Empty Netter Assists - 04-13-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Playoff Stuff
Penguins - Flyers

-Marc-Andre Fleury (above) wants to forget about Game 1.

-Expect a different look or two (or three or four) on the Penguins' power play.

-"We laid off the gas pedal and tried to protect the lead. We were in a defense-first mentality. We need to play in the offensive zone against a team like Philadelphia. We have to make sure we get pucks deep; we have to make sure we get pucks behind the goal line and make their defensemen turn.”- Steve Sullivan.

-NHL executive Colin Campbell pretty much threw linesman Tony Sericolo under the bus for the blown offsides call on the second period goal by Flyers forward Daniel Briere during Wednesday's Game 1.

-“If you put pucks behind, we will try to go hit him. It’s going to make him tired eventually." - Flyers forward Jakub Voracek on Kris Letang.

-"We've got to get better starts, to be ready from the get-go." - Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen (right).

-"It's Game 1. It's one win. It probably won't mean much if we don't win Game 2." - Flyers forward and former Penguin Maxime Talbot.

-With Flyers defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon dealing with an "upper-body" injury, could defenseman Pavel Kubina step into the lineup?

-Flyers coach Peter Laviolette speaks:

Rangers - Senators

-Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves for the Rangers who beat the Senators, 4-2 in Game 1. Artem Anisimov recorded two assists for New York which has a 1-0 series lead.

-Check out the placement on this shot by New York's Brian Boyle:

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-Happy times for Boyle. Not so much for Ottawa's Craig Anderson:

-Defensive Play of the Night: Check out this steal by New York's Carl Hagelin and his feed to teammate Brad Richards:

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-Check out this redirection by Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson:

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-Prior to last night's game, Hockey Night in Canada came out with it's usual pre-playoff montage:

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-EN Says: It's good, but it's a step down from previous years.

-Intense Photo of the Night: Ottawa's Matt Gilroy and New York's Brandon Prust racing to the corner:

-Anderson had issues with this puck too:

-Is it a little early for streamers?

-Ottawa's Brian Bishop taking the ice:

Bruins - Capitals

-Chris Kelly's overtime goal gave the Bruins a 1-0 win against Capitals in Game 1. Tim Thomas made all of 17 saves for Boston which leads the series, 1-0.

-Kelly's goal:

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-A good look at the goal:

-Happy times in Boston:

-Hit of the Night: No on really seemed to win in this collision between Washington captain Alex Ovechkin and Boston's Dennis Seidenberg:

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-The video is fuzzy, but a piece of glass fell out and knocked over Bruins forward David Krejci during the postgame celebration:

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-A good look at the mishap:

-“I think he played a hell of a game. Most of the time he kept us in the game and I think he was nervous, but after the first shot you could see he was calm and he was on his roll.” - Ovechkin on rookie goaltender Braden Holtby making his playoff debut.

Panthers - Devils

-“It is a different style of hockey. Watch the games [Wednesday]; the play is just ramped up. It is like a whole different world out there. And there were some good lessons out there, Pittsburgh came out gangbusters and Philadelphia found a way to come back. Every game has meaning, every play has meaning. Veteran leaders who have been through this is meaningful for the whole group." - Panthers coach Kevin Dineen.

-“I hate it. Everybody hates it. Every time you lose out, you just think to yourself, ‘We’ve got to play 82 more games to get back there, play 82 good games to get back there.’” - Devils captain Zach Parise on losing a playoff series.

Canucks - Kings

-The NHL suspsended Canucks forward Byron Bitz two games for boarding Kings forward Kyle Clifford during Wednesday's Game 1. Clifford left the game due to an "upper-body" injury. He will miss Game 2.

-EN Says: Bravo to the NHL for getting this one right. But, check down below for our take on another hit and how the NHL disciplined it.

-“I had no intention of targeting the head or injuring anybody, that’s not the way I play. I just went to finish my hit. The way I made contact, he hit the glass awkwardly, it was unfortunate. The way I play, I finish my hits and it happened, the refs called it and it cost my team a goal, so I don’t feel good about it.” - Bitz.

-After winning Game 1, the Kings' official Twitter page put this out:

-The Kings later apologized for the Tweet.

Blues - Sharks

-Two goals by Martin Havlat, including one in the second overtime, gave the Sharks a 3-2 win against the Blues in Game 1. Dan Boyle and Ryane Clowe each recorded two assists for San Jose while teammate Antti Niemi made 40 saves. Patrik Berglund sccored both of St. Louis' goals. San Jose leads the series, 1-0.

-Havlat's goal:

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-"Once you get in, anybody can beat anybody." - Havlat.

-Goal of the Night: Check out this redirection by Berglund:

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-Cool Photo of the Night: St. Louis' Kent Huskins standing up San Jose's Joe Pavelski at his own blue line:

-Perron didn't find any friends in the Sharks' crease:

-Halak's head got lost in the snow here:

-Happy times for Niemi and teammate Logan Couture:

-With goaltender Brian Elliott recovered from an "upper-body" injury, the Blues demoted goaltender Jake Allen to Peoria of the AHL.

Coyotes - Blackhawks

-Martin Hanzal's overtime goal gave the Coyotes a 3-2 win against the Blackhawks in Game 1. Mike Smith made 43 saves for Phoenix which leads the series, 1-0. Captain Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist for Chicago.

-Hanzal's goal:

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-High five times for Hanzal and teammate Keith Yandle:

-"We just said that somebody's got to be the hero, and when you're in that moment and you score a goal, it was just a great feeling in overtime. It feels amazing." - Hanzal.

-Chicago's Brent Seabrook forced overtime by tying the game with 14 seconds left in regulation:

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-Chicago's Bryan Bickell and Corey Crawford being popular:

-A good look at Crawford's lid:

-A good look at Smith's lid:

-Steely glaring times for Toews:

-They had a white out in the desert last night:

-Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata, the team's leading goal scorer in the regular season, left the game in the second period due to an undisclosed injury.

-“I felt as good as I possibly could. It’s tough -- you know it’s going to be a fast, intense and physical game. You do everything you can just to play smart and limit your mistakes out there. I did that and for the most part just went to the net hard and tried to let (Patrick) Kane and (Marian) Hossa make the plays.” - Toews on playing his first game since Feb. 19. He had been sidelined due to a concussion.

Predators - Red Wings

-The NHL fined Predators captain Shea Weber $2,500 for slamming the head of Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg into the glass after Game 1 Wednesday. That is the maximum fine allowed under the NHL-NHLPA collective bargaining agreement. Zetterberg was not injured on the play.

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-EN Says: Garage league. Just garage league. There was nothing to gain from a hockey sense in Weber's actions. He slammed an opponent's head into the glass WWE-style and was fined a paltry amount for someone being paid $7.5 million this season. The NHL will cite the lack of injury to Zetterberg as a reason for not suspending Weber, but why wait for an injury to prevent a play like this. With this inaction, NHL has essentially declared open season on slamming an opponent's head into the glass provided you have $2,500 burning a hole in your pocket.

Garage league.

-“It did (make me angry). I thought it was dirty. I think it was targeted to my head, and with what’s happened the last few years with all the head injuries, I think that shouldn’t belong in the game.” - Zetterberg.

-The hit actually cracked Zetterberg's helmet.

-It wasn't just the Penguins having issues with the man advantage. The Predators went 0 for 6 on the power play in Game 1.

-With Darren Helm expected to miss the rest of the postseason following a skate laceration on his left forearm, Gustav Nyquist (right) takes over as the Red Wings' third line center.

-The Predators recalled goaltender Chet Pickard from Milwaukee of the AHL and demoted goaltender Jeremy Smith to Milwaukee.

Non-Playoff Stuff

-Happy 38th birthday to former all-star Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar (right). A free agent signing in the 2005 offseason, Gonchar spent five seasons with Penguins. Gonchar's debut season in Pittsburgh saw him appear in 75 games and record 58 points. His second campaign saw Gonchar play in all 82 games and match a career-high in points with 67. He appeared in five postseason games that spring and scored four points. In 2007-08, Gonchar as he netted 65 points in 78 games, earned an appearance in the All-Star Game. During that spring's postseason, Gonchar played in 20 games and contributed 14 points while helping the Penguins return to the Stanley Cup final for the first time in 16 years. A preseason injury derailed his 2008-09 season as he only appeared in 25 games and scored 19 points. In 22 postseason games that spring, Gonchar appeared in 22 games and scored 14 points while helping the franchise earn its third Stanley Cup title. In 2009-10, Gonchar appeared in 62 games and record 50 points. He saw action in 13 postseason games in 2010 and contributeded 12 points. During the 2010 offseason, he joined the Senators as a free agent. In 322 games with the Penguin, "Sarge"  recorded 259 points, 28th-most in franchise history. In 60 postseason games, he scored 44 points, ninth-most in franchise history.

-Happy 34th birthday to current Penguins forward Arron Asham. A free agent signing in the 2010 offseason, Asham has spent the past two seasons with the Penguins. Last season, Asham appeared in 44 games and scored 11 points. He saw action in seven postseason games last spring and collected four points. This past regular season, Asham saw action in 64 games and scored 16 points. He has played in one postseason game this season and has no points. In 108 career regular season games with the Penguins, Asham has scored 27 points. In eight postseason games, he has four points.

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-Happy 49th birthday to former Penguins forward Jim McGeough. Acquired at the 1985 trade deadeline in a deal which sent Mark Taylor the Capitals, McGeough spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1984-85 by appearing in 14 games for the Penguins and recording four assists. In 1985-86, McGeough played in 17 games and recorded five assists. He followed that up in 1986-87 by seeing action in 11 games and netting five points. In the 1987 offseason, he joined Klagenfurter AC in Austria.

Central Division

-The Blue Jackets signed forward Jake Hansen, a third-round pick in 2007, to a two-year entry level contract.

Northwest Division

-The Flames fired head coach Brent Sutter (right) and assistant coach Dave Lowry. In three seasons with Calgary, Sutter had an overall record of 118-90-38 overall and never reached the postseason.

IIHF World Championships

-Maple Leafs forward Joey Crabb will play for the United States in next month's World Championships.

Patrick Division

-Former Flyers/Blue Jackets defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen has joined Färjestad of the Elitserien in Sweden.

(Photos: Fleury-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images; Timonen and Blackhawks/Coyotes-Christian Petersen/Getty Images; Senators/Rangers and Nyquist-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Capitals/Bruins-Elise Amendola/Associated Press and Charles Krupa/Associated Press and Elsa/Getty Images; Sharks/Blues-Chris Lee, Post Dispatch/Associated Press and Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images; Gonchar-Jamie Sabau/Getty Images; Sutter-Dylan Lynch/Getty Images)

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