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Empty Netter Assists - Eastern Conference - 12-24-08

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Dave Molinari's recap from last night's game. Ruslan Fedotenko said there was no excuse for the loss.

-The Associated Press' recap. Lightning goaltender Mike Smith described the win  as "like a sigh of relief."

-The Tampa Tribune's recap. Paul Szczechura had his first career two-point game.

-The St. Petersburg Times' recap. Rick Tocchet called a save by Smith on Evgeni Malkin on a breakaway, "huge."

-Tocchet praised Crosby for being willing to get "his nose dirty."

-Michel Therrien was not happy after last night.

-Lightning forward Ryan Malone used to play for the Penguins.

-Malone and Rob Scuderi gave each other the business last night:

-We got the Scuderi hit wrong in our live blog last night. We saw an uniform number with "4" and just assumed it was Brooks Orpik delivering that blow. What a hit.

-Keep that Adam Hall jersey in mothballs.

-Today's sign we're lucky to have FSN Pittsburgh: Sun Sports, the Lightning's local television affiliate, had a Miami Heat game on instead of the hockey game last night.

-With Ryan Whitney back, which defenseman sits for the Penguins?

-Evgeni Malkin (right) surpassed a million votes in All-Star Lame Game balloting.

-Sabres coach Lindy Ruff had a very subtle way of disputing Sidney Crosby's overtime goal Monday night.

Atlantic Division

-Simon Gagne had a goal and an assist for the Flyers in a 6-4 defeat of the Senators. Teammate Scott Hartnell added two assists. Ottawa was led by Dany Heatley who had two goals and an assist. Senators defenseman Anton Volchenkov suffered a head injury in the first period and did not return to the game.

-The Flyers recalled forward Andreas Nodl from their puppy-drowning AHL affiliate.

-Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro has resumed practicing.

-New Jersey forward Brian Rolston took a puck to the face last night.

-These aren't the same old, boring Devils.

-New Jersey's players held an "ugly sweater" party with their families. Bill Cowher not impressed:

Northeast Division

-Tim Thomas made 25 saves and directed the Bruins to a 2-0 shutout win at New Jersey. Boston forward Phil Kessel had an 18-game point-scoring streak snapped.

-Check out one of Thomas' saves:

-Should Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara be getting consideration for the Norris Trophy?

Southeast Division

-Shaone Morrisonn's overtime goal gave the Capitals a crazy 5-4 comeback road win against the Rangers. New York lost despite owning a 4-0 lead early in the second period. Alex Ovechkin sparked the comeback with two goals and an assist while Nicklas Backstrom contributed three assists. Ryan Callahan led the Rangers with two goals while teammate Chris Drury contributed three assists.

-Ovechkin's first goal was a bit of fluke:

-His second goal was on the money and it sent the game to overtime:

-Bryan Little scored two goals for the Thrashers in a 4-2 road win against the Islanders. Teammates Ilya Kovalchuk had two assists while former Penguin Colby Armstrong added a goal. Fire Ray Shero. Johan Hedberg, also a former Penguin, made 23 saves in the win. Fire Craig Patrick. Another former Penguin, Andy Hilbert, scored a goal for New York. Fire Ray Shero.

-Kovalchuk recorded his 500th career point.

-Tomas Vokoun made 27 saves and led the Panthers to a 3-0 shutout win against his former team, the Predators. Michael Frolik scored two goals in the win. From the "life isn't fair" department, Nashville's Pekka Rinne made 40 saves and lost.

-The Capitals recalled forward Andrew Gordon and defensman Bryan Helmer from Hershey of the AHL. Forward Donald Brashear is dealing with a leg injury.

-Washington goaltender Brent Johnson is dealing with an illness.

-Lightning goaltender Olaf Kolzig is good people.

-Panthers defenseman and former Penguin Noah Welch was honored for agreeing to donate his brain to science. Fire Ray Shero.

(Photos: Malkin-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Cowher-Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

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