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Empty Netter Assists - 01-12-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Dave Molinari's recap from last night's game. "I don't think he's anywhere close to coming back. We can't really wait for him. The guys who are going to pull us out of this aren't Sid or Letang. It's the guys who are in this room. Obviously, we'd love to have those guys in the lineup, but that can't be our attitude right now. We can't wait for those guys." - Brooks Orpik on the absence of Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang.

-The Washington Post's recap. Washington Tomas Vokoun (above, with Tyler Kennedy) recorded his 46th career shutout.

-The Associated Press' recap. Six.

-NHL.com's recap. The Penguins dropped out of the top eight in the Eastern Conference.

-Highlights:

-Craig Adams versus Washington's Matt Hendricks:

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-Henricks took an awkward tumble in front of Marc-Andre Fleury:

-Matt Cooke was all over this puck:

-Pascal Dupuis surveying the ice:

-Welcome back Sidney Crosby... to skating sessions.

-"You can not replace a guy like Sidney. You can not replace a guy like Letang. They miss them big time.” - Senators defenseman and former Penguin Sergei Gonchar on Letang and Crosby.

-An overtime goal and an assist by Zack Torquato gave the Wheeling Nailers a 3-2 win against Toledo Walleye. Peter Delmas made 24 saves in the victory.

-Today would've been the 82nd birthday of former Pittsburgh Hornets and Penguins defenseman Tim Horton (right). An all-star with the Maple Leafs, Horton came to the Penguins in the 1971 offseason when he was claimed from the Rangers in an intra-league draft. His only season with the Penguins was 1971-72. He appeared in 44 games and scored 11 points. During that spring's playoffs, he appeared in four games and recorded one point. During the 1972 offseason, he was claimed by the expansion Sabres in an intra-league draft. Midway through the 1973-74 season with Buffalo, Horton was killed in an automobile crash Feb. 21, 1974. In 1977, Horton was the first Penguins player to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Horton was a founder of the doughnut and coffee chain which bears his name.

-Happy 33rd birthday to former Penguins forward Marian Hossa (right). Acquired at the 2008 trade deadline along with Pascal Dupuis in one of the biggest deals in franchise history which sent Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito and a first-round pick to the Thrashers, Hossa's Penguin's career amounted to 10 points in 12 games during the rest of the 2007-08 regular season. In the playoffs, Hossa was one of the team's top players appearing in 20 games and scoring 26 points including a series clinching overtime goal in Game 5 of an Eastern Conference semifinal round series against the Rangers (below). After helping the Penguins reach the Stanley Cup final for the first time in 16 years, Hossa stunned the hockey world by joining the team which beat the Penguins in the final, the Red Wings as a free agent. He is currently a member of the Blackhawks.

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-Happy 39th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Rich Parent. A free agent in the 2000 offseason, Parent's Penguins career amounted to seven games, a 1-1-3 record, a 3.07 goals against average and .887 save percentage in 2000-01. He was released in the 2001 offseason.

-Happy 37th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Jocelyn Thibault (right). Acquired in the 2005 offseason in a deal which sent a draft pick to the Blackhawks, Thibault spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. In 2005-06, he saw action in 16 games and went 1-9-3 with a 4.46 goals against average and .876 save percentage. During that season, Thibault was in for a 3-2 defeat of the Canadiens, Nov. 10, 2005, the first shootout victory in franchise history. He rebounded from injuries in 2006-07. While serving as Marc-Andre Fleury's backup, Thibault appeared in 22 games, went 7-8-2, had a 2.83 goals against average, a .909 save percentage and one shutout. He saw action in one playoff game that spring and made one save on one shot. During the 2007 postseason, Thibault joined the the Sabres as a free agent. In 38 career regular season games with the Penguins, Thibault had an 8-17-5 record with a 3.52 goals against average and .894 save percentage.

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Atlantic Division

-An overtime goal by captain Zach Parise gave the Devils a 2-1 win against the Oilers. Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and an assist for New Jersey while former Penguin Johan Hedberg made 22 saves in the victory. Fire Craig Patrick.

-Parise's goal:

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-Goal of the Night: Kovalchuk's effort on the penalty kill was fantastic:

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-Parise and Edmonton's Ryan Smyth kept their eyes on this puck:

-Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky is dealing with a shoulder ailment.

-The Rangers demoted former Penguins forward Erik Chistensen to Connecticut of the AHL for conditioning purposes.

-"I knew it would take a few games just to get it back. Now I'm starting to feel better." - Rangers defenseman Marc Staal on his first four games back from a concussion which sidelined him the first three months of the season.

-The Flyers recalled defenseman Erik Gustafsson from Adirondack of the AHL.

-The Islanders activated forward David Ullstrom (concussion) from injured reserve and demoted him to Bridgeport of the AHL.

Northeast Division

-Canadiens captain Brian Gionta (right) will be sidelined indefinitely after surgery to repair a torn right triceps.

-"We prepare for our games like losers. We play like losers. So it's no wonder why we lose." - Canadiens forward Mike Cammalleri on his team's 16-19-7 record.

Southeast Division

-"The doctors, the trainers, the coaching staff will make the decision for me, so I guess the pressure is off me in that way. I'm ready to get back on the bench." - Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner on his recovery from a concussion which has sidelined him for 14 games.

Central Division

-The Blues signed forward Ryan Reaves to a two-year contract extension worth a total of $1.2 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $600,000. Reaves, who is in the final year of a two-way contract, has appeared in 26 games this season and has recorded one assist.

-The Blues recalled defenseman Cade Fairchild from Peoria of the AHL and demoted forward Evgeny Grachev to Peoria.

Northwest Division

-The Avalanche activated forward Peter Mueller (concussion) from injured reserve and placed defenseman Shane O'Brien on injured reserve. Mueller (right) has been limited to 18 games in the past three seasons due to concussion issues.

-With goaltender Josh Harding dealing with an illness, the Wild recalled goaltender Matt Hackett from Houston of the AHL.

-"I wish I could give you a timetable. I'm positive I can come back. The only bad thing about concussions is you don't know how much time it's going to take." - Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard on his recovery from a concussion.

Pacific Division

-The Stars demoted defenseman Jordie Benn to Texas of the AHL.

Norris Division

-According to Yahoo! Sports, the NHL is discussing hosting next season's Winter Classic at the University of Michigan's "Big House," Michigan Stadium.

-An anonymous poll of 161 NHL players revealed Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf (right) is considered the most overated player in the league.

-Maple Leafs overlord Brian Burke was his typically diplomatic self in response to the poll saying, "Yes, players dumb enough to participate in polls designed to crap on fellow NHLPA members are not very bright. They can all go defecate in their chapeaus. I am thrilled to have both players on my team. And by the way? Anyone who wants to tell Dion that in person should fly to Ottawa in about two weeks.”

-Fighting has decreased 25 percent in the NHL this season.

-Former Blues/Coyotes/Stars/Kings forward Ladislav Nagy has joined Dinamo Minsk of the KHL.

-Former Wild/Predators forward Peter Ölvecky has joined Växjö of the Elitserien in Sweden.

(Photo: Penguins/Capitals-Patrick McDermott/Getty Images and Nick Wass/Associated Press; Horton-Penguins Hockey Cards; Hossa-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Thibault-Dave Sandford/Getty Images; Devils/Oilers-John Ulan/Canadian Press; Gionta-Jeff Gross/Getty Images; Mueller-Christian Petersen/Getty Images; Phaneuf-Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

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