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Empty Netter Assists - 05-06-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Brad Thiessen made 16 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 2-1 overtime loss to the St. John's SeaCaps in Game 3 of their Calder Cup Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. St. John's has a 2-1 series lead. Game 4 is today, 4:05 p.m.

-Happy 35th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton (right). A free agent signing in the 2006 offseason - the team's first under general manager Ray Shero - Eaton spent four seasons with the Penguins. Injuries limited him to 35 games and three assists in 2006-07 but he appeared in all five postseason games that spring and did not score a point. A knee injury ended his season after 35 games and three points in 2007-08. He rebounded in 2008-09 by playing in 68 games and contributing nine points. He played in all 24 postseason games that spring and scored a career-high seven points while helping the team earn its third Stanley Cup title. In 2009-10, Eaton reached career highs in games (79), goals (three), assists (13) and points (16). He played in 13 playoff games that season and contributed three points. In the 2010 offseason, he joined the Islanders as a free agent. In 218 career regular season games with the Penguins, Eaton, the only NHL player born in Delaware, scored 31 points. In 42 postseason games, he scored 10 points. He is still a member of the Islanders.

-Happy 37th birthday to former Penguins forward Eric Boguniecki. Acquired midway through the 2005-06 season in a deal which sent Steve Poapst to the Blues, Boguniecki's Penguins career ammounted to 38 games and 11 points with the Penguins that season. In the 2006 offseason, he signed with the Blue Jackets.

-Happy 39th birthday to former Penguins forward Ryan Savoia. A free agent signing in the 1995 offseason, Savoia's NHL career amounted to three games and zero points with the 1998-99 Penguins. He left the Penguins organization following that season to join Fribourg-Gotteron in Switzerland.

IIHF World Championships

-Two goals and an assist by Evgeni Malkin led Russia to a 5-2 win against Latvia.

-Check out the passing on Malkin's first goal:

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-Malkin's second goal:

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-Two goals, including one in overtime, by Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson gave the United States a 5-4 win against rival Canada.

-Johnson's goal:

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-United States/Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson and Canada/Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward had issues here:

-Canada/Sharks defenseman Marc-Eduard Vlasic left the game due to a "lower-body" injury.

-Two goals and an assist by Islanders defenseman Mark Streit led Switzerland to a 5-1 rout of Kazakhstan.

-Two assists by Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg helped Sweden beat the Czech Republic, 4-1.

Playoff Stuff
Rangers - Captials

-Braden Holtby made all of 18 saves for the Capitals who beat the Rangers, 3-2, in Game 4. The series is tied, 2-2. Artem Anisimov led New York with a goal and an assist.

-Shift of the Day: Check out this hit by Washington's Nicklas Backstrom on Anisimov and his ensuing goal:

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-Check out this adjustment in tight by Anisimov which led to his goal:

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-Ugly Goal of the Day: The Capitals' defense completely biffed on this icing and allowed New York's Marian Gaborik to cash in:

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-Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin received a minor penalty for this dangerous hit against Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi:

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-"I just missed the puck. I tried to kick the puck and I saw he was coming, so I just got to protect myself." - Ovechkin on the hit.

-“He hit my head a bit there, I think it was the right call. I’m not sure what it was, charging or interference. My head’s kind of there, I think he’s just playing the game hard." - Girardi on the hit.

-Happy times in Washington:

-Intense Photo of the Day: Washington's Jay Beagle and New York's Brad Richards were ready for this faceoff:

-New York's Henrik Lundqvist had issues with this puck:

-Cool Photo of the Day: The Rangers warming up:

-Stretchy times for Holtby:

-Washington got goals from Ovechkin, Backstrom and defenseman Mike Green in the same game for the first time since Oct. 30, 2010.

-Hockey Night in Canada's opening montage:

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Flyers - Devils

-“From a guy that’s in his 40s, he looks a lot better than I do." - Devils coach Peter DeBoer, 43, on goaltender Martin Brodeur turning 40 today.

-“At that time I kind of felt, ‘There is no way this team can beat us.’ And we lost in seven games." - Devils forward Petr Sykora on having a 3-2 series lead against Jaromir Jagr and the Penguins during a 1999 Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

-"It's probably tougher than everybody thought it would be. We were kind of confident after the series against Pittsburgh. It's not going to be easy. It's going to be very hard, a war." - Jagr on trailing the series, 2-1.

Blues - Kings

-"Watching them and seeing the excitement back in L.A. for hockey and the Kings is fun. It brings back a lot of memories of the '93 team." - Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato (right) on the Kings. Granato was a member of the 1992-93 Kings team which advanced to the franchise's only appearance in a Stanley Cup final.

-"They're the hammer, we're the nail. We've got to move the nail around a little bit so they miss." - Blues coach Ken Hitchcock on trailing the Kings in the series, 3-0.

-"I think the biggest thing that he does is absorb checks, gets the puck out on his own. That's what [Blues defenseman Alex] Pietrangelo does. It's a very unique skill. Certain defensemen, there's maybe 10 guys in the whole league that can do it. And Doughty and Pietrangelo are the two guys." - Hitchcock on Pietrangelo and Kings defenseman Drew Doughty.

-To add some size, the Blues will insert forward Ryan Reaves and defenseman Ian Cole into the lineup for today's Game 4 in place of forward B.J. Crombeen and defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo.

Coyotes - Predators

-Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla will have a disciplinary hearing over a hit from behind against Predators forward Matt Halischuk in Game 4.

-The hit in question:

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-EN Says: We don't even know what the standard is in the NHL any more. That said, the sight of Klesla having a handful of Halischuk's jersey doesn't help Phoenix.

-Following a shutout loss in Game 4, the Predators are expected to return offensive forwards Andrei Kostitsyn and Alex Radulov to the lineup for Game 5. Both players were benched for Games 3 and 4 after violating team rules.

-"They're obviously going to be desperate. They have very little room for error and we're trying to close it out, so it will make it a very competitive game." - Coyotes coach Dave Tippett on facing the Predators with a 3-1 series lead.

Non-Playoff Stuff
Northwest Division

-Avalanche forward Steve Downie underwent shoulder surgery.

Norris Division

-Do players from Russia and other former Soviet countries have an unfair reputation?

(Photos: Eaton and Granato-Getty Images; United States/Canada-Alexander Nemenov/AFP/GettyImages; Rangers/Capitals-Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

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