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Empty Netter Assists - 12-23-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Jeff Zatkoff made 29 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 3-2 win against the Syracuse Crunch.

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins head coach John Hynes moved ahead of Genn Patrick for most coaching win in franchise history with 116.

-Philippe Lefebvre had a goal and an assist for the Wheeling Nailers who beat the Elmira Jackals, 4-2. Paul Crowder recorded two assists for Wheeling while teammate Scott Darling made 19 saves in the victory.

-Happy 30th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek (right). A free agent signing in 2010, Michalek has spent the past two seasons with the Penguins. In 2010-11, Michalek appeared in 73 games, scored 19 points and led the team with 149 blocked shots. During that spring's postseason, he played in seven games and recorded one assist. Last season, injuries limited Michalek to 62 games and 13 points and a team-leading 144 blocked shots. He appeared in six playoffs games last season and recorded one assist. This past summer, he was traded to the Coyotes in exchange for Harrison Ruopp, Marc Cheverie and a draft pick. In 135 regular season games with the Penguins, Michalek had 32 points. In 13 postseason games, he recorded two assists.

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-Happy 29th birthday to former Penguins forward Chris Conner. A free agent signing in the 2009 offseason, Conner spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. In 2009-10, Conner appeared in eight games and scored three points. During the 2010 postseason, Conner played in one game and failed to record a point. Last season, Conner set career highs in games (60), goals (seven) and points (16). During last season's playoffs, he played in seven games and scored one goal. The following offseason, he joined the Red Wings as a free agent. In 68 career regular season games for the Penguins, Conner scored 19 points. In eight postseason games, he had one goal. He is currently a member of the Coyotes organization.

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-Happy 36th birthday to former Penguins forward Mikael Samuelsson. Acquired late in the 2002-03 season along with Joel Bouchard, Richard Lintner and Rico Fata in a deal which sent Mike Wilson, Alex Kovalev, Janne Laukkanen and Dan LaCouture to the Rangers, Samuelsson's Penguins' career amounted to 22 games and two assists that campaign. In the 2003 offseason, Samuelsson and two draft picks were traded to the Panthers for two draft picks, one of which was used to select Marc-Andre Fleury. Samuelsson is currently a member of the Red Wings.

-Happy 48th birthday to former Penguins forward Petr Klima. Acquired early in the 1996-97 season in a trade which sent a conditional draft pick to the Kings, Klima appeared in nine games and scored four points that campaign for the Penguins. He was released midway through the season. As a result, the Kings were forced to return the draft pick.

Atlantic Division

-"The players, we have to get through this, like any negotiation, but once it gets done, you've got to be professional. You go out, you play for the logo and the city you're living in. All that other stuff has got to be put aside, and I'm sure it will be." - Rangers forward Brad Richards (right) on the possibility of harsh feeling existing between players and management after the lockout ends.

Southeast Division

-Capitals forward Matt Hendricks took part in a USO tour to entertain U.S. troops overseas.

Adams Division

-“When you can’t have a good relationship with your folks, your labor, three times in a row now to the point where you lose most of or entire seasons, it reflects I think on management." - New Jersey governor Chris Christie on the lockout.

-Jaycomb McCombs had two goals for the Johnstown Tomahawks in a 4-3 win against the Port Huron Fighting Falcons.

(Photos: Michalek-Claus Andersen/Getty Images; Richards-Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

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