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Empty Netter Assists - Eastern Conference - 2-27-09

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Ron Cook says you'll miss Ryan Whitney (right, with Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar).

-Bob Smizik says don't expect the second coming of Marian Hossa in Chris Kunitz.

-What is the long-term impact of the Penguins-Ducks trade?

-What do you think of the move? Vote on it here.

-Illegal Curve gives the Ducks the advantage in the deal.

-PensBurgh likes the move.

-Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! thinks the trade is good for each side.

-The Confluence thinks Ray Shero's not done.

-Hooks Orpik takes a look at Ryan Whitney's time as a Penguin.

-Yesterday was weird one for Whitney.

-How does the move influence Whitney's fantasy value?

-Whitney grew up idolizing current teammates Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer.

"I guarantee you it's harder to get a top-four defenseman than a top-six forward." - Ducks general manager Bob Murray.

-Just a programming note. We hope to have a Ryan Whitney edition of "The Departed" for Saturday.

-Dan Bylsma used to be a teammate of Chris Kunitz.

-Maple Leafs overlord and former Ducks general manager Brian Burke called Kunitz a "Swiss Army knife player."

-Even though he's from Philadelphia, half of new Penguins prospect Eric Tangradi's family roots for the Penguins and Steelers. He wants to convert the other half.

-This may be a tad early to do this, but we're going to start taking futures on "Eric Tangradi is from Philadelphia" remarks on Penguins-Flyers telecasts. It could very well reach Umbergerian proprotions. Let's go with 234 1/2 in that first game whenever it might be.

-Faceoff-Factor scored an interview with Penguins prospect Nathan Moon.

Atlantic Division

-It's amazing what 50 games off can do for a goaltender's energy. Martin Brodeur (right) played his first game in nearly four months, made 24 saves and led the Devils to a 4-0 win against the Avalanche. It was his 99th career shutout. Zach Parise and Travis Zajac each had a goal and two assists for New Jersey while Jamie Langenbrunner added a goal and an assist.

-Brodeur wasn't exactly tested all that much by Colorado.

-Devils defenseman and former Canadian prime minster Paul Martin also returned to the lineup last night.

-With forward Daniel Briere expected to return to the lineup tonight, the Flyers put forward Glen Metropolit and defenseman Ossi Vaananen on waivers.

-Should the Islanders hang on to Yann Danis as their backup goaltender?

-Rangers fans still hate remember Islanders hall-of-fame defenseman Denis Potvin.

-Today's "Glen Sather has ruined the Rangers" piece is brought to you by Mark Herrmann of Newsday.

Northeast Division

-The Ryan Whitney era didn't get off to such a hot start in Anaheim. Tim Thomas made 35 saves while Michael Ryder had two goals and an assist for the Bruins who blasted the Ducks, 6-0. Teammate Chuck Kobasew added two goals. For his part, Whitney was OK. He had 24:19 of ice time, had an even plus/minus, one shot and three blocked shots. He was beaten one-on-one for a fluky power-play goal. Michael Ryder challenged Whitney and kind threw a puck on net that bounced off Phil Kessel's leg. Only Chris Pronger (25:42), a former Norris Trophy winner, had more ice time for Anaheim.

-A last minute decision last night prompted Whitney's debut with Anaheim.

-Boston forwards Milan Lucic and Marc Savard left the game with "upper body" injuries.

-This is how Savard got injured:

-Lucic showed a lot of guts hitting Anaheim's Mike Brown repeatedly while he was on the ice last night:

-Amazing how Bruins television broadcaster Jack Edwards will routinely call out opposing players for similar acts but was outright exulting in Lucic's cowardice.

-Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward did not play due to an illness.

-Shootout goals by Jason Blake and Tim Stapleton led the Maple Leafs to a 5-4 defeat of the Islanders. Blake and Ian White each had two assists for Toronto. Jon Sim and Mark Streit had a goal and an assist each for the Islanders.

-Stapleton came up huge in his NHL debut:

-Check out Blake's goal:

-Check out this cheap shot New York defenseman Brendan Witt landed on Toronto's Niklas Hagman last night:

-Assuming Hagman's girlfriend is alright, we don't anticipate the NHL to give Witt a suspension.

-Montreal's Guy Carbonneau is the latest head coach not happy with former Penguins enforcer Georges Laraque.

-Darren Dreger of TSN is reporting Canadiens defenseman Mathieu Dandenault has requested a trade.

-Some good news for the Sabres. Forward Thomas Vanek is close to returning from a broken jaw that has sidelined him since Feb. 7.

-Senators forward Chris Neil wants to remain in Ottawa.

Southeast Division

-Scoreboard Watch for the Penguins: Nice to see that coaching change has really helped the Rangers. Craig Anderson made 40 saves and led the Panthers to a 2-1 defeat of the Rangers. New York is 0-1-1 since John Tortorella took over for Tom Renney as head coach. Florida and New York are in sixth and seventh place respectively in the Eastern Conference with 70 point each, four more than the Penguins who are in tenth place with 66 points.

-Scoreboard Watch for the Penguins: This was the last thing the Penguins needed. Two teams they're chasing each getting at least one point. Jussi Jokinen's shootout goal gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 win against the Sabres. Cam Ward made 36 saves in the win. Former Penguins goaltender Patrick Lalime made 31 saves for Buffalo. The Sabres and Hurricanes are in eighth and ninth place respectively with 69 points, three more than the Penguins.

-Check out this hit by Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta on Carolina's Rod Brind'Amour:

-Is that dirty? Other than leave his skates, did Kaleta do anything wrong there? He didn't hit Brind'Amour in the head or from behind.

-Alexander Semin had a goal and two assists for the Capitals who edged the Thrashers, 4-3. Teammate Mike Green added his 16th power-play goal of the season and an assist. He tied Scott Steven's franchise record for power-play goals in a season. Ilya Kovalchuk and Todd White each had a goal and an assist for the Thrashers.

-Washington's Donald Brashear and Atlanta's Eric Boulton knocked the daylights out of each other last night:

-Are the Capitals on track to run into similar salary cap issues as the Penguins?

-Panthers forward Cory Stillman (ankle) and goaltender Tomas Vokoun (ear infection) are dealing with ailments.

-The Lightning is a team that gets it. At least in terms of how to treat its fan base. Tampa Bay is lowering season-ticket prices.

 (Photos: Whitney and Brodeur-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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