Empty Netter Assists - 05-10-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Zbynek Michalek (above) underwent hip surgery.

-Pascal Dupuis is good people:

-Happy 50th birthday to former Penguins forward Randy Cunneyworth. Acquired prior to the 1985-86 season along with Mike Moller in exchange for for Pat Hughes, Cunneyworth spent parts of four seasons in Pittsburgh. His first season with the Penguins saw him appear in 75 games and record 45 points. He improved in 1986-87 by playing in 79 games and scored 53 points. Cunneyworth would set career highs in 1987-88 for goals (35), assists (39) and points (74) in 71 games. His totals took a tumble in 1988-89 as he only scored 44 points in 70 games, but he helped the Penguins reach the postseason for the first time in seven years. He appeared in 11 postseason games that spring and contributed nine points. In the 1989 offseason, Cunneyworth was traded to the Jets along with Rick Tabaracci and Dave McLlwain in exchange for Jim Kyte, Andrew McBain and Randy Gilhen. In 295 regular season games with the Penguins, Cunneyworth scored 216 points, 35th-most in franchise history. He served as the Canadiens' interim head coach this past season.

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-Happy 45th birthday to former Penguins forward Steve Gotaas. A fifth-round pick in 1985, Gotaas spent one season with the Penguins. In 36 games with the 1987-88 Penguins, Gotaas appeared in 36 games and recorded 11 points. Midway through the 1988-89 season, Gotaas and Ville Siren were traded to the North Stars in exchange for Gord Dineen and Scott Bjugstad.

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Playoff Stuff
Rangers - Capitals

-Braden Holtby made 30 saves for the Capitals in a 2-1 defeat of the Rangers in Game 6. Nicklas Backstrom recorded assists on both of Washington's goals. The series is tied 3-3. Game 7 will be played in New York, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

-Note: We will hold a live chat for the game. Click here to join the fun Saturday.

-Lucky Goal of the Night: Washington's Jason Chimera was in the right place at the right time for this goal:

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-Check out the passing which led to Ovechkin's goal:

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-“It’s just one of those changes that we made. We thought Ovi, with his big shot there, could get a shot off and the play — one of their players fell and really left an opening. A shot from there by Ovi doesn’t miss very often.” - Capitals coach Dale Hunter on using captain Alex Ovechkin in the slot during a power play. Ovechkin's only goal of the game came from that position.

-Ovechkin chose an odd time to offer an interprative dance presentation of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat:"

-We think.

-Happy times in Washington:

-"It sucked. It kills you. It sucked." - Rangers coach John Totorella on his team failing to score with a four-minute power play in the second period.

-Tortorella was cheery as usual after the game:

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-EN Says: Could you imagine if Sidney Crosby ever acted like this? The outrcy would be overwhelming. Crosby gets labeled a whiner for outbursts limited to the ice. Meanwhile, Tortorella regularly treats members of the media as subhuman and the reaction is generally regarded as a playful "Torts being Torts. He, he he."

Media in New York can be overwhelming. But others such as Joe Torre and Tom Coughlin have been able to do it and with a greater level of success in terms of championships.

-"He learned quick — even all the swear words. So that's awesome." - Rangers forward and former Penguin Ruslan Fedotenk on teammate Artem Anisimov, a native of Russia, learning English.

-Hockey Night in Canada's pregame montage:

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Devils - Flyers

-The Devils are being hush-hust with any details regarding defenseman Marek Zidlicky's injury.

-“I’m actually a little more nervous than I was in the early years because you don’t get too many opportunities to be in the playoffs. And, after many years, you know when the team has a good chance, a legitimate chance, to accomplish something. I think we feel that we can, so you don’t want to waste that opportunity.” - Devils forward Patrik Elias on the 14th postseason of his NHL career.

-New Jersey's Martin Brodeur is the fourth goaltender aged 40 or older to record eight or more win during a single postseason in NHL history. The others are St. Louis' Jacques Plante (1969), Detroit's Dominik Hasek (2007) and Tampa Bay's Dwayne Roloson (2011).

Coyotes - Kings

-"When you win one round you feel really good, like you accomplished something. And then you win two rounds and you feel real good and you still realize when you step back that you're only halfway there." - Kings defenseman and former Penguin Rob Scuderi (right).

-"I'm not into all that sexy, philosophical, dreamy stuff, right? Because it’s all a bunch of (B.S.), quite honestly. If you play Game 1, and somebody slaps you in the face, then it doesn’t matter (whether), `Oh, did you win a Stanley Cup?" - Kings coach Darry Sutter downplaying the significance of having playoff experience on the roster.

-According to NBC, Game 1 of this series will be held Sunday, 8 p.m. EDT.

-Stan Wilson, the Coyotes head equipment manager, will "face" his son, Denver Wilson, the Kings' assistant equipment manager, in the conference final.

Non-Playoff Stuff
IIHF World Championships

-An assist by former Penguins forward Miroslav Satan helped Slovakia defeat Kazakhstan, 4-2. Fire Ray Shero.

-Cool Photo of the Day: Kazakhstan goaltender Vitali Yeremeyev managed to keep this puck out:

-Oilers forward Jordan Eberle and Islanders forward John Tavares each netted a goal and an assist for Canada in a 3-2 win against Switzerland.

-Switzerland's Goran Bezina > Canada/Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner:

-Switzerland goaltender and former Star Tobias Stephen had issues with this puck:

-Two assists by Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg aided Sweden in a 5-2 defeat of Germany.

-Happy times for Sweden. Not so much for Germany's John Tripp:

-Sweden/Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson suffered a lower back injury.

-Former Oilers/Flyers forward Patrick Thoresen had a goal and two assists for Norway which routed Italy, 6-2.

-We're sure Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov would differ, but Norway has some slick jerseys on account of having a polar bear on the chest:

Central Division

-“Wherever I sign I want to be there for the rest of my career, and that affects my family, my wife, my kid (and) if we have more kids. Everything plays into it.” - Predators defenseman Ryan Suter on becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer.

-Predators forward Alexander Radulov declined an offer to play for Russia in the IIHF World Championships due to a knee injury.

-Red Wings forward Danny Cleary underwent knee surgery.

-The NHL officially approved the sale of the Blues to St. Louis businessman Tom Stillman.

Northwest Division

-With the Devils advancing to the Eastern Conference final, the Wild gets New Jersey's third-round pick in next year's draft as a condition of February's trade for defenseman Marek Zidlicky.

Pacific Division

-The Ducks re-signed unrestricted free agent forward Saku Koivu (right) to a one-year contract worth $3 million. In 74 games last season, Koivu, 37, scored 38 points (11 goals, 27 assists).

-EN Says: This is a solid signing. In three seasons with Anaheim, Koivu has been a solid, reliable but hardly spectacular presence on the Ducks' second line. He doesn't produce quite at the level he used to in his prime, but Koivu is still a dependable defensive center who can win faceoffs and is a good citizen to have in the dressing room. Additionally, you have to thing this move would help in convicing Koivu's friend, the legendary Teemu Selanne, to hold off retirement for one more season.

-The Stars hired former general manager/coach and Hockey Hall of Famer Bob Gainey as a consultant.

Patrick Division

-Former Blackhawks/Sabres forward and Lightning head coach Steve Ludzik is dealing with Parkinson's Disease.

-Former Maple Leafs/Capitals/Flames defenseman Staffan Kronwall has joined the rebuilt Lokomotiv Yaroslavl franchise of the KHL.

-Happy 87th birthday to former Bruins/Red Wings/Black Hawks/Rangers forward Pete Babando. A native of Braeburn, Pa. (near Lower Burrell), Babando was the first Western Pennsylvania-area player to reach the NHL. Babando, who moved to Ontario at a young age, was also the first Pennsylvanian to get his name on the Stanley Cup. In Game 7 of the 1950 Stanley Cup Final, Babando scored twice, including in double overtime, to give the Red Wings the Cup. It was the first time in NHL history Game 7 of a final went to overtime:

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(Photos: Michalek-Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images; Rangers/Capitals-Patrick McDermott/Getty Images; Scuderi-Jeff Gross/Getty Images; IIHF World Championships-Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images and Alexander Nemenov/AFP/GettyImages)

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