Empty Netter Assists - 05-23-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The Penguins will make free tickets to the NHL Draft available next month.

-Happy 71st birthday to former Penguins forward Bryan Hextall, Jr (right). Acquired in the 1969 offseason in a trade which sent Paul Andrea, John Arbour and Andy Bathgate to Vancouver of the WHL, Hextall, a member of one of hockey's great families, spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins. His first full season in Pittsburgh saw him help the Penguins reach the postseason for the first time in franchise history as he appeared in 66 games and recorded 31 points. During those playoffs, he appeared in 10 games and recorded one assist. In 1970-71, Hextall's saw action in 76 games and recorded 48 points. Hextall appeared in 78 games during 1971-72 and contributed 20 goals and 44 points while leading the team with five game-winning goals. He appeared in four postseason games that spring and recorded two assists. During 1972-73, Hextall played in 78 games and scored a career-high 54 points. After 37 games and nine points in 1973-74, Hextall was claimed off waivers by the Atlanta Flames. The son of Rangers hall-of-Famer Bryan Hextall, Sr. and father of a future Penguins rival, Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall, Bryan Hextall, Jr. appeared in 335 games for the Penguins and scored 186 points, 38th most in franchise history. In 14 postseason games, Hextall recorded three assists.

-Happy 46th birthday to former Penguins forward Gary Roberts. Acquired at the 2007 trade deadline in a deal which sent Noah Welch to the Panthers, Roberts spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. After scoring 13 points in 19 regular season games to finish the 2006-07 season, Roberts recorded four points in five postseason games. In 2007-08, Roberts appeared in only 38 games and scored 15 points due to various injuries. He recovered in time to appear in 11 postseason games and recorded four points as the Penguins advanced to the Stanely Cup final for the first time in 16 years. In the 2008 offseason, the rights to Roberts and Ryan Malone were traded to the Lightning in exchange for a draft pick. One of the most popular players in recent team history, Roberts appeared in 57 games for the Penguins and recorded 28 points. In 16 postseason games, Roberts recorded eight points.

{youtube width="465" height="345"}llWnBfoRfwQ{/youtube}

Playoff Stuff
Rangers - Devils

-Rangers forward Mike Rupp downplayed any significance in his punch against Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur in Game 4.

-“Pray." - Rangers coach John Tortorella on how to get more offensive out put from Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. Two of the Rangers' highest-paid players, Richards and Gaborik have combined for three assists this series.

Coyotes - Kings

-An overtime goal and an assist by Dustin Penner gave the Kings a series-clinching 4-3 win against the Coyotes in Game 5. Drew Doughty also collected a goal and an assist for Los Angeles while teammate Jeff Carter recorded two assists. Jonathan Quick made 38 saves for the Kings who are advancing to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1993. Los Angeles won the series, 4-1. Taylor Pyatt had a goal and an assist for Phoenix.

-Penner's goal and the awkward handshake line:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}bYOIYdOq4GE{/youtube}

-Happy times for the Kings:

-Shortly before Penner's goal, Kings captain Dustin Brown injured Coyotes defenseman and former Penguin Michal Rozsival with a low hit. Brown was not penalized:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}OjhF6Z3qyyo{/youtube}

-Brown didn't exactly appear very remorseful after the hit:

-EN Says: Brown makes contact initially with his shoulder, but it's clear his knee made contact. And the working for Rule 50 in the NHL's rule book is: "Kneeing is the act of a player leading with his knee and in some cases extending his leg outwards to make contact with his opponent."

-"How do you miss that? Rosie’s knee is blown out. How do you miss that? How do you miss that when it’s after the whistle and it’s a knee? How do you possibly miss that? You know what? As player I get in trouble when I make a mistake. I get in big trouble. I get called out by you guys. I get called out by everybody. I get called out by my coaches. I have to be accountable to my teammates. I don’t know how you miss it. I don’t know how you miss it. I’m sure they’ll have a great explanation for it. I’m sure they’ll have a great explanation for it. I know that they try to do their best, I know they always try to do their best. They’re going to make mistakes. It’s just tough when you’re on the short end of it I don’t know how many times.” - Coyotes captain Shane Doan on the hit.

-"When Brown gets away with something like that after the whistle — knee on knee, that's a dangerous play. If Raffi Torres gets 25 games for his hit during the play, this guy should be done forever." - Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith.

-Goal of the Night: Check out this re-direction by Los Angeles' Anze Kopitar:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}q6Kbn7cbNUE{/youtube}

-Hit of the Night: Phoenix's Mikkel Boedker dumped Los Angeles' Colin Fraser into the Coyotes' bench:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}3lV97egoqIQ{/youtube}

-Save of the Night: Quick stopped Phoenix's Lauri Korpikoski with his mask:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}F6w1KOJdcmo{/youtube}

-Brown "accepted" the Clarence Campbell Bowl:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}ViP5l-KUBL4{/youtube}

-"I'm not touching the trophy. It's called the Stanley Cup playoffs for a reason. I didn't want to be near it." - Brown.

-Cool Photo of the Night: Hell breaking loose in the Coyotes' goal crease:

-The handshake line:

-Quick booted out this shot:

-Smith had issues with this stick:

-Happy times for the Coyotes:

-“It means everything. You grow up your whole life wanting to be in that Stanley Cup Final, and to make it there, (knowing) how very hard it is. You just hear from the older guys who have played, guys like (Willie) Mitchell who’ve played 13 years in the league and he hasn’t been there yet. And to get there for him, and older guys like that, is a great feeling.” - Kings defenseman Drew Doughty.

-Hockey Night in Canada's pregame montage:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}4IPw1aDG3gU{/youtube}

-With Brown Brown advancing and New York's Ryan Callahan or Zach Parise bound to advance, an American-born captain will win the Stanley Cup for the first time since Dallas' Derian Hatcher did it in 1999.

-The Stanley Cup Final will begin May 30.

Non-Playoff Stuff
Atlantic Division

-The Flyers signed forwards Derek Mathers (seventh round - 2010) and Andrew Johnston (undrafted) to entry-level contracts.

Southeast Division

-The Hurricanes re-signed minor league forward Nicolas Blanchard to a two-year two-way contract.

Central Division

-How did forwmer Penguins forward Mark Letestu's (right) first season in Columbus go?

Northwest Division

-The Wild signed forward Mikael Granlund, a first-round pick in 2010, to a three-year entry-level contract.

Norris Division

-Former Hurricanes/Blackhawks and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defenseman Danny Richmond has joined Pelicans of Finland's SM-liiga.

-Former Rangers/Coyotes/Flames/Kings/Maple Leafs forward Jamie Lundmark has joined Klagenfurter AC of Austria's EBL.

-Former Hurricanes goaltender Mike Murphy has joined HC Spartak Moscow of Russia's KHL.

(Photos: Hextall-Penguins Hockey Cards; Roberts-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Kings/Coyotes-Jeff Gross/Getty Images, Christian Petersen/Getty Images, Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images and Matt York/Associated Press; Letestu-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.