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Empty Netter Assists - 04-01-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Marc-Andre Fleury officially announced his retirement. He plans on taking up professional cannonballing.

-"Maybe it's more them than us." - Brooks Orpik on the Flyers' recent success in Pittsburgh.

-"We still control our own destiny. We've got two games against Pittsburgh coming up here and I think if we take care of our end of the bargain, we've got home-ice advantage." - Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds.

-The Penguins demoted Simon Despres to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. (PG+)

-The Penguins have had 32 individual 100-point seasons by players, the most in NHL history. The Oilers have the second most with 28.

-The final pieces of the Civic Arena's roof came tumbling down.

-"As soon as the suspension happened I had a conversation with Ray (Shero). He told me that he supported me and that he trusted me that we were going to get through this. At that point, he knew that my mind was in the right spot. He believed in me." - Matt Cooke (right) on changing his game.

-Alex Grant scored two goals for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 5-2 defeat of the Albany Devils. Ben Street recorded two assists for the Penguins while teammate Brad Thiessen made 27 saves.

-Shootout goals by Andrew Hotham and Zack Torquato gave the Wheeling Nailers a 4-3 win against the Elmira Jackals. Paul Crowder scored two regulation goals for the Nailers while teammate Patrick Killeen made 30 saves.

-The Nailers officially clinched a playoff berth in the Kelly Cup playoffs Friday.

-Happy 45th birthday to former Penguins forward Lee Giffin. A second-round pick of the club in 1985, Giffin spent parts of two seasons wth the Penguins. As a rookie in 1986-87, he appeared in eight games and scored two points. He followed that up in 1987-88 by playing in 19 games and recorded two assists. After spending all of 1988-89 with the Penguins' IHL affiliate in Muskegon, Giffin was traded to the Rangers for future considerations in the 1989 offseason. In 27 games with the Penguins, Giffin scored four points.

Atlantic Division

-Martin Brodeur made 22 saves for the Devils in a 5-0 shutout of the Hurricanes. Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and two assists for New Jersey while former Penguin Petr Sykora collected a goal and an assist. Fire Ray Shero.

-Brodeur stopped Carolina's Jeff Skinner on the backdoor here:

-The Devils officially clinched a playoff berth.

-“It really hasn’t hit me yet, I don’t think. If I told you I thought last summer that it would happen, I’d be lying. ... I said I never thought I would play in the NHL. To score 30 goals means quite a bit.” - Devils forward David Clarkson on scoring 30 goals for the first time in his career.

-The Islanders were officially eliminated from playoff contention.

-With forward Casey Cizikas dealing with an "upper-body" injury, the Islanders recalled forward Micheal Haley from Bridgeport of the AHL.

-During today's fan appreciation day, Islander goaltender Rick DiPietro will buy the first 5,000 fans in attendance a hot dog and a small drink.

Northeast Division

-Scoreboard Watch for the Penguins: Shootout goals by Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek gave the Senators a 4-3 win against the Flyers. Captain Daniel Alfredsson had a regulation goal and an assist for Ottawa while teammate Craig Anderson made 36 saves. Daniel Briere recorded two assists for Philadelphia.The Flyers are in fifth place of the Eastern Conference and third place in the Atlantic Division with 99 points, three fewer than the Penguins.

-Philadelphia's Wayne Simmond's scored a goal using his face:

-Ouch.

-Two goals by David Krejci led the Bruins to a 6-3 win against the Islanders. Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin each collected a goal and two assists for Boston while captain Zdeno Chara and teammate Milan Lucic each recorded two assists. Marty Turco made 19 saves in the victory. P.A. Parenteau scored two goals for New York.

-Check out this pass in traffic by New York's John Tavares to set up Parenteau for a goal:

-Cool Photo of the Day: Turco alone with his shadows:

-Joey Crabb and John-Michael Liles each had a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs who edged the rival Sabres, 4-3. Clarke MacArthur recorded two assists for Toronto while teammate Ben Scrivens made 29 saves. Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford each collected a goal and an assist for Buffalo.

-Check out this nifty goal by Buffalo's Ville Leino:

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-The Maple Leafs snapped an 11-game home losing streak.

-Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers missed last night's game due to a foot injury he suffered when he blocked a Paul Martin shot Friday.

-The Sabres recalled defensemen Brayden McNabb and TJ Brennan from Rochester of the AHL.

-The Maple Leafs signed forward Sam Carrick, a fifth-round pick in 2010, to a three-year entry level contract.

Southeast Division

-Shootout goals by Matt Hendricks and Alexander Semin gave the Capitals a 3-2 win against the Canadiens. Michal Neuvirth made 39 saves in the victory.

-Neuvirth got cranked in the face on a slapper by Montreal's Rene Bourque:

-A good look at the shot:

-Happy times for Semin:

-Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom returned to the lineup after missing nearly three months due to a head injury.

-An overtime goal by Steven Stamkos gave the Lightning a 3-2 win against the Jets. Former Penguin Ryan Malone scored two goals for Tampa Bay while another former Penguin, Sebastien Caron, made 28 saves. Fire Ray Shero, twice.

-Stamkos' goal:

-Goal of the Night: Check out this chip and chase play by Malone which led to a breakaway goal:

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-Fire Ray Shero, three times.

-Malone being popular:

-Stamkos set an NHL record with his fifth overtime goal of the season.

-The loss officially eliminated the Jets from playoff contention.

Central Division

-Patrick Kane and Brent Seabrook each had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks who held off the Predators, 5-4. Andrew Shaw recorded two assists for Chicago while teammate Corey Crawford made 29 saves. Captain Shea Weber scored two goals for Nashville.

-Check out this stickhandling display by Nashville's Alexander Radulov:

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-Save of the Night: Crawford on Nashville's Nick Spaling:

-The Blackhawks secured a playoff berth with the win.

-Plum native R.J. Umberger (No, really!!!) scored two goals for the Blue Jackets who beat the Blues, 5-2. Cam Atkinson and captain Rick Nash each recorded two assists for Columbus while teammate Allen York made 34 saves.

-Check out this nifty goal by St. Louis captain David Backes:

-Hit of the Night: St. Louis' Vladimir Sobotka against Columbus' Derek Dorsett:

-Despite the loss, the Blues clinched the Central Division title for the first time since 2000.

Northwest Division

-An overtime goal by Andrew Ebbett gave the Canucks a 3-2 win against the rival Flames. Alexander Edler and captain Henrik Sedin each recorded two assists for Vancouver while teammate Roberto Luongo made 31 saves.

-Ebbett's goal:

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-Check out this rocket of a one-timer goal by Calgary's Mike Cammalleri:

-Ebbett returned to the lineup after missing 12 weeks due to a broken collarbone.

-The Canucks moved ahead of the Blues for first place in the Western Conference.

-The loss officially eliminated the Flames from playoff contention.

-Shootout goals by former Penguin Erik Christensen and captain Mikko Koivu gave the Wild a 4-3 win against the Kings. Fire Ray Shero. Christensen added a regulation goal and an assist for Minnesota while teammates Justin Falk and Jason Zucker each recorded two assists. Fire Ray Shero, again. Nicklas Backstrom made 26 saves in the victory. Captain Dustin Brown had a regulation goal and two assists for Los Angeles.

-Check out this save by Backstrom against Los Angeles' Mike Richards in overtime:

-Wild defenseman Marco Scandella did not play due to a "lower-body" injury.

-The Oilers recalled defenseman Colten Teubert from Oklahoma City of the AHL.

Pacific Division

-Mike Smith made 44 saves for the Coyotes in a 4-0 shutout of the Ducks. Radim Vrbata and Ray Whitney each collected a goal and an assist for Phoenix.

-Whitney's assist was the 1,000th point of his NHL career:

-Whitney celebrated after the game with Arizona senator John McCain:

-Check out this filfthy move on a breakaway goal by Phoenix's Oliver Ekman-Larsson:

-Happy times in Phoenix Glendale:

-Smith alone in the dark:

-The Coyotes taking the ice:

-A good look at the lid of Anaheim's Jeff Deslauriers:

-Antti Niemi made 22 for the Sharks who shut out the Stars, 3-0. Joe Pavelski scored two goals for San Jose while captain Joe Thornton recorded two assists.

-Pass of the Night: Check out this saucer pass by San Jose's Martin Havlat to set up Jason Demers for a goal:

-Niemi snagged this puck:

-Stars defenseman Mark Fistric returned to the lineup after missing five games due to an abdominal injury.

-The Ducks recalled defenseman Mat Clark from Syracuse of the AHL.

Adams Division

-Former Senators/Canadiens forward Andreas Dackell officially retired.

(Photos: Fleury-Peter Diana/Post-Gazette; Cooke-Jamie Sabau/Getty Images; Bruins/Islanders-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Canadiens/Capitals-Greg Fiume/Getty Images; Jets/Lightning-Brian Blanco/Associated Press; Ducks/Coyotes-Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press and Christian Petersen/Getty Images; Stars/Sharks-Ben Margot/Associated Press)

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