Empty Netter Assists - 4-1-09

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-What do the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins need to do in order to win the AHL's East Division?

Atlantic Division

-From the "Life Isn't Fair" department, the Penguins are still chasing the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and have to face legendary Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur tonight. The Flyers are holding on to that No. 4 seed and are facing 84-year-old Maple Leafs goaltender Curtis Joseph tonight.

-The Flyers are keeping their eyes on the Penguins.

-Even if their team hasn't been playing for anything but pride for quite a while, Islanders goaltenders Yann Danis (right) and Joey MacDonald are still playing for contracts for next season.

-Islanders coach Scott Gordon explained why he used stay-at-home defenseman Brendan Witt in a shootout loss to the Flyers Saturday.

-One way or another, there's going to be some playoff games this spring at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Northeast Division

-Scoreboard Watch for the Penguins: Andrei Markov and former Penguin Alex Kovalev each had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens who thumped the Blackhawks, 4-1. Fire Craig Patrick. Kovalev has points in fourth consecutive games. Fire Craig Patrick. Carey Price made 25 saves in the win which was Montreal's third in four games. Canadiens forward Sergei Kostitsyn and defenseman Roman Hamrlik each suffered "upper-body" injuries and did not finish the game. The Canadiens are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 88 points, two less than the Penguins who are in sixth place with 90 points.

-Check out this video. Chicago's Aaron Johnson rammed Montreal's Sergei Kostitsyn's head into the boards last night. The first Canadien to challenge Johnson was Kostitsyn's brother, Andrei:

-Zdeno Chara had a goal and an assist and led the Bruins to a 3-1 defeat of the Lightning. Teammate David Krejci added two assists while Blake Wheeler and Chuck Kobasew each scored their 20th goal of the season. They are the seventh and eighth Bruins to hit that mark this season. Lightning forward Steven Stamkos, the top overall pick in last years' draft, scored his 20th goal of the season as well.

-Chara actually had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick. He fought Lightning forward Evgeny Artyukhin:

-We understand Chara's the biggest guy on the ice and he gets challenged physically all the time, but what sense does that make? The Bruins lose a potential Norris Trophy winner for five minutes while the Lightning have to do without a third- or fourth-liner.

-Boston forward Milan Lucic showed a lot of guts by socking poor Josef Melichar last night:

-Bruins forward Shawn Thornton did not play due to an undisclosed injury.

-It's do or die for the Sabres beginning tonight in Atlanta.

-The Senators were officially eliminated from the playoffs last night. They have not missed a postseason since 1995-96. "The Daily Show" made its debut that summer.

-The Maple Leafs signed Notre Dame forward Christian Hanson. He is the son of "Slap Shot" star Dave Hanson who is currently the general manager of the Robert Morris Island Sports Center.

Southeast Division

-Scoreboard Watch for the Penguins: Michael Frolik's goal and two assists helped the Panthers beat the Senators, 5-2. Bryan McCabe added a goal and an assist for Florida while teammates David Booth and Cory Stillman each recorded two assists. Craig Anderson (right, with McCabe) made 30 saves in the win and won his third consecutive start. Ryan Shannon led Ottawa with two assists. The Panthers are in ninth place with 87 points, three less than the Penguins.

-Despite the win, the Panthers made up no ground in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

-The Capitals recalled forward Keith Aucoin from Hershey of the AHL.

-Washington is close to selling out all of its season-ticket plans for next season.

-Thrashers forward Slava Kozlov has a Thigh Master or something.

-Lightning forward Steven Stamkos need one more goal to tie Brad Richards' franchise rookie record of 21 goals in a season.

Central Division

-Steve Mason made 21 saves for the Blue Jackets who edged the rival Predators, 2-1. Columbus reached 40 wins in a season for the first time in franchise history. The win also gave the Blue Jackets 88 points, four more than the seventh place Ducks.

-Mason went head-to-head with another Calder Trophy candidate, Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne, last night and came out on top.

-Unlike in seasons past, the Blue Jackets no longer crack under pressure.

-The Red Wings are getting pretty hairy with their playoff marketing.

-Detroit is still alternating between Ty Conklin and Chris Osgood (right) in net.

Northwest Division

-Henrik Sedin's overtime goal gave the Canucks a 2-1 win against the rival Wild. Roberto Luongo made 33 saves in the win which pushed Vancouver ahead of Calgary for first place in the Northwest Division. The Canucks have won four out of their past five games.

-The Canucks were 12 points behind the Flames at the start of February.

-Vancouver forward Rick Rypien played his first game after missing 70 games dealing with a sports hernia and personal issues.

-Colorado goaltender Peter Budaj has a lot of questions heading into an offseason as a free agent.

-With defenseman Brett Clark dealing with a hand injury, Colorado recalled defenseman Ray Macias from Lake Erie of the AHL.

-Wild coach Jacques Lemaire will consider retirement following this season.

Pacific DIvision

-Scott Niedermayer had a goal and two assists for the Ducks who won at Edmonton, 5-3. Brother Rob Niedermayer added two goals white teammate Ryan Getzlaf recorded two assists for Anaheim which moved into seventh place in the Western Conference. Tom Gilbert led the Oilers with three assists.

-Crazy sequence of events late in this game. With just over two minutes left in the game, Edmonton's Zach Stortini scored making the score, 4-3, Anaheim. With all the momentum and plenty of time left to tie the game, the Oilers called for a stick measurement against Anaheim's Teemu Selanne. His blade was declared legal and as a result, the Oilers were called for a bench penalty. That forced the Oilers to pull goaltender Dwayne Roloson and play with an empty net. Rob Niedermayer scored with just over 30 seconds left to ice the game. That call could potentially have cost the Oilers a shot at the playoffs.

-Brendan Morrison scored two goals and led the Stars to a 3-2 win at Los Angeles. Steve Ott added two assists for Dallas which ended a seven-game losing streak. Los Angeles has lost five out of its past six games.

-The Stars kept their slim playoff hopes alive.

-Kings defenseman Kyle Quincey will miss the rest of the season due to a back injury.

-Even if he's not as prolific as the guy who was drafted ahead of him, forward Bobby Ryan (right) has given the Ducks a nice return for the No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 draft.

-Coyotes goaltender is scheduled to make his first NHL start tonight. He will be the first Cuban-American to appear in an NHL game.

-Phoenix was officially eliminated from playoff consideration with Anaheim's win last night.

-A few losses have actually given the Sharks' local television ratings a boost.

NCAA Mens' Tournament

-How big of a surprise is Bedmiji State's run to the Frozen Four?

Norris Division

-Awesome Shootout Goal of the Day: Sweden's Linus Omark chipping one over Switzerland goaltender Marco Buhrer in a World Championships warm-up match:

-The career of legendary Ottawa 67s coach Brian Kilrea came to an end when his team fell, 4-3, to the Niagara IceDogs in Game 7 of an opening-round OHL playoff series. Kilrea is the all-time winningest coach in Canadian Hockey League history with 1,193 career victories.

-The ECHL will be losing the Dayton Bombers, Mississippi Sea Wolves and Phoenix RoadRunners next season.

(Photos: Danis/Al Bello/Getty Images; Anderson-Steve Mitchell/Associated Press; Osgood-Christian Petersen/Getty Images; Ryan-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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