Empty Netter Assists - 04-22-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Playoff Stuff
Penguins - Flyers

-"The big picture is the next game. That's it. If we don't come out and execute and win a game, it's over." - Deryk Engelland.

-Matt Niskanen, Zbynek Michalek and Paul Martin each skipped practice yesterday. (PG+)

-"It's still confusing. [Columbus defenseman James] Wisniewski gets eight games in the preseason. We think that's the standard. I don't think it was called the same exact way throughout the season and the first couple games of the playoffs. And now the standard is set again.How many times do we reset the standards?" - Steve Sullivan reacting to the 25-game suspension of Coyotes forward Raffi Torres.

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-Sidney Crosby speaks:

-Kris Letang speaks:

-Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossman ("upper-body") participated in an optional skate yesterday.

-"We're treating this as a do-or-die game." - Flyers forward Claude Giroux on Game 6.

Calder Cup Playoffs

-Two goals and an assist by Colin McDonald led the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 7-2 rout of the rival Hershey Bears in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. Jason Williams recorded three assists for the Penguins while teammate Alex Grant netted two assists. Brad Thiessen made 14 saves in the victory. The Penguins lead the best-of-five series, 2-0.

Rangers - Senators

-Craig Anderson made 41 saves for the Senators in a 2-0 shutout of the Rangers in Game 5. Jason Spezza scored both of Ottawa's goals. The Senators lead the series, 3-2.

-Save of the Night: Anderson on New York's Brandon Dubinsky:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}xr0F7ACklXo{/youtube}

-Defensive Play of the Night: Check out this stick on puck block by New York's Brad Richards against Ottawa's Chris Neil:

-Rangers forward Brian Boyle suffered a concussion on this hit from Neil:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}obT7dtdXefc{/youtube}

-“I’m a physical player out there and I think it was a clean hit. He was slow getting up but I think I just knocked the wind out of him. I caught him right in the chest. He’s a big man. It takes a lot out of me giving those hits, too.” - Neil on the hit.

-“It was probably the exact same hit as Torres, different part of the ice. (He) launches himself, (it’s) a head shot, the puck’s at the goal line when he’s hit." - Rangers coach John Tortorella comparing the hit to a check which earned Coyotes forward Raffi Torres a 25-game suspension.

-EN Says: It's tough to tell on those replays if Neil made contact with Boyle's head. A concussion can occur even without any sort of head contact.

-Not to be outdone, New York's Derek Stepan dropped Neil with this car wreck of a check:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}lBJv3y4JV0I{/youtube}

-A good look at the hit:

-Intense Photo of the Night: New York's Marc Staal skating through a check by Ottawa's Zack Smith:

-Ottawa's Jared Cowen got the drop here on New York's Chris Kreider:

-A good look at Anderson's lid:

-A good look at the lid of New York's Henrik Lundqvist:

-Lundqvist had a moment to himself:

-Senators rookie forward Mark Stone, 19, made his NHL debut.

-Senators coach Paul MacLean said captain Daniel Alfredsson has made progress in his recovery from a concussion suffered in Game 2.

Bruins - Capitals

-Braden Holtby made 34 saves for the Capitals in a 4-3 win against the Bruins in Game 5. Washington has a 3-2 series lead. Johnny Boychuk, Brad Marchand and Dennis Seidenberg each collected a goal and an assist for Boston.

-Check out this save by Holtby on Boston's Tyler Seguin:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}mEqGgC5GMDI{/youtube}

-Check out this rocket of a one-timer by Boychuk:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}SZEuPb6kuBs{/youtube}

-Check out this save by Boston's Tim Thomas on Washington's Marcus Johansson:

-Boston's Troy Brouwer not being popular:

-Happy times for the Bruins. Not so much for Washington's John Erskine:

-Fiery times for Boston's Claude Julien:

-“I bet a lot of people probably wouldn’t have thought we’d be in this position. It’s just from desperate hockey." - Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner.

-“The one thing we don’t want to do is come back to Boston. We’ve got an opportunity here to go home and close this out, they’re going to come out hard and we’re going to see the best we’ve seen from them all year. It’s going to be a game.” - Capitals forward Jay Beagle on having a chance to win the series at home.

-"I thought it was a very weak call and it ended up costing us a goal.'' - Bruins coach Claude Julien on a penalty against forward Benoit Pouliot which led to a power-play Washington scored its winning goal on.

Panthers - Bruins

-Jose Theodore made 29 saves for the Panthers who shut out the Devils, 3-0, in Game 5. Kris Versteeg had a goal and an assist for Florida which has a 3-2 series lead.

-Check out the passing which led to this goal by Versteeg:

-Ugly Goal of the Night: Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur got handcuffed while trying to play a puck outside the trapezoid behind his cage. That led to a score by Florida's Scotty Upshall:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}3C-SeP1dTeY{/youtube}

-It wasn't all bad for Brodeur. Check out this save against Florida's Sean Bergenheim:

-Florida' Sean Bergenheim > Brodeur:

-“We have to go home and win a game. No one said this was going to be easy. There are all kinds of examples around the league. Pittsburgh was in a 3-0 hole four of five days ago and they’re sitting on the verge of a Game 7.” - Devils coach Peter DeBoer.

-“We have to find a way to win two in a row. We have to win. We have no choice.” - Devils captain Zach Parise.

-When asked if forward Ilya Kovalchuk is dealing with an injury, DeBoer replied, "Everybody this time of year is dealing with stuff."

-With defensemen Jason Garrison and Keaton Ellerby each dealing with "lower-body" injuries, the Panthers recalled defenseman Tyson Strachan from San Antonio of the AHL.

Canucks - Kings

-“Right now, we just want to worry about winning one game and you never know what can happen after that." - Canucks goaltender Corey Schneider on the challenge of attempting a comeback from a 3-0 series deficit. Los Angeles currently leads the series, 3-1.

-“We’re going in with the same mentality that we went into Game 1, Game 2, Game 3 and Game 4 with." - Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.

Blues - Sharks

-Brian Elliott made 26 saves for the Blues in a series-clinching 3-1 win against the Sharks. Alex Pietrangelo recorded two assists for St. Louis which claimed the series, 4-1.

-Check out this snazzy glove save by Elliott against San Jose's Justin Braun:

-Check out the atmosphere in St. Louis for the game-winning goal by St. Louis' David Perron:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}U9E5O_rhWnQ{/youtube}

-Handshake lines:

-The Blues won a playoff series for the first time since 2002.

-"They tend goal as a team." - Sharks coach Todd McLellan on the Blues' defensive game.

-"I think this team is too good to be going home right now after five playoff games." - Sharks forward Logan Couture.

Coyotes - Blackhawks

-An overtime goal by captain Jonathan Toews led the Blackhawks to a 2-1 win against the Coyotes in Game 5. Corey Crawford made 18 saves for Chicago. Phoenix has a 3-2 series lead.

-Toews' goal:

-A good look at the goal:

-Sad times for Smith:

-Blackhawks rookie forward Brandon Saad, a native of Gibsonia, netted an assist on this goal by defenseman Nick Leddy:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}_VA35bq0KU0{/youtube}

-Toews and teammate Patrick Kane having a chat:

-A good look at the lid of Phoenix's Mike Smith:

-Cool Photo of the Night: Smith leading his team onto the ice:

-"That's got to say something about our character and what we're able to do, especially against a team that late in games they're so good at protecting leads and playing smart defensively." - Toews.

-Coyotes forward Lauri Korpikoski ("lower body") returned to the lineup after being sidelined two games.

-"My main concern is for the healthy recovery of Marian Hossa, and I hope that he will be able to get back on the ice to compete again soon. I sincerely regret injuring Marian. Regarding the severity of the suspension issued, I will take the next few days to decide whether or not to appeal the decision." - Coyotes forward Raffi Torres on his 25-game suspension for injuring Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa in Game 3.

-"I think for us, the reaction is we lost Hoss. I don't think we get any satisfaction in 'X' amount of games or anything like that. … We're missing arguably our best player this year." - Blackhawks forward Andrew Brunette.

-Coyotes fans had "Free Raffi" masks and signs at Game 6:

-Evgeni Malkin apparently dyed his hair white, donned a jump suit and joined Torres' cause:

Predators - Red Wings

-Nashville becomes a hockey town.

-“Over the summer, we got to make some moves. But you can't overhaul your team when you got (Pavel) Datsyuk, (Henrik) Zetterberg, (Niklas) Kronwall. We got pieces to build around.'' - Red Wings general manager Ken Holland.

Non-Playoff Stuff

-Happy 68th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Bob Paradise (right). A veteran of two separate stints with the Penguins, Paradise, a member of the 1968 United States Olympic hockey team, initally came to the club midway through the 1973-74 season along with Chuck Arnason in a deal which sent Al McDonough to the Atlanta Flames. He finished that season by appearing in 38 games for the Penguins and scoring nine points. In 1974-75, Paradise set career highs in games (78) and points (18). During the 1975 postseason, he saw action in six games and recorded one assists. After nine games and no points in 1975-76, Paradise was traded to the Capitals in exchange for a draft pick. Prior to 1977-78, Paradise was re-acquired by the Penguins in a deal which sent Don Awrey to Washington. That season saw him play in 64 games and score 12 points. In 1978-79, he was limited to 14 regular season games and one assist. He saw action in two postseason games that spring and failed to record a point. He was released in the 1979 offseason. In 203 regular games for the Penguins Paradise scored scored 40 points. In eight postseason games, he had one assist.

-Happy 43rd birthday to former Penguins defenseman Zarley Zalapski (right). The team's first-round pick in 1986, Zalapski spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. After spending most of the 1987-88 season with Canada's Olympic team, Zalapski made his NHL debut late in that campaign by appearing in 15 games for the Penguins and recording 11 points. The following season in 1988-89, Zalapski appeared in 58 games, recorded 45 points (a mark which stands as a franchise record for rookie defensemen) and helped the team reach the postseason for the first time in seven seasons. In the playoffs, he recorded a solid nine point in 11 games. During 1989-90, Zalapski was limited to 51 games and 31 points. After 66 games and 48 points in 1990-91, Zalapski was traded to the Hartford Whalers along with John Cullen and Jeff Parker in exachange for Ron Francis, Grand Jennings and Ulf Samuelsson in one of the biggest trade deadline deals in NHL history. In 190 regular season games with the Penguins, Zalapski recorded 135 points, 61st-most in franchise history.

{youtube width="465" height="345"}Nx59B7I8o1s{/youtube}

Atlantic Division

-Pittsburgh-area forward J.T. Miller, the Rangers' first round pick in last year's draft, has joined the Connecticut Whale, the Rangers' AHL affiliate.

(Photos: Engelland-Jamie Sabau/Getty Images; Senators/Rangers-Bill Kostroun/Associated Press and Mike Stobe/Getty Images; Capitals/Bruins-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Devils/Panthers-Joel Auerbach/Getty Images; Coyotes/Blackhawks-Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press and Christian Petersen/Getty Images; Paradise and Zalapski-Penguins Hockey Cards)

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.