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Empty Netter Assists - Western Conference - 12-19-08

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Central Division

-The Red Wings apparently haven't heard about this whole "San Jose Sharks are the best team in the league" thing. Former Penguins goaltender Ty Conklin made 24 saves and recorded his sixth career shutout as the Red Wings blasted the Sharks, 6-0. Fire Ray Shero. Detroit was led on offense by Pavel Datsyuk who had two goals and two assists and another former Penguin, Marian Hossa who had a goal and an assist. Fire Ray Shero. Sharks forward Jonathan Cheechoo played after missing eight games with an "upper-body" injury.

-Blues defenseman Eric Brewer (right) is out indefinitely with a back injury.

-Former Columbus goaltender Fredrik Norrena cleared unconditional waviers and had his contract with the Blue Jackets terminated. He is expected to join a team in Russia.

-Blue Jackets forward Derick Brassard suffered a shoulder injury in a fight last night.

-Columbus put foward Jason Chimera on injured reserve due to a groin injury and recalled forward Alexandre Picard from Syracuse of the AHL.

-The bars in Wrigleyville will open early for the Winter Classic.

-You thought all those delays with the Zambonis were bad at last season's Winter Classic were bad? Check out what happened when they were just trying to unload one at the site of this season's game:

(Kudos to Going Five Hole for the heads up.)

Northwest Division

-Milan Hejduk's shootout goal gave the Avalanche a 2-1 win at Tampa Bay. Hejduk was only awarded the goal after it was ruled Lightning goaltender Mike Smith threw his stick at him. Following the game, teammate held Smith back away from officials. Tampa Bay forward Jeff Halpern made his season debut and scored a goal. He has not played since suffering a serious knee in jury in the IIHF World Championships in the spring. Lightning forward and former Penguin Ryan Malone played his first game after missing five due to an "upper-body" injury.

-The Avalanche is doing a dads' trip.

-How much will Mats Sundin really help the Canucks?

-Sundin took less money to join Vancouver.

-Maple Leafs general manager and former Canucks general manager Brian Burke threw a hissy fit over not being involved with the jersey retirement ceremony for former Vancouver captain Trevor Linden.

Pacific Division

-Shootout goals by Brad Richards and Mike Ribeiro gave the Stars a 6-5 win against the Blue Jackets. Richards had a goal and three assists in regulation while teammate Loui Eriksson scored his first career hat trick. Rick Nash led Columbus with two goals and an assist. Dallas has gone 5-3-0 without Sean Avery in the lineup.

-That rare positive note for Dallas is followed by this bit of gloomy news; Stars defenseman and former Penguin Sergei Zubov (right) will undergo hip surgery in January and will miss the rest of the season.

-The Stars activated forwards Steve Ott and Joel Lundqvist from injured reserve and demoted forward Chris Connor to Peoria of the AHL.

-Two goals by Kyle Turris helped the Coyotes edge the Predators, 2-1. Ilya Bryzgalov made 30 saves for Phoenix.

-Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere will miss one game to attend to the death of his father. With Giguere absent, the Ducks recalled goaltender David LeNeveu from Iowa of the AHL.

-Anaheim's fourth line of Washington, Pa. native George Parros, Bobby Ryan and Ryan Carter has been producing offense.

-The Kings assigned forward Oscar Moller to Sweden's national junior team for the World Junior Championships and recalled forward Trevor Lewis from Manchester of the AHL.

-Sharks coach and former Red Wings assistant Todd McLellan collected his Stanley Cup championship ring yesterday.

Norris Division

-The best and worst hockey bobbleheads of all time.

-Over half the NHL's teams have cut ticket prices this season in some regard.

(Photos: Brewer-Gregory Shamus/Getty Images; Zubov-Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

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