sergei Gonchar says bring it.

-What's up with Petr Sykora?

-So... Petr Sykora or Miroslav Satan?

-Remember when the Penguins were the team with all the young players without playoff experience?

-Remember when the Penguins weren't the team with a lack of discipline in this series?

-What are the Flyers' chances at coming back in this series?

"He's not just trying to get the puck there; he's trying to hit him to hurt him." Flyers coach John Stevens, who apparently hasn't watched a Flyers game in 35 years, moaning about Chris Kunitz's windmill hit on Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen in Game 3.

-Phil Sheriden of the Philadelphia Inquirer is apparently another individual who hasn't watched a Flyers' game since the Nixon Administration.

-The league did review Kunitz's hit.

"I'm sure it's not going to affect his confidence that much; it's only one game." Flyers forward Simon Gagne on scoring five goals against Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 3.

-NBC's national overnight rating for Game 3 was a solid 1.7. That was the same rating it drew for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final between the same two teams last season when that evil, soulless big screen was up and running in front of Gate 3.

-Can Evgeni Malkin's strong playoff performance so far impact his case for the Hart Trophy?

-Shelly Anderson's chat transcript from yesterday.

-Before last night's games, Brooks Orpik led the playoffs in blocked shots.

-If you're planning on watching tonight's game on CBC, you'll only be able to catch the first hour of it.

-Evgeni Malkin = Sylvester Stallone?

-Finalists for several of NHL's awards, including the Hart Trophy, will be announced beginning Wednesday.

Bruins-Canadiens

-Two assists from Dennis Wideman helped the Bruins claim a 4-2 win at Montreal. Tim Thomas made 23 saves in the win that gave the Bruins a commanding 3-0 series lead. Yannick Weber led the Canadiens with a goal and an assist.

-Montreal had probably its best effort in the series but still lost.

-Boston forward Michael Ryder got some revenge against his former team last night.

-Bruins forward Byron Bitz filled in aptly for suspended forwards Milan Lucic.

-The first obligatory mention in these playoffs of the Islanders having the last comeback from a 3-0 deficit in 1975 against the Penguins is brought to you by the Montreal Gazette.

-Canadiens defenseman Mathieu Schneider and forward Alex Tanguay (right) were game-time scratches last night due to "upper-body" injuries.

Capitals-Rangers

-Simeon Varlamov made 33 saves and led the Capitals to a clutch 4-0 shutout win at New York. Alexander Semin had two goals and an assist while teammate Nicklas Backstrom recorded three assists for Washington which trails the series, 2-1. Alex Ovechkin added two assists. Henrik Lundqvist made 36 saves in the loss.

-In two playoff games, Simeon Varlamov has allowed only one goal on 56 shots.

-Rangers forward Sean Avery tried to talk trash late to unnerve Varlamov. The only problem was Varlamov isn't fluent in English. So instead, Avery resorted to punching Varlamov in the face:

"The first two games, we played two really good regular season games. Tonight we played a playoff game." - Capitals forward David Steckel.

"-We got a good old-fashioned spanking tonight." - Rangers coach John Tortorella.

-Nicklas Backstrom had a big game.

-We guess if Rob Scuderi can score a goal, Alex Ovechkin can make a nice defensive play:

-Rangers captain Chris Drury is still dinged up.

-Alex Ovechkin was booted from the Capitals' bench yesterday morning during the Rangers' practice.

Devils-Hurricanes

-Devils forwards Zach Parise and Travis Zajac are off to fast starts these playoffs.

-Carolina needs to get more traffic in front of Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur.

Sharks-Ducks

-The Ducks' penalty killers have gone from erratic in the regular season to perfect in the playoffs.

-With a 2-0 series lead, Anaheim returns to a place where they've only been slightly better than .500; Honda Center.

-You think the Penguins have had issues with delivering babies this season? Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin and forward Todd Marchant had their wives give birth on the same day.

"It definitely bothers us." - Sharks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (right) on his team's reputation of being a great regular season team but poor playoff performer.

-The Sharks must not be making their games available for viewing in a large public setting. Their television ratings locally have been through the roof.

Red Wings-Blue Jackets

-Red Wings forward Kris Draper will not play in Game 3 due to an "upper-body" injury.

-Is Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk the NHL's most complete player?

"He's had one hard period where he's had to make some good saves." - Blue Jackets coach Jason Williams on the light workload Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood has faced so far this series.

-Columbus is finding out why the regular season is called "regular."

Canucks-Blues

-A "lower-body" injury could sideline Canucks forward Mats Sundin (right, with Ryan Kesler, No. 17) for Game 4.

-Sundin's injury should serve as a reminder that the Canucks need to finish this series tonight in order to get some rest.

-If Sundin sits, the Canucks need a better effort from replacement forward Jannik Hansen in Game 4.

-Defenseman Mattias Ohlund has been huge so far for Vancouver.

-The Blues need to improve their special teams.

-Forward Andy McDonald has been St. Louis' best player.

-Blues forward Keith Tkachuk has made 12 playoff appearances in his career before this season. Ten of them have ended in the first round.

Blackhawks-Flames

-Two goals from David Moss helped the Flames claim a 4-2 win against the Blackhawks. Curtis Glencross added two assists while Miikka Kiprusoff made 36 saves for the Flames who trail, 2-1 in the series. Martin Havlat and Patrick Sharp each had a goal and an assist for Chicago.

-Calgary's role players were the difference last night.

-Flames coach Mike Keenan wants a suspension for Chicago forward Adam Burish who broke his stick over the face of Flames forward Rene Bourque late in Game 3.

-Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane did not play last night due to the flu.

-Chicago defenseman Cam Barker is good people.

Minor League Playoffs

-Kelly Cup: Jordan Morrison scored the Wheeling Nailers' only goal in a 2-1 double overtime loss to the top-seeded Cincinnati Cylcones. The win gave Cincinnati a 4-3 series win. Curtis Darling made 49 saves in the loss.

-The Nailers simply got outplayed in the second overtime.

-Injured Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forward Connor James is close to smashing his way back into the lineup.

-Former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton captain Alain Nasreddine caught up with some old friends.

Non-Playoff Stuff

Penguins

-Former Penguins forward Martin Straka (right) was named the Czech Extraliga player of the year.

-Pens Universe scored an interview with former Penguins forward Matthew Barnaby.

Atlantic Division

-Forward John Tavares, who is expected to be chosen No. 1 overall in this year's draft by the Islanders, will not pull any sort of Eric Lindrosesque hold out.

Northwest Division

-Penguins assistant general manager Chuck Fletcher is expected to interview for the Wild's vacant general manager position.

-Minnesota re-signed defenseman John Scott to a one-year deal. He was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

(Photos: Scuderi-Jamie Sabau/Getty Images; Tanguay-Elsa/Getty Images; Ehrhoff-Christian Petersen/Getty Images; Sundin-Nick Didlick/Getty Images; Straka-Getty Images)

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