Empty Netter Assists - 03-22-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-So far so good for Sidney Crosby's playmaking.

-The Penguins need a point to clinch a playoff berth.

-How does the magic number work? (PG+)

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-Crosby speaks:

-Could Predators forward Alexander Radulov make his season debut tonight against the Penguins?

-"I didn’t know really what was going on when I got grabbed from behind. And then I maybe escalated a little farther than I wanted to go. But it happened. I’m paying my suspension, paying my fine. What happens in the past happens in the past.” - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Steve MacIntyre for his role in a melee against the Springfield Falcons, March 11.

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-Happy 72nd birthday to former Penguins forward Bobby Leiter. Acquired from the Bruins in exchange during the 1971 offseason, Leiter spent one season with the Penguins. In 1971-72, he appeared in 78 games and scored 21 points. He saw action in four postseason games that spring and scored three goals. During the 1972 offseason, he was claimed by the Atlanta Flames in the expansion draft.

he signed with the Thrashers. He is currently a member of Bern of the NLA in Switzerland.

-Happy 64th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Dunc Wilson (right). Acquired before the start of the 1976-77 season in a trade which sent a draft pick to the Rangers, Wilson spent two seasons with the Penguins. As the team's primary starter in 1976-77, Wilson appeared in 45 games, went 18-19-8 with a 2.95 goals against average and five shutouts, fourth-most in franchise history. In 1977-78, Wilson was limited to 21 games a 5-11-3 record and a 4.83 goals against average. Early in the 1978-79 season, he was traded to the Canucks for cash. In 66 career games with the Penguins, Wilson had a record of 23-30-11 a 3.53 goals against average and five shutouts.

-Happy 47th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Todd Charlesworth. A second-round pick in 1983, Charlesworth spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins As a rookie in 1983-84, Charlesworth appeared in 10 games and failed to record a point. In 1984-85, Charlesworth set career highs in games (67) and points (nine). He was limited to two games and no points in 1985-86. He only saw action on one game and failed to record a point again in 1986-87. During 1987-88, Charlesworth appeared in six games and scored two goals. After spending all of 1988-80 with the Penguins' IHL affiliate in Muskegon, Charlesworth joined the Oilers as a free agent in the 1989 offseason.

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-Happy 39th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Tuomas Gronman. Acquired early in the 1997-98 season in a trade that sent Greg Johnson to the Blackhawks, he appeared in 22 games for the Penguins that campaign and recorded three points. He saw action in one postseason game that spring and failed to record a point. After missing most of 1998-99, he returned to his native Finland to play for Jokerit Helsinki of the SM-Liiga.

-Happy 35rd birthday to former Penguins defenseman Joel Kwiatkowski (right). Acquired from the Panthers in exchange for a draft pick at the 2007 trade deadline, Kwiatkowski appeared in exactly one game for the 2006-07 Penguins and was a minus-1. The following offseason,

-Happy 36th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Sven Butenschon. A third-round pick in 1994, Butenschon, one of two Penguins born in Germany (Randy Gilhen was the other), spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1997-98, Butenschon appeared in eight games and failed to record a point. He followed that up in 1998-99 by playing in 17 games and once again did not score a point. In 1999-2000, he was limited to three games and no points. After five games and one assist in 2000-01, he was traded to the Oilers in exchange for Dan LaCouture. In 33 games with the Penguins, he recorded one assist. He currently plays for Nürnberg Ice Tigers of the DEL in Germany.

Atlantic Division

-Scoreboard Watch for the Penguins: An overtime goal by Ryan Callahan gave the Rangers a 2-1 win against the Red Wings. The Rangers are in first place of the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division with 99 points, three more than the Penguins. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves in the victory.

-Callahan's goal:

-Goal of the Night: Check out this coast-to-coast effort by New York's Brad Richards:

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-Happy times for Callahan:

-Happy times for the Rangers. Not so much for the Red Wings:

-Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk's decided to start breakdancing for some reason:

-We think.

-Thirsty times for Red Wings goaltender and former Penguin Ty Conklin:

-Linesman Steve Barton had to do a little ice maintenance after someone tossed an octopus:

-“It was a good birthday gift." - Callahan who turned 27 yesterday.

-Defenseman Dan Girardi was named the Rangers' nominee for the Masterton Trophy.

-The Islanders re-signed goaltender Evgeni Nabokov to a one-year contract extension worth a total of $2.75 million. In the final year of a contract with a cap hit of $570,000, Nabokov, 36, has appeared in 40 games this season and has a 17-18-3 record with a 2.56 goals against average, .912 save percentage and two shutouts.

-EN Says: When healthy, Nabokov offers some stability to a position which has been in flux for the Islanders for several seasons.

-Devils goaltender and former Penguin Johan Hedberg's 16 wins are a rare feat for a back-up netminder in New Jersey.

Northeast Division

-Scoreboard Watch for the Penguins: Ryan Miller made 34 saves for the Sabres in a 3-0 shutout of the Canadiens. A loss for the Sabres would have clinched a playoff berth for the Penguins. Cody Hodgson scored two goals for Vancouver while teammate Derek Roy recorded two assists.

-Pass of the Night: Roy setting up Hodgson with a slick backhanded pass:

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-Fight of the Night: Montreal's Brad Staubitz versus Buffalo's Cody McCormick:

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-Cool Photo of the Night: Hodgson gunning a shot on Montreal's Carey Price:

-Hodgson > Price:

-The Sabres demoted defenseman Brayden McNabb to Rochester of the AHL.

-The Maple Leafs signed forward Brad Ross, a second-round pick in 2010, to a three-year entry-level contract.

Southeast Division

-Two goals by captain Eric Staal led the Hurricanes to a 3-1 win against the Panthers. Joni Pitkanen added a goal and an assist for Carolina while teammate Cam Ward made 30 saves. Florida had a five-game winning streak snapped.

-Things got a little testy after the final horn when both teams combined for a scrum at center ice:

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-"Versteeg two-handed (Staal). It was cheap play against our star player and you can't let that happen. A pretty gutless play, I thought." - Hurricanes defenseman Bryan Allen on why he attacked Florida forward Kris Versteeg during the scrum.

-Happy times for Staal:

-Pitkanen was activated from injured reserve after missing 44 games due to a concussion.

-Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin is expected to play in the Tampa Time Forum Thursday for the first time since helping the Lightning win Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup final.

Central Division

-Andrew Shaw's overtime goal gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 win against the rival Canucks. Corey Crawford made 23 saves in the victory which was Chicago's fifth consecutive.

-Shaw's goal:

-Canucks forward Daniel Sedin left the game in the first period after he was struck in the head by Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith:

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-The video on this is kind of fuzzy, but Keith's hit on Sedin came after a hit by Sedin to the head of Keith:

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-EN Says: Two players giving each other head shots. Nice to see all these slap-on-the-wrist punishments are working.

-"I'm not trying to hurt anybody. I hope he's OK. He's one of their best players. He needs to be on the ice." - Keith.

-Check out the placement on this shot by Vancouver's Jannik Hansen:

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-Happy times in Chicago:

-Chicago's Brent Seabrook and Vancouver's Zach Kassian had issues:

-Blackhawks forward and former Penguin Marian Hossa had a wardrobe malfunction involving a hanger:

Northwest Division

-Wild captain Mikko Koivu is expected to return to the lineup tonight against the Flames after missing 15 games due to a shoulder injury.

-Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly is dealing with a broken nose.

-The Canucks signed goaltender Joe Cannata, a sixth-round pick in 2009. Terms were not revealed.

Pacific Division

-Jonas Hiller made 38 saves for the Ducks in a 4-3 win against the Blues. Captain Ryan Getzlaf recorded two assists for Anaheim. Alex Pietrangelo netted two assists for St. Louis.

-Patient Goal of the Night: Anaheim's Nick Bonino held, held and held onto this puck before scoring:

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-Check out the effort on this goal by St. Louis' David Perron:

-Coyotes captain Shane Doan was suspended three games by the NHL for a hit to the head of Stars forward Jamie Benn Tuesday:

-EN Says: Only three games for a repeat offender is pitiful.

-"I accept the NHL's decision and ruling. I am thankful that Jamie Benn was not hurt on the play. I recognize how bad it looked but there was no intent to injure him. Jamie Benn is a class act and I appreciate how he handled everything. I apologize to the NHL, my teammates and our fans for missing the next 3 games as we continue to fight for a playoff spot.'' - Doan.

-Ducks defenseman and former Penguin Nate Guenin, a native of Hopewell, has set a career-high with 14 games this season.

-The Stars have signed college free agent forward Austin Smith, a native of Dallas, to a two-year entry-level contract. Smith previously played at Colgate.

Adams Division

-Former Roberts Morris forward Ron Cramer has joined the Cincinnati Cyclones.

(Photos: Crosby-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Wilson-Penguins Hockey Cards; Kwiatkowski-Photobucket; Red Wings/Rangers-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images and Frank Franklin II/Associated Press; Canadiens/Sabres-Devin Duprey/Associated Press and Dave Sandford/Getty Images; Panthers/Hurricanes-Gerry Broome/Associated Press; Canucks/Blackhawks-Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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