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Empty Netter Assists - 05-07-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-"I remember that like it happened yesterday. I pulled my groin in the first game. We were losing, 3-2, in the series and if we would lose in the first round I think the team would move to Kansas City because they had no money. We had to make the second round to get the (money for) the payments. I came back and I tied it with a minute and a half to go and then I scored in overtime. That was probably my best game ever, I would say. My most important for sure. I'll probably never score a goal that important. Probably if I hadn't scored, the team wouldn't be in Pittsburgh right now. (Sidney) Crosby would be in Kansas City." - Flyers forward and former Penguins captain Jaromir Jagr on his performance in a 1999 Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Devils. While working through bankruptcy proceedings off the ice, the eighth-seeded Penguins came back from a 3-2 series deficit to upset the No. 1 Devils in seven games.

-Eric Tangradi had a goal and an assist for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 3-2 overtime loss to the St. John's SeaCaps in Game 4 of their Calder Cup Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. St. John's has a 3-1 series lead. Game 5 is scheduled for Tuesday, 7:05 p.m.

-Happy 31th birthday to former Penguins forward Guillaume Lefebvre. Acquired at the 2003 trade deadline along with Ramzi Abid and Dan Focht in a deal which sent Jan Hrdina and Francois Leroux to the Coyotes, Lefebvre spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He finished the 2002-03 season by appearing in 12 games for the Penguins and recording six points. After playing exclusively with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2003-04 and 2004-05, Lefebvre appeared in nine games for the NHL Penguins in 2005-06 and failed to record a point. In the 2006 offseason, he joined the St. Jean Chiefs in the QNAHL. In 21 games with the Penguins, he scored six points. He is currently a member of the Graz 99ers of the EBHL in Austria.

IIHF World Championships

-Two assists by Evgeni Malkin helped Russia defeat Norway, 4-2.

-Former Penguins forward Janne Pesonen scored a goal for Finland in a 1-0 shutout of Slovakia. Fire Ray Shero.

-Finland's Petri Vehanen kicked out this puck:

-Former Stars goaltender Tobias Stephan made 19 saves for Switzerland which beat Belarus, 3-2.

-Stephan had a lot of support here:

-An assist by Senators forward Kaspars Daugavins helped Latvia edge Germany, 3-2.

-Former Kings/Canadiens/Capitals/Blackhawks goaltender Cristobal Huet made 20 saves for France which defeated Kazakhstan, 6-3.

-Kazakhstan's Roman Starchenko was injured on this ugly hit by France's Sacha Treille:

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-Former Devils forward prospect Matt DeMarchi scored two goals for Italy in a 4-3 win against Denmark.

Playoff Stuff
Rangers - Capitals

-Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is not expected to be disciplined for a high hit against Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi.

-The hit in question:

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-EN Says: Yes, Ovechkin left his feet, but he appeared to strike Girardi's shoulder as the principal point of contact. And Girardi wasn't apparently injured the play. It's a charge. And under certain circumstances, you get two minutes for this type of play and that's it. And let's face facts. Ovechkin's star power doesn't hurt his case either.

-"We have to win it." - Rangers captain Ryan Callahan on Game 5. The series is tied, 2-2.

-"I don’t think (Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby) has had to stand on his head too often, so we’re more worried of what we have to do and get more (pucks) at him and see where it goes from there.” - Rangers forward Brad Richards (right).

-“In our meetings, if we lose a game, he doesn’t come in and say, ‘You guys looked terrible, you played terrible, you guys got to be better. He never comes in and says that. It’s, ‘We lost, let’s forget about it.’ That really helps the entire team, but especially the guys that had a bad game. They don’t need someone to come in and tell them they had a bad game. They know they had a bad game. He lets everybody deal with it on their own. And, at this point, everyone should be able to do just that.” - Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner on head coach Dale Hunter.

Devils - Flyers

-Two goals by Dainius Zubrus helped the Devils defeat the the rival Flyers, 4-2, in Game 4. Former Penguin Petr Sykora added a goal and an assist for New Jersey while teammate Martin Brodeur made 20 saves. The Devils have a 3-1 series lead. Claude Giroux netted a goal and an assist for Philadelphia.

-Pass of the Night: Check out this pass from New Jersey's Marek Zidlicky to set up Sykora on the back door:

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-Goal of the Night: Check out this re-direction by Zidlicky:

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-Empty Net Goal of the Night: Check out this effort by Zubrus despite being tripped up by Philadelphia's Daniel Briere:

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-Check out this dazzling shorthanded scoring effort by Giroux:

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-Save of the Night: Check out this stop by Philadelphia's Ilya Bryzgalov against New Jersey captain Zach Parise:

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-Late in the second period, Giroux struck Zubrus in the head with a shoulder check:

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-"I was just trying to finish my hit and he kind of leaned in and kind of tried to chip the puck in. I didn’t see the replay, so I don’t know. Obviously I’m not a dirty player. I don’t want to hit guys on the head. I was just trying to finish my hit there." - Giroux on the hit.

-“At first, you’re not sure because you get hit and you’re kind of just not sure because it’s a weird feeling. But five, 10 seconds later I was kind of back into it and I went to the locker room. I’ve been knocked out before in my life and that wasn’t it.” - Zubrus on the hit.

-"For me it looks textbook, like the hits they're trying to get out of the game." - Devils coach Peter DeBoer on the hit.

-EN Says: It's a hit to the head. period. It meets several criteria for Rule 48 such as targeting the head being the principal point of contact. That said, this league is so inconsistent with these type of incidents, especially when it comes to star players. What can you expect?

-New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk tried to use a soccer header to keep a puck in the offensive zone:

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-Happy times in New Jersey:

-Happy times for Sykora:

-Contemplative times for Bryzgalov:

-Bryzgalov > New Jersey's Steve Bernier:

-Zubrus > Bryzgalov:

-Happy times for the Devils. Not so much for the Devils:

-Funny Face of the Night: Brodeur looking up as Philadelphia's James van Riemsdyk crashed down on him:

-Santa Claus is apparently a Flyers fan:

-"They're all over us. There's no time out there. We've got to find a way to break that up." - Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen on the Devils' forecheck.

-The Devils are 9-0 when they have a 3-1 series lead.

-After missing most of Game 3 due to a leg injury, Flyers forward Sean Couturier returned to the lineup for Game 4.

-Brodeur became the first goaltender in NHL history to appear in a playoff game as a teenager and as a 40-year-old.

-With forward Ryan Carter sidelined by an illness, the Devils placed forward Tim Sestito into the lineup.

-Hockey Night in Canada's pregame montage:

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Blues - Kings

-Two goals by captain Dustin Brown led the Kings to a series-clinching 3-1 win against the Blues in Game 4. Anze Kopitar recorded two assists for Los Angeles while teammate Justin Quick made 23 saves. The Kings won the series, 4-0.

-Brown's first goal was a real snipe:

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-A good look at the goal:

-Save/Defensive Play of the Day: Check out this save by Quick against St. Louis' David Perron along with a little help from Kopitar:

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-Brown's empty-net goal and the handshake lines:

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-Quick and St. Louis' Brian Elliott had a moment:

-After a fight with Los Angeles' Jordan Nolan, St. Louis' Chris Stewart did the whole Maxime Talbot "Shush" thing:

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-Down 3-0 on the road and you're doing that? Okay.

-Cool Photo of the Day: Quick leading his team onto the ice:

-Happy times for Quick:

-Elliot had issues with this puck:

-St. Louis' Scott Nichol kept an eye on this puck:

-The Kings advanced to a conference final for the first time since 1993.

-"We're proud of this group, but we don't want to be known as the only other Kings team to make it past the second round." - Brown.

-"It’s definitely a new thing for me. I don’t think I’ve been excited like this for a long time." - Kopitar on advancing to a conference final for the first time in his careers.

-After beating No. 1 Vancouver and No. 2 St. Louis, the Kings became the first No. 8 team to eliminate the top two seeds in a conference since the current playoff format began in 1994.

-"We're a young team and we learned from a team like LA, which showed us what it takes to get onto the Western Conference finals. We're back next year and the biggest thing is to remember the feeling." - Stewart.

Coyotes - Predators

-Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla was suspened one game for a hit from behind against Predators forward Matt Halischuk in Game 4.

-The explanation:

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-“We’ll try to play better, me and Rads, when we come back to the team, try to help and win the game, then come back to Nashville and win the next game.” - Predators forward Andrei Kostitsyn on himself and teammate Alex Radulov. Both players were benched for Games 3 and 4 over a team rules violation.

Non-Playoff Stuff
Northeast Division

-The Sabres signed goaltender Nathan Lieuwen, a sixth-round pick in 2011, to a three-year entry-level contract.

(Photos: Jagr-Post-Gazette archives; Flyers/Devils-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images and Julio Cortez/Associated Press; IIHF World Championships-Alexander Nemenov/AFP/GettyImages; Richards-Patrick McDermott/Getty Images; Kings/Blues-Harry How/Getty Images and Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

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