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Empty Netter Assists - 03-04-11

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-The Penguins' home game against the Rangers March 20 has been finalized as a nationally televised game on NBC and will start at 12:30 p.m. (PG+)

-"You can’t point at fighting and say that’s the cause of concussions in hockey.” - Former Penguins enforcer Marty McSorley.

-Today would've been the 80th birthday of former Penguins coach "Badger" Bob Johnson. Hired June 12, 1990, Johnson coached the Penguins for one season in 1990-91. He led the team to a 41-33-6 record and the Patrick Division title, the first division title in franchise history. In the 1991 postseason, Johnson guided the franchise to its first Stanley Cup title. In the offseason, Johnson was diagnosed with brain cancer. He passed away Nov. 26, 1991 at the age of 60. Johnson was posthumously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992.

Atlantic Division

-"The fact is he's only playing there because half their team's injured. There's no way that guy should be in the National Hockey League." - Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck on Islanders forward Trevor Gillies. Gillies injured Clutterbuck with a hit to the head Wednesday.

-With former Penguins forward Ruslan Fedotenko (right) recovered from a right shoulder injury, the Rangers demoted forward Kris Newbury to Connecticut of the AHL.

-Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh left last night's game against the Wild due to a knee injury.

Northeast Division

-Tim Thomas made 27 saves for the Bruins in a 2-1 win against the Lightning. The win moved the Bruins past the Lightning for second place in the Eastern Conference. Boston has won seven consecutive games.

-Check out this hit by Tampa Bay's Mattias Ritola on Boston's Steven Kampfer:

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-Happy times for the Bruins. Not so much for Tampa Bay's Mike Smith:

-Boston's Milan Lucic had issues with Tampa Bay's Eric Brewer:

-Lucic being popular:

-Funny Face of the Night: Boston's Nathan Horton leaping towards the net:

-Exhausted times for Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis:

-Nikolai Kulemin and captain Dion Phaneuf each had a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs in a 3-2 win at Philadelphia. James Reimer made 28 saves in the victory. With 67 points, the Maple Leafs are three points out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Former Maple Leafs forward Kris Versteeg scored both of the Flyers' goals. Fire Brian Burke.

-Check out this fluky late save by Reimer with 20 seconds left in regulation:

-Toronto's Keith Aulie preformed a public service when he roughed up Philadelphia's Scott Hartnell in this fight:

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-Thinking Out Loud: Hartnell should be suspended by the NHL for that cross check to Aulie's face, but since this is the NHL we're talking aboutn, nothing will happen.

-A good look at the fight:

-Cool Photo of the Night: Happy, jumpy times for the Maple Leafs:

-Happy times for Versteeg:

-Philadelphia's Sergei Bobrovsky kept his eyes on this puck:

-Bobrovsky was alert for something here:

-Carey Price made 40 saves for the Canadiens in a 4-0 shutout of the Panthers. Lars Eller and Andrei Kostitsyn each had a goal and an assist for Montreal while teammates Travis Moen and James Wisniewski each recorded two assists.

-Canadiens defenseman and former Penguin Hal Gill scored his first goal of the season:

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-Fire Ray Shero.

-Second Funny Face of the Night: Montreal's Max Pacioretty:

-Price kept his eyes on this puck:

-Craig Anderson made 42 saves for the Senators in a 3-1 victory at Atlanta. Anderson has four wins in six starts since being traded from Colorado.

Coming in, I felt we had a good team and had a real good chance to compete for the Cup and that is the reason I signed here. Now we’re going through a different direction, and you don’t want to see your friends leaving and teammates moving to another city. I wouldn’t say I’m frustrated, it’s just a different direction and life is taking different turns and I can’t do much about it.” - Former Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar on his disappointing first season in Ottawa.

Southeast Division

-Michal Neuvirth made 25 saves for the Capitals in a 3-2 win against the Blues. Captain Alex Ovechkin had two assists for Washington. The win gave the fifth-place Capitals, 80 points, one fewer than the fourth-place Penguins.

-Check out the placement on this shot by Washington's Scott Hannan:

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-Washington's Nicklas Backstrom batted this puck out of midair for a goal:

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-Forward Jason Arnott got his first goal with the Capitals:

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-Two good looks at Arnott's goal:

-Second Cool Photo of the Night: Ovechkin taking the ice:

-Neuvirth and the Capitals wore camouflage uniforms in warm ups:

-Neuvirth and teammate Scott Hannan having a moment:

-With 21 wins, Neuvirth broke Bob Mason's franchise record for wins by a rookie goaltender.

-An overtime goal and an assist by Jamie McBain gave the Hurricanes a 3-2 win against the Sabres. Cam Ward made 27 saves in the victory. Steve Montador had a goal and an assist for Buffalo.

-Happy, dentally challenged times for the Sabres:

-With captain Vincent Lecavalier dealing with a "mid-body" (Huh?) injury, the Lightning recalled forwards Mattias Ritola and Blair Jones from Norfolk of the AHL.

-With goaltender Semyon Varlamov dealing with a knee injury, the Capitals recalled goaltender Braden Holtby from Hershey of the AHL.

Central Division

-Pekka Rinne made 29 saves for the Predators in a 3-0 shutout of the Canucks. It was Rinne's fifth shutout of the season.

-Rinne and teammate Patric Hornqvist having a moment:

-Vancouver's Roberto Luongo reached out for this puck:

-Goal of the Night: Check out this steal by Nashville's Patric Hornqvist off Vancouver's Dan Hamhuis and Hornqvist's ensuing goal:

-The Blackhawks will visit the White House March 11 in honor of the Stanley Cup championship last season.

Northwest Division

-Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Kyle Brodziak each had a goal and an assist for the Wild in a 3-1 win against the Rangers. Jose Theodore made 40 saves in the victory. New York has lost three consecutive games and slipped to eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

-Check out this little bit of robbery by Theodore on New York's Ryan Callahan:

-A goal and an assist by Taylor Hall led the Oilers to a 4-2 win against the Blue Jackets. Captain Shawn Horcoff recorded two assists for Edmonton while Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves in the victory.

-Hall injured his left ankle during a fight with Columbus' Derek Dorsett:

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-Dorsett also had issues with Edmonton's Jason Strudwick:

-A wonky right shoulder will sideline Oilers forward Ales Hemsky three weeks.

Pacific Division

-Two goals by Dany Heatley led the Sharks to a 3-1 win against the Red Wings. Patrick Marleau added a goal and an assist for San Jose while Antti Niemi made 26 saves in the victory. The Sharks have won eight consecutive games and 17 out of their past 20 games.

-It wasn't all bad for the Red Wings. Check out this effort by captain Nicklas Lidstrom to keep the puck in the offensive zone which led to a goal by Detroit forward Tomas Holmstrom:

-Detroit's Johan Franzen had issues with San Jose's Marc-Edouard Vlasic:

-Detroit's Mike Modano pumping one on net:

-Third Funny Face of the Night: Heatley in front of Detroit's Joey MacDonald:

-Jonathan Bernier made 25 saves for the Kings in a 1-0 shutout of the Coyotes. Phoenix has lost five consecutive games which have followed an eight-game winning streak.

-Bernier and teammate Wayne Simmonds having a moment:

-New Kings forward Dustin Penner taking the ice:

Adams Division

-When former Red Wings/Whalers/Hurricanes/Flyers forward Keith Primeau speaks about concussions, everyone should listen up.

(Photos: Fedotenko-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Lightning/Bruins-Charles Krupa/Associated Press and Elsa/Getty Images; Maple Leafs/Flyers-Al Bello/Getty Images and Matt Slocum/Associated Press; Canadiens/Panthers-Joel Auerbach/Getty Images; Blues/Capitals-Greg Fiume/Getty Images; Sabres/Hurricanes-Gerry Broome/Associated Press; Predators/Canucks-Rich Lam/Getty Images; Wild/Rangers-Nick Laham/Getty Images; Blue Jackets/Oilers-John Ulan/Canadian Press; Red Wings/Sharks-Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images; Coyotes/Kings-Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

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