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Empty Netter Assists - 3-27-09

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-The Crosbys and Lemieuxs are tight. (Jersey foul on Sidney Crosby's sister by the way. Sort of.)

Atlantic Division

-Zach Parise's (right) quest to become the Devils' first 50-goal and 100-point player has slowed down.

-Parise is about to break the franchise record for shots in a season.

-New Jersey coach Brent Sutter is looking forward to making a return to Chicago where he ended his playing career.

-Devils forward Patrik Elias and defenseman Colin White are questionable for tonight's game.

-The Flyers signed free agent goaltender Johan Backlund and recalled defenseman Danny Syvret from their puppy-drowning AHL affiliate.

-Rangers coach John Tortorella was pretty brutal in assessing his team last night.

Northeast Division

-Scoreboard Watch for the Penguins: Saku Koivu's overtime goal gave the Canadiens a 3-2 win against the Lightning. Andrei Markov recorded two assists for Montreal while teamate and former Penguins forward Alex Kovalev scored his 20th goal of the season. Fire Craig Patrick. Lightning thug and former Penguins prospect David Koci scored his first NHL goal. Fire Craig Patrick. The Canadiens are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 85 points, three less than the Penguins who are in sixth place with 88 points.

-Koivu's goal:

-Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller is expected to return to the lineup tonight from an ankle injury.

-Buffalo forward and former Penguin Dominic Moore isn't worrying about becoming a free agent in the offseason quite yet. He wants to get the Sabres into the playoffs first.

-Forward Stephane Yelle does all the Bruins' dirty work.

-Maple Leafs defenseman and former Penguins prospect Jamie Heward is hoping to return this season from a concussion.

-With starting goaltender Martin Gerber suspended for three games, the Maple Leafs will turn to backup Curtis Joseph... who is three losses away from passing Gump Worsley's career record of 352 defeats.

Southeast Division

-Scoreboard Watch for the Penguins: Craig Anderson played his first game in nearly a month and made 40 saves for the Panthers in a 4-2 win at Philadelphia. Jeff Carter led the Flyers with a goal and an assist. The Flyers are in fourth place with 90 points, two more than the Penguins. The Panthers are in ninth place with 83 points.

-Check out the hip check Panthers defenseman Keith Ballard stuck on Flyers forward Scott Hartnell last night:

-Scoreboard Watch for the Penguins: Todd White's shootout goal gave the Thrashers a 5-4 win against the Rangers. Ilya Kovalchuk led Atlanta with a goal and two assists in regulation. White and former Penguins forward Colby Armstrong each contributed a goal and an assist for the Thrashers. Fire Ray Shero. Former Penguins goaltender Johan Hedberg came on in relief of starter Kari Lehtonen and earned a win by making 14 saves. Fire Craig Patrick. Chris Drury recorded a goal and two assists for New York. The Rangers also got a goal from former Penguins forward Markus Naslund. Fire Craig Patrick.  The Rangers are in seventh place with 87 points, one less than the Penguins.

-Lehtonen suffered an "upper-body" injury after being hit by Rangers forward Sean Avery.

-The Hurricanes signed defensive prospect Jamie McBain to an entry-level contract. A finalist for the Hobey Baker award with Wisconsin, McBain was assigned to Albany of the AHL.

-Where has Capitals defenseman Tom Poti's offense gone?

-The fact that haven't yet won the division title hasn't stopped the Capitals from already selling championship t-shirts.

-No word yet on what size t-shirt Lightning owner and former Penguins forward Len Barrie wears.

-The Lightning meets the Capitals for the first time tonight since Alex Ovechkin's 50-goal celebration.

-Tampa Bay forward and former Penguin Ryan Malone (right) doesn't sound like he's too eager about getting revenge on Ovechkin.

-Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau is sick of talking about Ovechkin's celebration.

-Panthers general manager Jacques Martin doesn't regret not dealing defenseman Jay Bouwmeester at the trade deadline.

Central Division

-Maybe Marc-Andre Fleury wasn't all that good Wednesday. Rookie Steve Mason made 33 saves and earned his 10th shutout of the season as the Blue Jackets beat the Flames, 5-0. Combined with a 2-0 loss at Mellon Arena the night before, it was the second consecutive game the Flames failed to score a goal. Jason Williams had two goals while Kristian Huselius and Rick Nash each recorded four assists. Nash reached a career-high in points with 71.

-A double fight broke out in the second period of this game:

-Radek Bonk and Martin Erat each had a goal and an assist for the Predators who edged the Sharks, 3-2. Teammate Shea Weber added two assists. Devin Setoguchi led San Jose with a goal and an assist. Nashville moved into eighth place in the Western Conference with the win.

-Bonk didn't just score some points last night. He also shut down Sharks superstar Joe Thornton.

-A goal and an assist each from T.J. Oshie and David Perron helped the Blues beat the Canucks, 4-2. St. Louis has won three consecutive games.

-Check out the goal Oshie scored at the 0:05 mark:

-Columbus defenseman Mike Commodore doesn't want to talk about the playoffs yet.

-The Blue Jackets are good humans.

-The Predators recalled forward Cal O'Reilly from Milwaukee of the AHL.

-It's in Red Wings legend Gordie Howe.

-Should Detroit's record-tying 50-win season come with an asterisk?

Northwest Division

-Calgary forward Todd Bertuzzi returned to the lineup last night after missing 10 games due to a knee injury. With Bertuzzi back, the Flames demoted forward David Van der Gulik to Quad City of the AHL.

-The Flames have gone 0-for-12 on the power play in their past two games.

-Canucks forward Alex Burrows has scored more goals this season than the likes of Joe Thornton, Marc Savard, Ryan Getzlaf and Daniel Alfredsson.

-Colorado coach Tony Granato wants to be a part of the Avalanche's rebuilding process.

-The Wild has flown a total of 13,004 miles within the past month.

Pacific Division

-Remember the new NHL? The Kings and Stars apparently don't. Shootout goals by Anze Kopitar and Just Williams gave the Kings a rip-roaring 1-0 win at Dallas. Jonathan Quick made 29 saves in his shutout. Marty Turco stopped 30 shots in his "shutout." Dallas has lost five consecutive games.

-Check out the "Forsberg" Kopitar put on Turco in the shootout:

-Matthew Lombardi had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes who edged the Oilers, 3-2. Ales Hemsky had a goal and an assist for Edmonton which has lost three consecutive games and slipped to ninth place in the Eastern Conference.

-Stars captain Brenden Morrow is still hoping to return this season from a knee injury that has sidelined him since late November.

-Dallas defenseman Trevor Daley suffered a knee injury last night.

-Other than the fact that there aren't any fans, ownership is underfunded and the arena lease isn't ideal, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is happy with keeping the Jets in Phoenix.

-Sharks forward Jonathan Cheechoo is dealing with a "lower-body" injury.

Norris Division

-A preview of the Pennsylvania Cup state championships.

-The Pittsburgh Junior Penguins have been awarded a Tier III team through the Central States Hockey League.

-Just exisiting is a success for the Eastern Professional Hockey League.

-Finally, the top ten goaltender blow-ups of all-time:

(Photos: Parise-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Malone-Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

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