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Empty Netter Assists - 3-22-09

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Greg Wyshynski examines why Sidney Crosby is such a polarizing figure.

-Is Evgeni Malkin the Dwayne Wade of the NHL?

-We've heard about it. And finally, courtesy of a reader at The Pensblog, we've seen it. The stunning red suit Penguins goon Eric Godard wore during Friday's game against the Kings:

-Jordan Staal might've gotten sunburnt standing that close to that thing.

-Here's a video showing Evgeni Malkin's hit to the head of Kings forward Wayne Simmonds and the post-game "discussion" between the two teams:

-Some 25 years later, former Penguins forward Ron Duguay still has it. And by "it" we mean, that fantastic head of hair.

-Adam Berkhoel had 28 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 2-1 loss at Norfolk.

-The Penguins managed to hit the net six times last night. Unfortunately, it was the metal part of it.

-This might be the best photo of Miroslav Satan playing soccer you see all day.

-Billy Ryan had a goal and two assists and led the Wheeling Nailers to a 5-4 defeat of the Reading Royals. Reid Cashman, Bryan Ewing and Jordan Morrison each added a goal and an assist for Wheeling.

Atlantic Division

-Scoreboard Watch for the Penguins: Ryan Callahan had two goals and led the Rangers to a 5-2 defeat of the Sabres. Nik Antropov added two assists for New York which has won seven of its past nine games. Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves in the win. The Rangers are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 84 points, two less than the Penguins who are in fifth place with 86. The Sabres, who have lost six of their past seven games, are in tenth place with 76 points.

-Could today's Bruins-Devils matchup be a preview of the Eastern Conference final?

-Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur doesn't expect to set the NHL's record for career shutouts this season.

Northeast Division

-Scoreboard Watch for the Penguins: The Canadiens continue to fall apart. Alexei Ponikarovsky had two goals and two assists for the Maple Leafs who smacked the rival Canadiens, 5-2. Mikhail Grabovski (right with Nikolai Kulemin, No. 41) added a goal and an three assists while Kulemin had a goal and two assists. Maxim Lapierre had two goals for Montreal which has lost five consecutive games. The Canadiens are in eighth place with 81 points, five less than the Penguins.

-Canadiens fans chanted "Car-Bo! Car-Bo!" in honor of former coach Guy Carbonneau who was fired earlier this month.

-Nick Foligno had a goal and an assist and led the Senators to a 5-2 defeat of the Islanders. Daniel Alfredsson added three assists while Brendan Bell recorded two assists for Ottawa which has won eight of its past nine games. Josh Bailey led New York with two goals.

-Awesome YouTube Find of the Day: Providence Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask completely flipping out after a 2-1 shootout loss to the Albany River Rats Friday:

-The Sabres keep on getting burnt by former captains Daniel Briere and Chris Drury.

-The Senators have gone 9-4-1 since acquiring forwad Mike Comrie and defenseman Chris Campoli from the Islanders.

-This is a few days old, but check out this nifty goal Senators forward and former Penguin Jarkko Ruutu scored recently:

-Fire Ray Shero.

-Former Maple Leafs forward Walt Poddubny collapsed and died. He was 49.

Southeast Division

-Scoreboard Watch for the Penguins: Cam Ward made 31 saves and led the Hurricanes to a 4-1 win against the Capitals. The Hurricanes, who have won three consecutive games, are in sixth place with 85 points, one less than the Penguins.

-Slava Kozlov's shootout goal gave the Thrashers a 4-3 win at Tampa Bay. Kozlov, Ilya Kovalchuk and Todd White each had a goal and an assist for Atlanta which has won seven of its past nine games. Steven Stamkos led the Lightning with two goals.

-Forward Bryan Little (right) has been a lone bright spot in the Thrashers' season.

-The Panthers took a pretty critical loss last night.

-Former Penguins defenseman Noah Welch's career with the Lightning is not off to a good start.

-Despite having laid off seven employees recently, Lightning owner Oren Koules found a way to hire the wife of general manager Brian Lawton as head of corporate communications.

Central Division

-Scoreboard Watch for the Penguins: Two goals from Raffi Torres lifted the Blue Jackets to a 3-1 win at Florida. Antoine Vermette added a goal for Columbus. He has seven points (five goals, two assists) in six games since being acquired from Ottawa. Columbus has won six of its past seven games. Florida is in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 80 points, six less than the Penguins.

-Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp is expected to return to the lineup today. He has missed 16 games due to a knee injury.

-Chicago forward Ben Eager was suspended three games for a hit to the head of Oilers forward Liam Reddox.

-How legit are the Blue Jackets' playoff chances?

-The Red Wings are on the verge of having four 30-goal scorers, including former Penguins forward Marian Hossa. Fire Ray Shero.

-Its been ten years since Chris Chelios joined the Red Wings.

-Predators captain Jason Arnott is still dealing with an "upper-body" injury thought to be a concussion.

-Goaltender Chris Mason (right) is the reason the Blues are still in the playoff hunt.

Northwest Division

-Flames coach Mike Keenan does not approve of the theatrics of Washington Alex Ovechkin.

-The Canucks really missed an opportunity in Phoenix last night.

-Avalanche defenseman Ruslan Salei is dealing with a foot injury.

-Wild forward Marian Gaborik is expected to return to the lineup tonight for the first time since Dec. 23.

-Minnesota defenseman Marek Zidlicky is day-to-day due to a "lower-body" injury.

Pacific Division

-Joe Pavelski had a goal and two assists for the Sharks in a 5-2 defeat of the Stars. Teammates Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi each added a goal and an assist.

-After missing 15 games due to a broken right wrist, Stars forward Brad Richards returned to the lineup yesterday only to suffer a spiral fracture in his left hand. He is expected to miss the rest of the season.

-Ilya Bryzgalov had 35 saves and led the Coyotes to a 5-1 win against the Canucks. Vancouver had a four-game winning streak snapped.

-Check out this simply bizarre goal Phoenix's Viktor Tikhonov "scored" on a delayed Coyotes penalty:

-Sharks coach Todd McLellan is still hoping to have injured forward Torrey Mitchell (leg) back in time for the playoffs.

Smythe Division

-Mercyhurst fell to Air Force, 2-0, in the championship game of the Atlantic Hockey tournament.

-Terry Frei of the Denver Post takes a look at the NHL's best teams before and after the lockout.

-Today's "Americans have ruined hockey" piece is brought to you by Peter Adler for the Edmonton Journal.

(Photos: Grabovski-Graham Hughes/Canadian Press; Little-Victor Decolongon/Getty Images; Mason-Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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