Empty Netter Assists - 01-24-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Dave Molinari's recap from last night's game. "They have our number, for some reason." - Chris Kunitz on the Maple Leafs' recent success against the Penguins.

-The Globe and Mail's recap. Toronto lost forward Joffrey Lupul to a fractured forearm.

-The Associated Press' recap. ''There just wasn't enough execution with the puck and management of the puck to play where we needed to play.'' - Dan Bylsma.


-Deryk Engelland vs. Colton Orr:

-The great Joe Vitale and Toronto's Mikhail Grabovski were ready for this faceoff:

-A good look at Marc-Andre Fleury's lid:

-Red times for Toronto's James Reimer:

-A good look at Reimer denying Evgeni Malkin in tight:

-A hockey night in Pittsburgh:

-Grabovski's head apparently is a source of warmth for Toronto's Leo Komarov:

-Intense times for Sidney Crosby:

-Cool Photo of the Night: Tyler Kennedy taking the ice through the fog and lights:

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-Sidney Crosby speaks:

-Stop us if this sounds familiar. The Penguins are taking too many penalties

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins signed former Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton and forward Tom Kostopoulos to professional tryout contracts. Eaton, 35, appeared in 62 games last season with the Islanders and scored four points (one goal, three assists). Kostopoulos, 34, played in 81 games with the Flames last season and scored 12 points (four goals, eight assists).

-EN Says: Hold off on pre-ordering either of these players' NHL jerseys. These appear to be favors to both players. Eaton has been looking for work and Kostopoulos is a fan favorite in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. That said, both players can help that team.

-Kostopoulos (right) is one of the best all-time players in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins history.

-Goaltender Brad Thiessen made 26 saves and led the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 3-0 shutout of the St. John's IceCaps. Riley Holzapfel added a goal and an assist for the Penguins while teammate Trevor Smith recorded two assists.

-The Penguins have won five consecutive games.

-Wheeling Nailers defenseman Andrew Hotham scored two goals for the ECHL in a 7-6 win against Colorado in the ECHL All-Star Game.

-Happy 34th birthday to former Penguins forward Tom Kostopoulos. A seventh-round pick in 1999, Kostopoulos spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 2001-02, Kostopoulos appeared in 11 games and scored three points. In 2002-03, he was limited to eight games and one assist. Kostopoulos finally broke through as an NHL regular in 2003-04 by playing in 60 games and scoring 22 points. After the 2004-05 lockout, he joined the Kings as a free agent. He is currently a member of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (see above). In 79 games with the Penguins, Kostopoulos scored 26 points.

-Happy 67th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Bobby Taylor. Acquired late in the 1975-76 season along with Ed Van Impe in a deal which sent Gary Inness and future considerations to the Flyers, Taylor's Penguins amounted to two games, a 0-1-0 record and 5.38 goals against average that season. He was released in the 1976 offseason.

-Happy 50th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Norm Schmidt. A fourth-round pick in 1981, Schmidt spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins.  As a rookie in 1983-84, Schmidt appeared in 34 games and scored 18 points. After spending all of 1984-85 with Baltimore of the AHL, he returned to Pittsburgh in 1985-86 by setting career highs in games (66) and points (29). In 1986-87, he was limited to 20 games and six points. After five games and three poitns in 1987-88, he was forced into retirement due to a back injury. In 125 games with the Penguins, Schmidt scored 56 points.

-Happy 40th birthday to former Penguins forwards Chris and Peter Ferraro. The only set of twins to play for the Penguins, they each joined the organization when they were claimed off waivers from the Rangers prior to the 1997-98 season. Chris appeared in 46 games for the team that season and recorded seven points. Peter only played in 29 games for the Penguins that season also recording seven points before the Rangers re-claimed him off waviers in January, 1998. Chris left the Penguins when he signed with the Oilers in the 1998 offseason.

After the jump: The Rangers get a win, Scott Gomez finds work and Steve Sullivan gets a hat trick. (Fire Ray Shero.)

Atlantic Division

-A hat trick, including a goal in overtime, by Marian Gaborik led the Rangers past the Bruins, 4-3. Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves in the victory.

Gaborik's hat trick:

-Saves of the Night: Boston's Tuukka Rask robbed Gaborik and teamamte Rick Nash here:

-Hats-off time for Gaborik:

-Boston's Milan Lucic is not a graceful dancer:

-Boston rookie Dougie Hamilton has some serious ups:

-Rangers forward and former Penguin Arrron Asham missed the game due to a groin injury.

-The Rangers recalled forward Kris Newbury from Connecticut of the AHL.

-Flyers forward Brayden Schenn was suspended one game by the NHL for charging Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov Tuesday.

-The NHL's explanation of the suspension:

-EN Says: In our book, one of the failures of the NHL's discipline systems if that it waits for an injury to occur before taking significant action. As the video shows, the league accounted for Volchenkov's non-injury on the play in its decision to only give Schenn one game. Why wait for an injury? Why not be proactive instead of reactive and prevent a future injury by giving Schenn something along the line of five games?

-Flyers forward Scott Hartnell will be sidelined indefinitely due to a foot injury.

Northeast Division

-“I want to get out there. I’m not going to be afraid. I want to hit someone, get some hits right away, and that’s probably going to make me calm down and leave any doubt in my mind behind about the injury.” - Sabres forward Nathan Gerbe on potentially playing tonight against Carolina for the first time since offseason back surgery.

-The Canadiens assigned forward Mike Blunden to Hamilton of the AHL.

Southeast Division

-“It’s not like we’re re-inventing the wheel or anything. It’s still hockey. They’re making minor tweaks but it’s not like it’s a whole new system that nobody has ever seen before. We just have to go out and play." - Capitals forward Jason Chimera on his team struggling to adjust to new head coach Adam Oates' system.

Central Division

-Red Wings defenseman Ian White (right) will be sidelined two to three weeks due to a laceration on his leg.

-With defenseman Wade Redden ready to join the lineup, the Blues placed defenseman Jeff Woywitka on waivers and assigned defenseman Ian Cole to Peoria of the AHL.

-Predators forward Paul Gaustad is dealing with an "upper-body" injury.

-Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya spent the lockout playing in Bangkok.

Northwest Division

-Shootout goals by Alex Burrows and Zack Kassian gave the Canucks a 3-2 win against the Flames. Cory Schneider made 34 saves for Vancouver.

-Goal of the Night: Check out the placement on this shot for a regulation goal by Vancouver's Mason Raymond:

-Check out the rush by Calgary captain Jarome Iginla to set up Mikael Backlund for this regulation goal:

-Funny Photo of the Night: Kassian wasn't buying what referee Stephen Walkom was selling:

-Vancouver's Dan Hamhuis gave Calgary's T.J. Oshie a bunch of his forearm here:

-Avalanche forward Steve Downie will undergo season-ending knee surgery.

-EN Says: This is a bad injury for the Lightning. For all his issues, Downie is a talented player who can plunk in 20-goals a season while also being a first-class "disturber" when in the right situation. He appeared to find some chemistry last season with Matt Duchene on the second line.

-Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly, currently a restricted free agent as far as the NHL is concerned, was released from his contract with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of Russia's KHL.

Pacific Division

-A hat trick by former Penguin Steve Sullivan led the Coyotes to a 5-1 win against the Blue Jackets. Fire Ray Shero. It was his eighth career hat trick. Oliver Ekman-Larsson added two goals and an assist for Phoenix while teammates Mikkel Boedker and Antoine Vermette each recorded two assists. Jason LaBarbera made 21 saves in the win.

Sullivan's hat trick:

-Check out this rocket of a goal by Columbus' Fedor Tyutin:

-Happy times for Sullivan:

-Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith in the first period due to a "lower-body" injury. He is considered day to day.

-Coyotes defenseman and former Penguin Zbynek Michalek has found chemistry with his new defensive partner, Ekman-Larsson.

-The Sharks signed unrestricted free agent forward Scott Gomez, formerly of the Canadiens, to a one-year contract worth $700,000 (prorated). Gomez, 33, appeared in 38 games last season and scored 11 points (six goals, seven assists). To make room for Gomez, the team placed defenseman Brent Burns ("lower body") on injured reserve.

-EN Says: The Sharks appear ready to use Gomez (right) in a third-line role. Given where he is at this stage of his career, Gomez can be a viable option with those duties. His offensive skills have erode quite a bit the past few seasons but he can still play a responsible brand of five-on-five defensive hockey. And who knows? Maybe a change of scenery on the West Coast will do him good.

-The Sharks signed forward Tim Kennedy to a one-year contract. Financial terms were not revealed.

Adams Division

-Former Rangers/Flyers/Canucks/Hurricanes/Predators/Lightning forward Jan Hlavac has joined Växjö of Sweden's Elitserien.

-Former Oilers/Ducks forward Ryan O'Marra has joined Vålerenga of Norway's GET Ligaen.

-Former Avalanche/Predators/Senators forward Marek Svatos has joined HC Slovan Bratislava of Russia's KHL.

-Former Blackhawks/Thrashers/Canucks defenseman Steve McCarthy has joined ZSC of Switzerland's NLA.

(Photos: Maple Leafs/Penguins-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images and Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press; Kostopoulos-Rick Stewart/Getty Images; Bruins/Rangers and Gomez-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; White-Gregory Shamus/Getty Images; Flames/Canucks-Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press and Rich Lam/Getty Images; Blue Jackets/Coyotes-Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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