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Empty Netter Assists - 05-05-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-At $725,000 a year, Craig Adams is the highest paid athlete from Brunei Darussalam.

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins host the St. John's IceCaps in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series tonight.

-Brian Strait is day to day with an undisclosed injury.

-Happy 39th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Johan Hedberg (right). Acquired at the 2001 trade deadline along with Bobby Dollas in exchange for Jeff Norton, "The Moose" spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. After finishing the 2000-01 season with a 7-1-1 record, 2.64 goals against average and .905 save percentage in nine games, Hedberg emerged as a suprise playoff starter for the Penguins. In 18 postseason games that spring, Hedberg was 9-9 with a 2.30 goals against average, .911 save percentage and two shutouts. In 2001-02, Hedberg appeared in 66 games and had a 25-34-7 record with a 2.75 goals against average, a .904 save percentage and six shutouts. His loss total led the NHL and remains a franchise record. During 2002-03, he saw action in 41 games and went 14-22-4 with a 3.14 goals against average .895 save percentage and one shutout. The following offseason, Hedberg was traded to the Canucks for a draft pick. In 116 games with the Penguins, Hedberg went 46-57-12 with a 2.88 goals against average, .901 save percentage and seven shutouts. His win (eighth) and shutout (fourth) totals are among the 10 best totals in franchise history. He is currently a member of the Devils.

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-Happy 46th birthday to former Penguins forward Mike Stapleton. A free agent signing in the 1992 offseason, Stapleton spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. In 78 games in the 1992-93 campaign, Stapleton recorded 13 points and helped the Penguins win their first Presidents' Trophy. He appeared in four postseason game that spring and did not record a point. The following seasons saw him appear in 58 games and record 11 points. Midway through that season, he was claimed off waivers by the Oilers. In 136 games with the Penguins, Stapleton recorded 24 points.

-Happy 47th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Grant Jennings (right). The least celebrated player acquired in the Penguins legendary 1991 trade deadline deal which brought him to Pittsburgh along with Ron Francis and Ulf Samuelsson in exchange for John Cullen, Jeff Parker and Zarley Zalapski, Jennings spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins. Hardly an offensive dynamo, Jennings recorded four points in 13 games for the Penguins down the stretch of the 1990-91 season and recorded two points in 13 postseason games that spring as the Penguins won their first Stanley Cup title. Jennings' first full season in Pittsburgh was 1991-92 and he appeared in 53 games while scoring nine points. He appeared in 10 postseason games that spring and failed to record a point but helped the team defend successfully defend the Cup. In 1992-93, Jennings saw action in 58 games and recorded five assists. He played in 12 postseason games that spring and did not record a point. During 1993-94, Jennings played in 61 games and scored six points. He was limited to three postseason games that season and failed to record a point. After 25 games and four assists in 1994-95, Jennings was dealt to the Maple Leafs in exchange for Drake Berehowsky at the trade deadline. In 210 regular season games with the Penguins, Jennings recorded 28 points. In 38 postseason games, he scored two points.

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-Happy 61st birthday to former Penguins forward Willy Lindstrom. Claimed off waivers from the Oilers prior to the start of the 1985-86 season, "The Wisp" spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins and was the first player in NHL history to play with both Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. His first season in Pittsburgh saw him play in 71 games and record 31 points. He spent one more campaign in the NHL with the Penguins and recorded 23 points in 60 games. After leaving the sport for one season entirely, Lindstrom joined Brynas IF Gavle in Sweden for the 1988-89 season. In 131 regular season games with the Penguins, Lindstrom scored 54 points.

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Happy 40th birthday to former Penguins forward Zigmund Palffy. A free agent signing in the 2005 offseason, Palffy spent part of one season with the Penguins and recorded 42 points in 42 games in 2005-06. Midway through that campaign, Palffy announced his retirement and left the NHL. His biggest claim to fame with the Penguins was that he scored the 10,000th goal in franchise history in the second period of a 6-3 home loss to the Flyers, Nov. 19.

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Playoff Stuff
Rangers - Capitals

-"They [the men and women of the armed forces] cast a shadow over us, what they do . . . I've even tried to change my language in the locker room because I think [using 'war' and 'battle'] is wrong." - Rangers coach John Tortorella after visiting Arlington National Cemetery.

-“He’s a very valuable part of our team and the way he plays has become a lot of the identity of our hockey team. It’s an aspect that maybe we didn’t have before — a guy that went out and would run somebody through the wall... He can do so many things and he’s a very, very underrated hockey player.” - Capitals forward Brooks Laich on teammate Matt Hendricks.

-What happens if today's Game 4 goes long and potentially runs into Kentucky Derby coverage?

Flyers - Devils

-"I don’t think we thought we were going to win four straight, but definitely they’ve played a lot stronger and a lot harder than me personally would have thought they’d come with." - Flyers forward Scott Hartnell on the Devils.

-Hartnell (37 regular-season goals) and teammates Wayne Simmonds (28), Claude Giroux (28), and Jaromir Jagr (19) have combined for one goal and six points in this series.

-Flyers forward Sean Couturier (right) is day to day due to a leg injury.

-Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros could return to the lineup for the first time since suffering a back injury March 1.

-Flyers forward Daniel Briere is good people.

-“I think we put a little more doubt in their mind, obviously, than maybe what they thought the series might be before it started." - Devils forward Patrik Elias.

Blues - Kings

-"I think the frustration is ... we're getting done to us what we've done to teams all year." - Blues coach Ken Hitchcock on being down 3-0 in the series.

-"I couldn't understand anything he said when he first came, so I made sure when drills were happening to be at the back of the line." - Kings defenseman Drew Doughty on the heavy Canadian accent of coach Darryl Sutter.

Coyotes - Predators

-Mike Smith made 25 saves for the Coyotes in a 1-0 shutout of the Predators in Game 4. Phoenix has a 3-1 series lead.

-Near Goal of the Night: Nashville's Patric Hornvqvist biffed ont his chance in tight:

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-The Predators had a potential game-tying goal late in the third period waved off:

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-Save of the Night: Nashville's Pekka Rinne bailed out teammate Ryan Suter with this tough save against Phoenix's Mikkel Boedker:

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-Phoenix's Kyle Chipchura and Nashville's Paul Gaustad had a spirited fight:

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-Another night. Another catfish on the ice:

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-“Maybe they could have made a difference, but we will never know that. The guys that played, played well, and created lots of chances. We just had to bury one of them, that’s all.” - Predators coach Barry Trotz on his choice to bench forwards Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexander Radulov for Game 4.

-"We had some guys really dig in and play that ugly kind of grinding playoff hockey, and it's tiring. You can tell by the number of guys having IVs coming into them after the game. It was hot out there, so it was a hard-fought battle." - Coyotes forward Ray Whitney.

IIHF World Championships

-Stars defenseman and former Penguin Alex Goligoski recorded two assists for the United States which pounded France, 6-2. Fire Ray Shero.

-Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward made 19 saves for Canada in a 3-2 win against Slovakia.

-Canada/Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins apparently tried to fair catch this puck:

-Canadian and Canucks forward Alex Burrows may have suffered a head injury.

-Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey will join Team Canada.

-Canadiens forward Tomas Plekanec recorded two assists for the Czech Republic in a 2-0 shutout of Denmark.

-Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen made 21 saves and led Finland to a 1-0 shutout of Belarus.

-Two assists by Daniel Alfredsson helped Team Sweden defeat Norway, 3-1.

-Former Senators/Thrashers defenseman Christoph Schubert scored a goal for Germany which shut out Italy, 3-0.

Non-Playoff Stuff

Northeast Division

-The Senators re-signed restricted free agent forward Peter Regin to a one-year contract worth $800,000. A shoulder injury limited Regin to 10 points and four points (two goals, two assists) this past season.

Northwest Division

-Flames forward Olli Jokinen (right) underwent surgery for an abdominal tear.

Pacific Division

-Former Stars forward Mike Modano, goaltender Ed Belfour, defensemen Craig Ludwig and Richard Matvichuk have become minority owners in the CHL's Allen (Texas) Americans.

(Photos: Adams-Paul Bereswill/Getty Images; Hedberg-Jamie Squire/Allsport/Getty Images; Jennings-Penguins Hockey Cards; Couturier and Jokinen-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Nugent-Hopkins-Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images)

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