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Empty Netter Assists - 12-23-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

(Note: On account of traveling to Washington today, we'll post a recap of the second episode of "24/7" Friday morning.)

Penguins

-Shelly Anderson's recap from last night's game. Ben Lovejoy is probably the last guy you would expect to contend for a Gordie Howe Hat Trick.

-The Miami Herald's recap. "The game was over in the first 10 minutes." - Panthers coach Peter DeBoer.

-The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's recap. "We were a little sloppy, a little sluggish. That team will make you pay, especially in this building.'' - Panthers forward Stephen Weiss.

-The Associated Press' recap. "We made it a lot closer than we needed it to be. Partly because, I think, knowing that we play tomorrow night. I’m sure guys might have been secretly trying to save a little bit.” - Sidney Crosby (above, with Evgeni Malkin) on his team's play lagging late in the game.

-NHL.com's recap. This story manages to mention Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals three times before bringing up the fact that the Panthers were involved in a game with the Penguins.

-Mike Lange's goal calls.

-Highlights.

-Lovejoy versus Florida's Shawn Matthias:

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-Mike Rupp versus Florida's Darcy Hordichuk:

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-Happy times for Chris Conner, Mark Letestu and Tyler Kennedy:

-It was just one of those nights for the Panthers. Captain Bryan McCabe:

-Scott Clemmensen:

-And Tomas Vokoun:

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-Lovejoy speaks:

-Marc-Andre Fleury speaks:

-The transformation of Heinz Field into a hockey rink begins at midnight.

-The NHL released a really pro-Pittsburgh video for the Winter Classic:

-FSN Pittsburgh will air some classic replays of Penguins games Christmas day.

-The Pensblog address the "Wooo" epidemic at Consol Energy Center.

-Happy 28th birthday to current Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek. A free agent this past offseason, Michalek is in his first season with the Penguins. He has appeared in 25 games and has recorded five assists.

-Happy 27th birthday to current Penguins forward Chris Conner (right). A free agent signing in the 2009 offseason, Conner has spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. In 2009-10, Conner appeared in eight games and scored three points. During the 2010 postseason, Conner played in one game and failed to record a point. This season, Conner has seen action in 18 games and has compiled five points. In 26 career regular season games with the Penguins, Conner has scored eight points.

-Happy 34th birthday to former Penguins forward Mikael Samuelsson. Acquired late in the 2002-03 season along with Joel Bouchard, Richard Lintner and Rico Fata in a deal which sent Mike Wilson, Alex Kovalev, Janne Laukkanen and Dan LaCouture to the Rangers, Samuelsson's Penguins' career amounted to 22 games and two assists that campaign. In the 2003 offseason, Samuelsson and two draft picks were traded to the Panthers for two draft pick, one of which was used to select Marc-Andre Fleury. Samuelsson is currently a member of the Canucks.

-Happy 46th birthday to former Penguins forward Petr Klima. Acquired early in the 1996-97 season in a trade which sent a conditional draft pick to the Kings, Klima appeared in nine games and scored four points that campaign for the Penguins. He was released midway through the season. As a result, the Kings were forced to return the draft pick.

Atlantic Division

-John Tavares had an overtime goal and an assist to give the Islanders a 2-1 win against the Lightning. Teammate Andrew MacDonald recorded two assists while Dwayne Roloson made 34 saves in the victory.

-A good look at Tavares scoring on Tampa Bay's Mike Lundin and Dan Ellis:

-Rare, happy times on Long Island:

-Islanders defenseman and former Penguin Mark Eaton returned to the lineup after missing three games due to a groin injury.

-The Islanders recalled forward Josh Bailey from Bridgeport of the AHL.

-Stop us if you've heard this before. Rangers forward Marian Gaborik has a groin injury.

-With Gaborik injured, the Rangers recalled forward Mats Zuccarello from Connecticut of the AHL.

Northeast Division

-Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller (right) has a chance to record his 200th career win tonight against the Panthers.

-Buffalo defenseman Shaone Morrisonn (concussion) was given medical clearance to resume play.

Southeast Division

-Capitals defensive prospect, Patrick Wey, a Mt. Lebanon native, was chosen to Team USA's roster for the World Junior Championships.

-The entire United States roster can be viewed here.

Central Division

-Two goals by Henrik Zetterberg, including one in overtime, and an assist gave the Red Wings a 5-4 win against the Canucks. Danny Cleary added a goal and an assist for Detroit while teammate Brian Rafalski recorded three assists. Jimmy Howard made 35 saves in the victory. Captain Henrik Sedin had a goal and an assist for Vancouver which had a four-game winning streak snapped.

-Zetterberg's overtime goal:

-It wasn't all good news for the Red Wings. Forward Pavel Datsyuk is expected to be sidelined four weeks due to a broken hand:

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

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-Check out this later Vancouver's Jeff Tambellini scored on:

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-If you can imagine such a thing, Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom was screening Vancouver's Roberto Luongo:

-Two goals by Jack Skille helped the Blackhawks beat the Predators, 4-1. Dave Bolland added a goal and an assist for Chicago while teammate Duncan Keith recorded two assists. Corey Crawford made 23 saves in the victory.

-Chicago's Bryan Bickell flashed a nice hockey smile with Skille:

-Crawford kept his eyes on this puck:

-The Red Wings are good people:

Northwest Division

-Oilers defenseman and former Penguin Ryan Whitney finally got his first goal of the season. In Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Oilers, Whitney appeared to score a goal late in regulation. The goal was initally awarded to Oilers forward Dustin Penner who was in front on a screen. Several hours later after a video review, the league credited Whitney with the goal. With 24 points -all assists - prior to the game, Whitney was chasing a quirky record of  most points without a goal to start the season. As it is, former Maple Leafs defefenseman Jimmy Thomson's 29 goaless points is still the record.

-Wild coach Todd Richards called out defenseman Cam Barker for not being aggressive.

Pacific Division

-The Coyotes placed forward Taylor Pyatt ("upper body") on injured reserve and recalled forward Mikkel Boedker from San Antonio of the AHL. Pyatt was injured in a fight with Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland Monday.

-Coyotes forward Ray Whitney (right) is the only member of the Sharks' innagural team in 1991-92 still playing in the NHL.

-The Ducks demoted forward Josh Green to Syracuse of the AHL.

Smythe Division

-Former Rangers forward Christian Dube has joined Gottéron of the NLA in Switzerland.

-Happy 85th birthday to former Pittsburgh Hornets forward Bob Solinger.

(Photos: Panthers/Penguins-Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press; Conner and Whitney-Jamie Sabau/Getty Images; Lightning/Islanders-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images and Kathy Kmonicek/Associated Press; Miller-Rick Stewart/Getty Images; Canucks/Red Wings-Claus Andersen/Getty Images; Predators/Blackhawks-Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images and Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press)

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