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Empty Netter Assists - 05-21-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Happy 40th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Pat Neaton (right). A seventh-round pick in 1990, Neaton's entire NHL career amounted to nine games and two points with the 1993-94 Penguins. After that season, he moved on to the San Diego Gulls of the IHL.

-Happy 42nd birthday to former Penguins forward Reid Simpson. A free agent signing in the 2003 offseason, Simpson's Penguins career amounted to two games, no points and 17 penalty minutes in 2003-04. He was released in the 2004 offseason.

IIHF World Championships

-A goal by Evgeni Malkin helped Russia rout Slovakia, 6-2, in the gold medal match. Malkin led the tournament with 19 points (11 goals, eight assists) in 10 games and won tournament MVP.

-Malkin's goal:

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-Pass of the Day: Check out this pass from Capitals/Russia forward Alexander Semin to set up Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk:

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-Check out the passing on this play which led to a goal by Russia forward and former Stars prospect Alexei Tereshenko:

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-Team Russia accepting its gold medals:

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-Malkin got a hug from Team Russia president and Soviet Union goaltending legend Vladislav Tretiak:

-Happy times for Malkin:

-Happy times for Russia:

-Slovakia defenseman and Bruins captain Zdeno Chara wore the jersey of former teammate Pavol Demitra when he accepted the silver medal. Demitra was killed in the Sept. 7 plane crash involving the the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl franchise:

-The handshake line:

-“He’s like our Messi, our answer to him." - Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko comparing Malkin to Argentinian soccer player Lionel Messi.

-Two assists by Oilers forward Ales Hemsky recorded two assists for the Czech Republic which edged Finland, 3-2, for  the bronze medal.

-Goal of the Day: Check out this effort by Finland forward and former Flyer Mika Pyorala:

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-Check out this snipe of a goal by Finland/Hurricanes forward Jussi Jokinen:

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-Happy times for Czech Republic forward and former Penguin Petr Nedved:

-Happy times for the Czech Republic:

Playoff Stuff
Rangers - Devils

-Rangers forward Brandon Prust was suspended one game for hitting Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov in the head with an elbow in Game 3.

-The explanation:

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-EN Says: This is pretty cut and dry. It's an elbow to the head. It's clearly an act which earns a suspension. Ideally, it would merit a longer suspension, but with the NHL, they consider several factors such as Prust's clean history, the lack of an injury to Volchenkov and other factors when making a decision.

-“Prust has played probably 300-plus games without any hearing, anything going on with him. (Prust’s) probably one of the most honest players. I look at (Dainius) Zubrus’ elbow to (Anton) Stralman. I look at (Zach) Parise launching himself at (Michael) Del Zotto. Maybe if our players stayed down on the ice, we’ll get something. We tell our players don’t stay down on the ice, get up. I’ll leave it at that.” - Rangers coach John Tortorella.

-“Comical." - Devils coach Peter DeBoer.

-“I’m not sure what that is. Was there even a hit on Stralman?. I don’t know what (Tortorella’s) thought process is, what he’s thinking." - Zubrus.

Coyotes - Kings

-Mike Smith  made 36 saves for the Coyotes in a 2-0 shutout of the Kings in Game 4. Captain Shane Doan scored both of Phoenix's goals. Los Angeles has a 3-1 series lead.

-Save of the Day: Smith on Los Angeles' Anze Kopitar:

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-A good look at the save:

-Happy times for Phoenix's Jason LaBarbera and Keith Yandle:

-Cool Photo of the Day: The Kings taking the ice:

-Funny Face of the Day: Kopitar:

-Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin returned to the lineup after missing three games due to an undisclosed injury.

-Hockey Night in Canada's pregame montage:

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Non-Playoff Stuff
Smythe Division

-Former Devils/Blues forward Mike Danton joined Coventry Blaze of the United Kingdom's EIHL. While with the Blues, Danton was arrested in 2004 for attempting to hire a hit man to murder his agent David Frost.

-Former Kings forward Esa Pirnes joined AIK of Sweden's Elitserien.

(Photos: Neaton-Penguins Hockey Cards; IIHF World Championships-Dmitry Lovetsky/Associated Press, Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/GettyImages and Alexander Nemenov/AFP/GettyImages; Coyotes/Kings-Harry How/Getty Images and Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

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