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Empty Netter Assists - 5-1-09

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Playoff Stuff

Penguins-Capitals

-Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are kind of good.

-Ron Cook says Marc-Andre Fleury (right) will be the Penguins' most important player.

-"What Semin said was pretty stupid." - Brooks Orpik on comments by Capitals forward Alexander Semin directed at Sidney Crosby. Earlier this season, Semin questioned Crosby's abilities.

-Does either team benefit from the inexperience of Capitals goaltender Simeon Varlamov?

-How many games will this series go?

-The Penguins have brought goaltender Brad Thiessen up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in order to get him some work with goaltending coach Gilles Meloche.

-Read this story by Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post, and you won't "hate" Capitals defenseman Mike Green.

-Alex Ovechkin skipped practice yesterday for the sake of rest.

-Does Jordan Staal need to produce more in the second round?

-"I don't feel like I've accomplished anything." - Simeon Varlamov on his hot start.

-The Capitals made a ton of coin in the first round.

-Slava Malamud, who has gotten a ton of quality scoops for the Washington Post this season, suspects Alex Ovechkin is playing with a lower-body injury.

-The Penguins shouldn't take Alex Ovechkin's antics without a fight.

-Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are kind of good.

-Washington can not have a slow start against the Penguins.

-PensBurgh comes up with the the YouTube Find of the Day. The Penguins and Capitals just beating the daylights out of each other in the 1995 playoffs:

-The Penguins need to be physical, but disciplined.

-Did Capitals defenseman Brian Pothier, who was out of the lineup for over a year, deserve to be a finalists for the Masterton Trophy?

-Washington owner Ted Leonsis isn't a fan of how Mellon Arena is run. We aren't either.

-"Wilkes-Barre fans are like Philadelphia Flyers fans, they're just freaking psycho." -Capitals forward Eric Fehr on the rivalry between the Penguins' AHL affiliate and the Capitals' in Hershey. (Kudos to Japers' Rink for the heads up.)

-Will Simeon Varlamov's conditioning be an issue for Game 4 and a potential Game 5 which are scheduled to be played on back-to-back nights?

-Since the lockout, Sidney Crosby has scored the fifth-most playoff points.

-The CBC is happy to have this series.

-James Mirtle, easily the most objective hockey blogger we know, picks the Penguins in five games.

Bruins-Hurricanes

-Do the Hurricanes have enough secondary scoring?

-The Bruins have been off for nine days.

-Carolina forward Eric Staal, a brother of something or other, failed to score in four regular season games against the Bruins this season. Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara (right) had a, pardon the pun, big role in that.

-Bruins defenseman and former Penguin Andrew Ference, who hasn't played at all in the playoffs due to an undisclosed injury, will be a game-day decision today.

-Boston defenseman Aaron Ward is more than familiar with some members of Carolina's roster.

-Even though they're only 24 and 25 respectively, Carolina forward Eric Staal and goaltender Cam Ward are grizzled veterans when it comes to the playoffs.

-The Hurricanes have knack for winning playoff games they probably shouldn't.

-You know hell has frozen over when the Hartford Whalers Booster Club is rooting for the Hurricanes.

Ducks-Red Wings

-Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller will have his hands full with Detroit's power forwards.

-The Ducks and Red Wings aren't just tough and skilled. They're also skilled and tough.

-Ducks coach and former Penguins defenseman Randy Carlyle wants/needs his team to be disciplined against Detroit.

-Carlyle, and his counterpart in Detroit, Mike Babcock, have a lot of similarities.

-Babcock has this crazy idea the officials should enforce the rules.

-Ducks defenseman Ryan Whitney, another former Penguin, is getting sick of the playing the Red Wings in the postseason.

-Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood gets no respect.

-Red Wings forward Kris Draper's "upper-body" injury will keep him out for Games 1 and 2.

-Anaheim's top line of Ryan Getzlaf (right), Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan will be a handful for the Red Wings.

-Today's "Marian Hossa is fitting in well with Detroit" piece is brought to you by Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News.

Canucks-Blackhawks

-The second round kicked off with a fantastic tilt in the Pacific Northwest. Steve Bernier and Kyle Wellwood each had two assists and led the Canucks to a wild 5-3 defeat of the Blackhawks. Sami Salo scored the game-winning goal with 1:13 left in regulation. Patrick Kane scored two goals for Chicago which came back from a three-goal deficit to tie the game with roughly five and a half minutes left.

-Salo's goal:

-The Canucks got a bit of a scare last night.

-"I don’t think we even played that well in the first two periods." - Vancouver forward Alex Burrows.

-"It sucks." - Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook on Salo's goal.

-"I thought Kyle was our best player." Canucks coach Alain Vigneault on Kyle Wellwood.

-Beyond awesome:

-Blackhawks defenseman Cam Barker was in too deep on Salo's goal.

-The Canucks care not for Blackhawks agitator Adam Burish.

-"They took over in the third period." Salo on the Blackhawks' comeback.

-Chicago goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin has not beaten the Canucks since 1998.

-Vancouver recalled forward Jeff Cowan from Manitoba of the AHL.

-Canucks forward Taylor Pyatt has the choice of when he wants to return to the lineup. He has not played since his fiance was killed in a car crash April 2.

Calder Cup Playoffs

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins beat the rival Hershey Bears seven out of ten times this season.

IIHF World Championships

-Lightning forward Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist for Canada which romped the Czech Republic, 5-1. Coyotes forward Shane Doan (right) added two assists. Former Penguins captain Jaromir Jagr had an assist for the Czechs.

-An overtime goal by Coyotes defenseman Dmitri Kalinin gave Russia a 6-5 win against Sweden. Former Penguins forward Aleksey Morozov had an assist for Russia.

-Colorado defenseman Ruslan Salei scored an overtime goal and led Belarus to a 3-2 defeat of Norway.

-Edgars Masalskis made 38 saves for Latvia which edged Switzerland, 2-1, in a shoototout.

Non-Playoff Stuff

Penguins

-Windsor Spitfires coach and former Penguins defenseman Bob Boughner was named to the OHL's first all-star team as a coach.

Atlantic Division

-"We're very honest with each other." Rangers coach John Tortorella on his relationship with forward Sean Avery.

-Philadelphia forward Jeff Carter played the final four games of the first round against the Penguins with a separated shoulder.

-Flyers goaltender Martin Biron is apparently not a fan of players who rip his team up for eight points in six playoff games.

-Devils forward Brian Gionta (right), who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, would like to stay in New Jersey for some reason.

Northeast Division

-Canadiens forwards Sergei Kostitsyn (shoulder), Max Pacioretty (abdomen) and Alex Tanguay (shoulder) have had or will have surgery.

-The NHL officially surveyed Fenway Park yesterday. The league is hoping to stage the next Winter Classic there.

Southeast Division

-On the day he was named a finalist for the Masterton Trophy, Panthers forward Richard Zednik was reported to have signed with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL.

Central Division

-The Milwaukee Admirals, the Predators' AHL affiliate, signed former Penguins forward Bryan Smolinski to a professional tryout contract. After spending last season with Montreal, Smolinski was not signed by any club during this past regular season.

Northwest Division

-Jaromir Jagr (right) said the Edmonton Oilers would be his first choice if he made a return to the NHL.

Pacific Division

-Sharks forward Patrick Marleau played through a knee injury in the first round.

Adams Division

-Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios, Predators forward Steve Sullivan and Panthers forward Richard Zednik have been named as finalists for the Masterton Trophy.

-A championship ring from the first Stanley Cup winning team in 1893 was discovered in an Vancouver attic. Chris Chelios unava.... ah... nevermind...

-Are we the only ones who are shocked to discover Versus, a Comcast property, has poor customer service?

(Photos: Fleury and Gionta-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Chara-Elsa/Getty Images; Getzlaf-Jeff Gross/Getty Images; Doan-Mike Hewitt/Getty Images; Jagr-Photobucket)

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