Empty Netter Assists - 04-06-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Dave Molinari's recap from last night's game. The Penguins secured home-ice advantage in the first round.

-The New York Daily News' recap. “It’s a cheap, dirty hit. I wonder what would happen if we did it to their two whining stars over there. I wonder what would happen." - Rangers coach John Tortorella on a hit by Brooks Orpik against Rangers forward Derek Stepan.

-Newsday's recap. "It's one of the most arrogant organizations in the league. They complain about this stuff all the time and look what happens. It's ridiculous. But they'll whine about something else over there, won't they, starting with their two (expeltive) stars." - Torotorella.

-The Associated Press' recap. “You see here where (Stepan) jumps out of the way and Brooks is on his track and looking to hit the guy at an angle, and he trying to get out of the way creates that scenario." - Dan Bylsma on the hit.'s recap. Marc-Andre Fleury tied Tom Barrasso's franchise record of 226 career wins.


-Orpik's hit on Stepan:

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-If you can imagine such a thing, Tortorella was mad:

-Dan Byslma speaks:

-Evgeni Malkin speaks:

-Fleury speaks:

-Tortorella speaks:

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-“It was gutless, dirty. That guy is known for sticking his leg out." - Rangers goaltender Martin Biron on Orpik.

-Malkin was named the team's MVP.

-"It's going to be weird facing them with nothing on the line. But we want to play hard, to finish the year on a winning note, especially in their building." - Flyers forward Scott Hartnell on playing the Penguins Saturday.

-"We've got road-ice advantage." - Flyers forward and former Penguins captain Jaromir Jagr on the Flyers' success in Consol Energy Center.

-Happy 37th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Hal Gill (right). Acquired at the 2008 trade deadeline in exchange for drafts picks. Gill spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins, both of which, ended in the Stanley Cup Final. He finished 2007-08 by appearing in 18 games for the Penguins and scoring four points. In the 2009 postseason, Gill saw action in 20 games and recorded one assist. He followed that up in 2008-09 by playing in 62 games and scoring 10 points. He appeared in all 24 postseason games that spring, recorded two points and helped the franchise claim its third Stanley Cup championship. During the 2009 offseason, he joined the Canadiens as a free agent. In 80 regular season games with the Penguins, Gill scored 14 points. In 44 posteason games, he recorded three assists. He is currently a member of the Predators.

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-Happy 35th birthday to former Penguins forward Ville Nieminen. Acquired along with Rick Berry at the 2002 trade deadeline in a deal which sent Darius Kasparaitis to Colorado,  Nieminen spent parts of two season with the Penguins. He finished 2001-02 by playing in 13 games for the Penguins and scoring three points. In 2002-03, Nieminem saw action in 75 games and scored 21 points. During the 2003 offseason, he joined the Blackhawks as a free agent. In 88 games with the Penguins, he scored 24 points. He is currently a member of Örebro of the Allsvenskan in Sweden.

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-Happy 39th birthday to former Penguins forward Tyler Wright. Acquired in the 1996 offseason in a a deal which sent a draft pick to the Oilers, Wright spent four seasons with the Penguins. In 1996-97, he saw action in 45 games and scored four points. During 1997-98, Wright played in all 82 games and scored seven points. He would play in six postseason games that spring and recorded one assist. He followed that up in 1998-99 by seeing action in 61 games and somehow failed to record a point. He continued that scoring pace in that seasons' playoffs by playing in in 13 games and failed to record a single point. In 1999-2000, played in 50 games and netted 22 points. He played in 11 postseason games that spring and contributed four points. During the 2000 offseason, he was claimed by Blue Jackets in the expansion draft. In 238 regular season games with the Penguins, he scored 33 points. In 30 postseason games, he scored five points. He currently is a development coach with the Blue Jackets.

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Atlantic Division

-A goal and an assist by Marc-Andre Bourdon led the Flyers to a 2-1 win against the Sabres. Ilya Brzygalov made 25 saves in the victory.

-The game-winning goal by Philadelphia's Matt Read was a beaut:

-Check out this poke check by Buffalo's Ryan Miller on Read:

-Defensive Play of the Night: Check out this "save" by Buffalo's Andrej Sekera:

-Martin Brodeur made 23 saves for the Devils who beat the Red Wings, 2-1. New Jersey has won five consecutive games.

-Pass of the Night: Detroit's Jiri Hudler setting up Tomas Holmstrom for a goal:

-"I kind of had that number in the back of my mind, but I really felt at the beginning of the season that it seemed really far. I hadn't played in the league for a couple of years. It just feels good." - Devils forward and former Penguin Petr Sykora on scoring his 20th goal of the season.

-Happy times for Sykora:

-Michael Grabner and Kyle Okposo each scored two goals for the Islanders who edged the Jets, 5-4. Frans Nielsen and John Tavares each recorded two assists for New York while teammate Al Montoya made 21 saves. Dustin Byfuglien led Winnipeg with a goal and two assists.

-Winnipeg's Evander Kane didn't seem too happy about this camera:

-Islanders forward PA Parenteau left the game in the second period due to a sprained right ankle.

-The Flyers demoted goaltender Jason Bacashihua to Adirondack of the AHL.

Northeast Division

-Anton Khudobin made 44 saves for the Bruins in a 3-1 defeat of the Senators. Boston has won two out of its past three games.

-Check out thie passing on this goal by Boston's Benoit Pouliot:

-Senators goaltender Ben Bishop returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering a groin injury against the Penguins, March 24.

-An overtime goal by captain Dion Phaneuf gave the Maple Leafs a 3-2 win against the Lightning. Jake Gardiner collected a goal and an assist for Toronto while teammate Ben Scrivens made 37 saves.  Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist for Toronto.

-Phaneuf's goal:

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-Check out this pass by Tampa Bay's Bruno Gervais setting up Steven Stamkos:

-Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk was diagnosed with a knee sprain result from a hit against Arron Asham Tuesday.

-"It's just devastating. We wanted the playoffs so bad, and it's a tough way to lose." - Sabres forward Tyler Ennis on missing the playoffs.

Southeast Division

-A goal and an assist by Brooks Laich led the Capitals to a 4-2 win against the Panthers. Braden Holtby made 12 saves for Washington.

-Happy times in Washington:

-Capitals starting goaltender Michael Neuvirth left the game due to a "lower-body" injury.

-Neuvirth didn't look this puck in:

-Funny Face of the Night: Washington's Alexander Semin:

-The Capitals officially clinched a playoff berth.

-Despite the loss, the Panthers qualified for the postseason and broke their NHL record 10-season playoff drought.

-"It hasn't really sunk in yet, just excited. I couldn't care less how it happened. We're in. All you got to do is get in and anything can happen.'' - Panthers forward Stephen Weiss on finally reaching the postseason for the first time in his career after 635 regular season games.

-Captain Eric Staal's shootout goal gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 win against the Canadiens. Cam Ward made 30 saves for Carolina.

-Save of the Night: Carolina's Cam Ward on Montreal's David Desharnais:

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-Check out the effort on this wraparound goal by Montreal's Blake Geoffrion:

-Hit of the Night: Montreal's Gabriel Dumont on Hurricanes forward and former Penguin Tim Brent:

-Funny Photo of the Night: A good look at the aftermath:

-Cool Photo of the Night: Carolina's Jamie McBain taking the ice:

-Staal > Montreal's Peter Budaj:

-The Lightning demoted forward Brandon Segal to Norfolk of the AHL.

-The Hurricanes signed undrafted free agent forward Jeremy Welsh, formerly of Union, to a one-year two-way contract.

Central Division

-Pekka Rinne made 28 saves for the Predators in a 2-0 shutout of the Stars. Patric Hornqvist collected a goal and an assist for Nashville.

-A hat trick by Cam Atkinson led the Blue Jackets to a 5-2 win against the Avalanche. Captain Rick Nash scored two goals for Columbus while teammate Steve Mason made 35 saves. Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist for Colorado.

-Atkinson's hat trick:

-Colorado's Cody McLeod had issues with Columbus' Derek Dorsett:

-Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith returned to the lineup after serving a five-game suspension for elbowing Canucks forward Daniel Sedin March 21.

-The Red Wings signed forward Riley Sheahan, a first-round pick in 2010, to a three-year entry-level contract.

-The Predators demoted goaltender Chet Pickard to Milwaukee of the AHL.

Northwest Division

-Two goals by Mike Cammalleri led the Flames to a 3-2 defeat of the rival Canucks. Miikka Kiprusoff made 32 saves for Calgary. Dan Hamhui recorded two assists for Vancouver.

-Check out the move on this shorthanded goal by Vancouver's Alex Burrows:

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-Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa returned to the lineup after missing four games due to an undisclosed injury.

-Devin Setoguchi's shootout goal gave the Wild a 2-1 win against the Blackhawks. Josh Harding made 22 saves in the victory.

-Wild defenseman Nate Prosser was ejected for headbutting Blackhawks forward Jamal Mayers:

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-Chicago's Corey Crawford had issues with this puck:

-The Avalanche was officially eliminated from playoff contention.

-The Oilers demoted defenseman Bryan Rodney to Oklahoma City of the AHL.

-The Flames recalled forward Akim Aliu from Abbotsford of the AHL.

Pacific Division

-A shootout goal by Joe Pavelski led the Sharks to a wild 6-5 win against the Kings. Ryane Clowe, Patrick Marleau and captain Joe Thornton each had a regulation goal and an assist for San Jose while teammate Antti Niemi made 31 saves. Justin Williams scored two regulation goals for Los Angeles.

-Clowe actually got away with playing a puck from the bench:

-There was no penalty.

-“It’s a shame that a guy can cheat and get away with it in a game this important.” - Kings governor Tim Leiweke.

-EN Says: Really? No penalty? There league seems to eager to "let'em play" it literally is letting them play from the bench. How in the world is this pathetic standard of officiating tolerated?

-Pavelski > Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick:

-Niemi gloved this shot by Los Angeles' Alec Martinez:

-The Sharks and the Kings each secured a playoff berth.

-An overtime goal by captain Ryan Getzlaf gave the Ducks a 3-2 win against the Oilers. Jeff Deslauriers made 24 saves for Anaheim.

-Getzlaf's goal:

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-Check out the moves by Edmonton's Jordan Eberle on this goal:

-The Stars' loss in Nashville eliminated them from the postseason and secured a playoff berth for the Coyotes.

-Stars forward Radek Dvorak returned to the lineup after missing six games due to an ankle injury.

-The Coyotes demoted forward Alexandre Bolduc to Portland of the AHL.

NCAA Tournament

-Former Pittsburgh Hornets goaltender Parker Milner made 30 saves for Boston College in a  6-1 rout of Minnesota in the Frozen Four.

-Two goals by Kyle Bonis led Ferris State to a 3-1 win against Union.

(Photos: Rangers/Penguins-Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press; Gill-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Jets/Islanders-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Devils/Red Wings-Tony Ding/Associated Press; Panthers/Capitals-Greg Fiume/Getty Images; Canadiens/Hurricanes-Grant Halverson/Getty Images; Blue Jackets/Avalanche-Chris Schneider/Associated Press; Blackhawks/Wild-Hannah Foslien/Getty Images; Sharks/Kings-Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

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