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Empty Netter Assists - 03-20-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-"I'm excited for any opportunity that I get." - Brad Thiessen.

-Happy 27th birthday to former Penguins forward Ryan Stone. A second-round pick in 2003, Stone spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 2007-08, he played in six games and recorded one assist. He followed that up in 2008-09 by seeing action in two games and failing to net a point. During the 2009 offseason, Stone joined the Oilers as a free agent. He is currently a member of the Hamburg Freezers of the DEL in Germany.

-Happy 58th birthday to former Penguins forward Charlie Simmer (right). Far more renown for his days as an all-star with the Kings and the "Triple Crown" line, Simmer was claimed by the Penguins off waivers from the Bruins prior to the 1987-88 season. He appeared in 50 games for the Penguins that season and recorded 28 points. The following season, he joined Eintracht Frankfurt in West Germany. At the time of his retirement as a professional player in 1992, he was the last active California Golden Seal and NHL Cleveland Baron. Formerly married to 1981 Playmate of the Year Terri Welles, Simmer currently works as a broadcaster for the Flames.

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-Today would've been the 70th birthday of former Penguins defenseman Bill Speer. A member of the first Penguins team in 1967-68, Speer spent the first two seasons of his NHL career in Pittsburgh. As a rookie in 1967-68, he saw action in 68 games and scored 16 points. He followed that up in 1968-69 by playing in 34 games and scoring five points. During the 1969 off season, he was selected by the Bruins in an intra-league draft. In 102 games with the Penguins, Speer recorded 21 points. He was killed in a snowmobile accident in 1989.

Atlantic Division

-Scoreboard Watch for the Penguins: Brandon Dubinsky and Derek Stepan each added a goal and an assist for the Rangers who beat the rival Devils, 4-2. Captain Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin each recorded two assists for New York while teammate Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves. The Rangers clinched a playoff spot and opened up a three-point lead in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference over the Penguins. Former Penguin Petr Sykora led New Jersey with a goal and an assist. Fire Ray Shero.

-Off the opening faceoff, three fights took place. New York's Stu Bickel versus New Jersey's Ryan Carter, New York's Mike Rupp versus New Jersey's Eric Boulton and New York's Brandon Prust versus New Jersey's Cam Janssen:

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-“I guess in John’s world you can come into our building and start your tough guys, but we can’t do the same in here. He’s either got short-term memory loss or he’s a hypocrite. It’s one or the other.” - Devils coach Peter DeBoer referring to Rangers coach John Tortorella.

-The Devils signed goaltender Scott Wedgewood, a second-round pick in 2010, to an entry-level contract.

-Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros will be sidelined six to eight weeks due to a back injury.

Northeast Division

-Tim Thomas made 13 saves for the Bruins in an 8-0 shutout of the Maple Leafs. Brian Rolston had a goal and three assists for Boston while teammate Benoit Pouliot added two goals and an assists.

-Boston's Brian Rolston is good people:

-Captain Jason Pominville and Marcus Foligno each scored two goals for the Sabres who routed the Lightning, 7-3. Drew Stafford added a goal and two assists for Buffalo while teammate Tyler Ennis, Cody Hodgson and Thomas Vanek each recorded two assists. Ryan Miller made 24 saves in the victory. Bruno Gervais and former Penguin Ryan Malone each recorded a goal and an assists for Tampa Bay. Fire Ray Shero.

-The Sabres are now 10-2-4 in the last 16 games.

-Canadiens forward Mathieu Darche is dealing with an ear infection.

Southeast Division

-Two goals by captain Alex Ovechkin led the Capitals to a 5-3 win against the Red Wings. Jason Chimera and Mike Knuble each added a goal and an assist for Washington while teammates Marcus Johansson and Alexander Semin each recorded two assists. Braden Holtby made 30 saves in the victory. Brendan Smith recorded two assists for Detroit.

-Check out this snipe of a goal by Ovechkin:

-The Lightning signed forward Alex Killorn, a third-round pick in 2007, to a two-year, two-way contract.

-Tampa Bay recalled forward Pierre-Cedric Labrie from Norfolk of the AHL.

-The Hurricanes demoted defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti to Charlotte of the AHL.

-Panthers forward Jack Skille is expected to miss the rest of the season dfollowing shoulder surgery.

-Forward Tomas Fleischmann (right) was named the Panthers' nominee for the Masterton Trophy.

Central Division

-A sprained knee is expected to sideline Red Wings forward Darren Helm four to six weeks.

-Blues captain David Backes is dealing with a left foot injury.

-The Blue Jackets recalled goaltender Allen York and defenseman David Savard from Springfield of the AHL.

-The Blackhawks signed college free agent forward Terry Broadhurst, formerly of Nebraska-Omaha, to a two-year contract.

Northwest Division

-Josh Harding made 33 saves for the Wild in a 2-0 shutout of the Canucks. Kyle Brodziak led Minnesota with a goal and an assist.

-Happy times for Wild forward and former Penguin Erik Christensen:

-The Wild demoted goaltender Matt Hackett to Houston of the AHL.

-Defenseman Clayton Stoner was named the Wild's nominee for the Masterton Trophy.

-The Oilers signed goaltender Tyler Bunz, a fifth-round pick in 2010, to a three-year entry-level contract.

Pacific Division

-A goal and two assists for the Ducks who beat the rival Sharks, 5-3. Kyle Palmieri netted a goal and an assist for Anaheim while teammate Nick Bonino recorded three assists. Jeff Deslauriers made 27 saves in the victory. Ryane Clowe had a goal and two assists for San Jose.

-The Ducks and Coyotes meet tonight with first place in the Pacific Division on the line.

(Photos: Simmer-Penguins Hockey Cards; Maple Leafs/Bruins-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Fleischmann-Al Bello/Getty Images; Canucks/Wild-Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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