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Empty Netter Assists - 12-19-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-"Next show, maybe they'll show me more." - Evgeni Malkin (above) on "24/7."

-Playing time has been hard to come by for Ben Lovejoy.

-The Winter Classic could generate $22 million for the city.

-John Curry made 29 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 3-1 loss to the Syracuse Crunch.

-Highlights courtesy of The Pensblog's Eric Politowski:

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-Dany Masse and Kyle Bushee each had a goal and two assists for the Wheeling Nailers in a 7-2 rout of the Cincinnati Cyclones. Teammates Ben Street, Jason DeSantis and Nick Petersen each added a goal and an assist while Patrick Killeen made 18 saves in the victory.

-Happy 67th birthday to former Penguins captain Ron Schock (right). Acquired in the 1969 offseason along with Craig Cameron and a draft pick in a deal which sent Lou Angotti and a draft pick to the Blues, Schock spent eight seasons with the Penguins. In 1969-70, Schock appeared in 76 games and scored 29 points. During the franchise's first postseason appeareance in 1970, Schock played in 10 games and netted seven poitns. He followed that up in 1970-71 by playing in 71 games and recording 41 points. During 1971-72, Schock played in 77 games and scored 46 points. In that spring's postseason, Schock played in four games and recorded one assist. Dressing for 78 games in 1972-73, Schock compiled 49 points. Named the franchise's third captain in 1973-74, Schock played in 77 games and netted 43 points. Schock's best season was 1974-75 when he set career highs for games (80), goals (23), assists (63) and points (80). In nine games that postseason, he recorded four points. The 1975-76 campaign, Schock appeared in 80 games and scored 62 points. In the playoffs, he recorded one assist in three games. Schock's final season in Pittsburgh was 1976-77. He played in 80 games and scored 49 points.  During the postseason, he appeared in three games and netted on assist. In the 1977 offseason, he was traded to the Sabres in exchange for Brian Spencer. Schock appeared in 619 games with the Penguins, (sixth-most), scored 404 points (12th-most) and 14 shorthanded goals (second-most). Arguably the most durable player in franchise history, Schock holds the franchise record for consecutive games with 313.

-Happy 40th birthday to former Penguins forward Robert Lang (right). Claimed off waivers from the Bruins early in the 1997-98 season, Lang spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1997-98 by appearing in 51 games for the Penguins and scoring 22 points. During that spring's playoffs, he appeared in six games and recorded six assists. He followed that up in 1998-99 by playing in 72 games and recording 44 points. In the 1999 postseason, he saw action in 12 games and recorded two assists. In 1999-2000, Lang played in 78 games and scored 65 points. The 2000 playoffs saw him appear in 11 games and score six points. Lang's best season was 2000-01. Playing primarily on a line with Alex Kovalev and Martin Straka, Lang set career highs for games (82), goals (32), assists (48) and points (80). During that spring's postseason, Lang appeared in 16 games and scored eight points. In 2001-02, Lang appeared in 62 games and scored 50 points. During the 2002 offseason, Lang joined the Capitals as a free agent. In 345 regular season games with the Penguins, Lang scored 261 points, 27th-most in franchise history. In 45 postseason games, he scored 19 points.

Atlantic Division

-Two goals by Nikolay Zherdev led the Flyers to a 4-1 win against his former team, the Rangers. Brian Boucher made 24 saves in the victory which was Philadelphia's fifth in a row.

-Check out this pass by Philadelphia's Claude Giroux to set up Andreas Nodl for a goal:

-A good look at the goal:

-Rangers forward Dale Weise had some Gatorade issues:

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-As if that wasn't bad enough, Weise was demoted to Connecticut of the AHL after the game.

-Flyers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is... uh... Bob:

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-With goaltender Rick DiPietro's surgically repaired right knee swelling up a bit, the Islanders recalled goaltender Nathan Lawson from Bridgeport of the AHL.

-Islanders forward and former Penguin Jon Sim cleared waivers.

Northeast Division

-Patrice Bergeron and Blake Wheeler each had a goal and an assist for the Bruins in a 3-2 win against the Capitals. Tim Thomas made 39 saves in the victory. The Capitals have lost eight consecutive games.

-Funny Face of the Night: Washington's Matt Bradley fighting Boston's Adam McQuaid:

-A fan actually ran on the ice:

-Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau instructs his players to look at assistant coach Dean Evason for instructions on what body part to grab:

-We think.

-Boston's Steve Kampfer put a little too much torque on this stick:

-Thirsty times for Washington's Michal Neuvirth:

-The Bruins won despite being outshot, 26-2, in the third period.

Southeast Division

-Eric Boulton's first career hat trick led the Thrashers to a 7-1 rout of the Devils. Former Penguin Chris Thorburn added a goal and two assists for Atlanta while teammates Ron Hainsey and Evander Kane each netted a goal and an assist. Fire Ray Shero. Ondrej Pavelec made 26 saves in the victory.

-Boulton's hat trick:

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-Happy times for Boulton:

-The win moved Atlanta into first place in the Southeast Division.

-"That was embarrassing not only for myself, but for all of us. I’m at a loss for words right now.” - Devils goaltender and former Thrasher Johan Hedberg on his return to Atlanta.

-"It was a bad effort and embarrassing effort." - Devils coach John MacLean.

-A goal and two assists by Martin St. Louis led the Lightning to a 3-1 win defeat of the Sabres. Teammate Steven Stamkos added a goal and an assist while Mike Smith made 22 saves in the victory.

-A hat trick by captain Eric Staal led the Hurricanes to a 4-2 win against the Ducks. Jussi Jokinen recorded two assists while Cam Ward made 43 saves in the victory. Captain Ryan Getzlaf had two goals for Anaheim.

-Staal's hat trick:

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-Staal being popular:

Central Division

-The Predators demoted forward Steve Begin and goaltender Mark Dekanich to Milwaukee of the AHL.

-The Blues demoted defenseman Nikita Nikitin to Peoria of the AHL.

-If you read one link today, please make it this one. Nine years after her death, the family of Blue Jackets fan Brittanie Cecil finally met former Columbus player Espen Knutsen. Cecil died from injuries after she was struck by a deflected shot by Knutsen in 2002.

Northwest Division

-Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen each had a goal and an assist for Vancouver in a 4-1 defeat of the Maple Leafs. Teammate Kevin Bieksa recorded two assists while Roberto Luongo made 27 saves in the victory.

-Check out this pass by Vancouver's Ryan Kesler to set up Hansen for a goal:

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-Vancouver's infamous "Green Men" tormented the Maple Leafs:

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-Luongo kept his eyes on this puck:

-It's been that kind of season for the Maple Leafs:

-Captain Mikko Koivu had a goal and two assists for the Wild in a 3-1 win at Calgary. Brent Burns recorded two assists for Minnesota while Niklas Backstrom made 28 saves in the victory.

-Check out the passing on this goal by Minnesota's Chuck Kobasew:

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-It was that kind of night for Flames coach Brent Sutter:

-Wild defenseman Nick Schultz left the game in the third period due to an "upper body" injury.

-In 18 games since he was acquired from the Canadiens, defenseman Ryan O'Byrne has been a steal so far for the Avalanche.

Pacific Division

-Shootout goals by captain Shane Doan, Radim Vrbata and Kyle Turris gave the Coyotes a 4-3 win against the Islanders. Vrbata had a goal and an assist in regulation while Doan and teammate Keith Yandle each recorded two assists. Jason LaBarbera made 41 saves in the victory. Michael Grabner and Jesse Joensuu each netted a goal and an assist for New York.

-Turris' goal was fancy:

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-Cool Photo of the Night: LaBarbera facing New York's Frans Nielsen in the shootout:

-New York's Trevor Gillies and Phoenix's Paul Bissonnette had issues:

-New York's Jack Hillen got the drop on Phoenix's Taylor Pyatt:

-Two goals by Brad Richards gave the Stars a 2-1 win at Columbus. Kari Lehtonen made 36 saves in the victory.

-Check out this save by Lehtonen on Columbus' Mike Commodore:

-Fight of the Night: Dallas' Krys Barch and Columbus' Tom Sestito:

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-Two goals by Ryan Smyth helped the Kings rout the Predators, 6-1. Drew Doughty, Trevor Lewis and former Penguin Alexei Ponikarovsky each added a goal and an assist for Los Angeles while teammates Dustin Brown, Oscar Moller and Jarret Stoll each recorded two assists. Fire Ray Shero. Jonathan Bernier made 29 saves in the win.

-Two goals by Logan Couture led the Sharks to a 4-1 win at St. Louis. Marc-Edouard Vlasic added goal and an assist while teammate Dan Boyle recorded two assists. Antero Niittymaki made 21 saves in the victory.

-San Jose's Ryane Clowe and St. Louis B.J. Crombeen had issues:

-Not to be outdone by the Belfast Giants, the Sharks put out their own Christmas video:

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Adams Division

-Former Major League Baseball Players Association head Donald Fehr was officially approved as the new head of the NHLPA.

-Fehr made an appearance on Hockey Night in Canada:

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-An overtime goal by Nathan Longpre gave the Robert Morris men's team a 3-2 win against Colgate.

-Highlights:

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(Photos: Malkin-Rick Stewart/Getty Images; Schock-Penguins Hockey Cards; Lang-Peter Diana/Post-Gazette; Rangers/Flyers-Matt Slocum/Associated Press; Capitals/Bruins-Michael Dwyer/Associated Press and Elsa/Getty Images; Devils/Thrashers-David Goldman/Associated Press; Ducks/Hurricanes-Gerry Broome/Associated Press; Maple Leafs/Canucks-Rich Lam/Getty Images; Wild/Flames-Jeff MacIntosh/Canadian Press; Coyotes/Islanders-Al Bello/Getty Images; Sharks/Blues-Jeff Roberson/Associated Press)

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