Empty Netter Assists - 03-16-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Dave Molinari's recap from last night's game. Welcome back Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang.

-Newsday's recap. "We get them one more time. We're still in first place and we're still a good team." - Rangers forward Brad Richards.

-The New York Daily News' recap. “They just seemed to have it a little bit more than us tonight." - Rangers goaltender Martin Biron.

-The Bergen Record's recap. “This game is a lot more than about Sidney Crosby coming back to our team.” - Dan Bylsma.'s recap. "It's a long season -- nothing's over." - Marc-Andre Fleury on his team's 10-game winning streak.


{youtube width="465" height="266"}kUOxIDcL7YU{/youtube}

-Save of the Night: Fleury stopping New York's John Mitchell with the shaft of his stick:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}XQowTF2-vR4{/youtube}

-Fleury gave some love to his cross bar after this missed shot by New York's Brandon Prust:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}ZTbRmIrt8nk{/youtube}

-Crosby surveying the ice:

-Crosby manning the point:

-Tyler Kennedy got some torque on his stick here:

-"Dude, shooting the puck 49 times into the goalie's chest will totally work."

-Crosby got down low here with New York's Steve Eminger:

-Arron Asham, Jordan Staal and former teammate Mike Rupp all tried to go stick on puck here:

-Crosby speaks:

-Bylsma speaks:

-Paul Martin speaks:

-Matt Cooke speaks:

-The Penguins unveil a new power play.

-The Penguins will have a meeting with NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan today.

-Happy 57th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Gord Laxton. The club's first round pick in 1975, Laxton spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1975-76, Laxton appeared in eight games, went 3-4-0 with a 4.49 goals against average. In 1976-77, he played in six games and went 1-3-0 with a 6.17 goals against average. In 1977-78, he was limited to two games, a 0-1-0 record and 7.40 goals against average. Laxton's final NHL season was 1977-78. He played in one game, went 0-1-0 with a goals against average of 8.00. After spending the next five seasons in the IHL or AHL, Laxton was released in the 1983 offseason. In 17 games with the Penguins, Laxton was 4-9-0 with a 5.55 goals against average.

-Happy 41st birthday to former Penguins forward Greg Johnson (right). Acquired midway through the 1996-97 season in a deal that sent Tomas Sandstrom to the Red Wings, Johnson spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1996-97 by playing in 32 games for the Penguins and scoring 16 points. During the 1997 postseason, he played five games and scored one goal. After five games and one goal in 1997-98, Johnson was traded to the Blackhawks in exchange for Tuomas Gronman. In 37 regular season games with the Penguins, he had 17 points.

-Happy 61st birthday to former Penguins forward Brian McKenzie. A second round pick in 1971, McKenzie's entire NHL career amounted to six games with the 1971-72 Penguins in which he recorded two points. The following offseason, he was traded to the Atlanta Flames for cash.

Atlantic Division

-Scott Hartnell and Claude Giroux each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers who edged the rival Islanders, 3-2. Ilya Bryzgalov made 29 saves in the victory. Captain Mark Streit recorded two assists for New York.

-Goal of the Night: Check out this one-handed deflection by New York's Michael Grabner:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}7VKvjYG1oQg{/youtube}

-New York's John Tavares helped coach Jack Capuano draw up a play on the bench:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}Q4J--uV5RWg{/youtube}

-Referee Stephane Auger took a stick to the face from New York's Andrew MacDonald:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}hFXEBaCdeko{/youtube}

-Philadelphia's Brayden Schenn (left) and Wayne Simmonds didn't seem too happy about having a camera on the bench:

-Getting up close and personal with Flyers forward and former Penguin Jaromir Jagr:

-Byzgalov set a franchise record with a shutout streak of 249:43.

-"If you thought they weren't going to score another goal on me, you were mistaken." - Bryzgalov on having his streak of three consecutive shutouts snapped.

-Shootout goals by Ilya Kovalchuk and captain Zach Parise gave the Devils a 1-0 win against the Avalanche. Martin Brodeur made 28 saves in the shutout win. Colorado's Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 33 saves and was credited with a shutout as well.

-Spitty times for Brodeur:

-New Jersey's David Clarkson flashed a death stare at referee Tim Peel:

-Giguere got down low for this puck:

-Devils forward Travis Zajac admitted he attempted to come back from an offseason Achilles tendon too quickly.

-The Rangers recalled former Penguins goaltending prospect Chad Johnson from Hartford of the AHL.

Northeast Division

-James Reimer made 34 saves for the Maple Leafs who beat the Lightning, 3-1. Matthew Lombardi recorded two assists for Toronto which snapped a five-game losing streak.

-Check out the passing on this goal by Toronto's John-Michael Liles:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}lU0_CYlR81I{/youtube}

-“We can’t find a way to be effective, offensively or defensively. I can’t find a way to describe it.’’ - Bruins captain Zdeno Chara on his team's four-game losing streak.

-Boston demoted forward Trent Whitfield to Providence of the AHL.

-The Bruins signed goaltender Adam Morrison to a three-year entry-level contract. Morrison was a third-round pick of the Flyers in 2009 but did not sign with that team.

-Maple Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin will be sidelined three weeks due to a broken finger.

-Despite being a "contender" for the top pick in the NHL draft lottery, the Canadiens have taken seven of a possible eight points in their past four games.

-Captain Daniel Alfredsson was named the Senators' nominee for the Masterton Trophy.

Southeast Division

-Stephen Weiss and former Penguin Mikael Samuelsson each had a goal and an assist for the Panthers who routed the reeling Bruins, 6-2. Fire Craig Patrick. Brian Campbell recorded three assists for Florida while teammate Tomas Fleischmann netted two assists. Jose Theodore made 24 saves in the victory. Brian Rolston collected a goal and an assist for Boston.

-Hit of the Night: Campbell did what we all probably wished we could do to Boston's Brad Marchand:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}9I-g8j9SFlE{/youtube}

-The Panthers moved within two points of passing up the Bruins for second place in the Eastern Conference.

-Cam Ward made 40 saves and led the Hurricanes to a 2-0 shutout of the Blues. It was Ward's fourth shutout of the season and 20th of his career.

-Carolina Chad LaRose being popular:

-“To be able to win 200 games with this organization is something I’m proud of, but I don’t want to stop now. Hopefully I can add another 200.” - Ward on winning his 200th career game.

-Carolina's RBC Center officially became the PNC Arena.

-Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin left practice yesterday and did not return after colliding with teammate Mike Knuble.

-The Panthers demoted defenseman Tyson Strachan to San Antonio of the AHL.

Central Division

-Blues forward Andy McDonald left last night's game in Carolina due a shoulder injury.

-The Blue are raising some ticket price for 2012-13.

-With goaltender Joey MacDonald dealing with back spasms, the Red Wings recalled goaltender Jordan Pearce from the Grand Rapids of the AHL.

-The Red Wings demoted forward Gustav Nyquist.

-Today is the 10th anniversary of Blue Jackets fan Brittanie Cecil being struck in the head by a puck during a game. She would lose her life as a result of her injuries two days later.

-Since adopting larger equipment Feb. 11, Blue jackets goaltender Steve Mason has gone 7-3-1 with a 2.67 goals-against average and .922 save percentage.

Northwest Division

-Miikka Kiprusoff made 27 saves for the Flames who beat the Coyotes, 4-1. Calgary has won five consecutive games.

-Check out this shorthanded goal by Calgary's Alex Tanguay:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}jyNy2bNcBfk{/youtube}

-Coyotes forward and former Penguin Paul Bissonnette dropped the gloves with Calgary's Guillaume Desbiens:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}WKleu7NEncM{/youtube}

-Wild captain Mikko Koivu was given clearance to resume contact in practice. He has been sidelined since Feb. 16 due to a shoulder injury.

-Former Penguins defenseman Corey Potter was named the Oilers nominee for the Masterton Trophy. Fire Ray Shero.

Pacific Division

-Ryane Clowe's shootout goal gave the Sharks a 2-1 win against the Predators. Antti Niemi made 32 saves in the victory.

-Nashville's Martin Erat and San Jose's Marc-Edouard Vlasic hugged it out:

-Sharks forward Martin Havlat returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury Dec. 21.

-The Ducks signed goaltender John Gibson, a second-round pick in 2011, to a three-year entry-level contract. Gibson is a native of Whitehall.

-The Kings signed college free agent Brian O'neil, formerly of Yale, to a one-year entry-level contract.

-Goaltender Mike Smith was named the Coyotes' nominee for the Masterton Trophy.

(Photos: Penguins/Rangers-Nick Laham/Getty Images; Flyers/Islanders-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Avalanche/Devils-Mel Evans/Associated Press and Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images; Bruins/Panthers-Joel Auerbach/Getty Images; Blues/Hurricanes-/Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press; Predators/Sharks-Ben Margot/Associated Press)

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.