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Empty Netter Assists - 12-31-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Has Olli Maatta (above) hit a wall?

-The Penguins assigned Brian Dumoulin and Harry Zolnierczyk to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-James Neal was named the NHL's third star of the week.

“Having gone through it, I know that having talked to some guys who went through it helped me a lot just to kind of understand what was going on,” Crosby said. “So, having kind of been there, if there’s somebody that I know, I know there’s probably a lot of different things you’re told or a lot of different things it could be, but sometimes, if you can relate to what someone else has gone through, you can deal with it a little bit better.

- See more at: http://blogs.northjersey.com/blogs/fireice/comments/devils_hope_to_end_2013_first_half_on_plus_side_of_.500_crosby_offered_clowe_concussion_advice/#sthash.klWn5H0H.dpuf

Having gone through it, I know that having talked to some guys who went through it helped me a lot just to kind of understand what was going on. So, having kind of been there, if there’s somebody that I know, I know there’s probably a lot of different things you’re told or a lot of different things it could be, but sometimes, if you can relate to what someone else has gone through, you can deal with it a little bit better." - Sidney Crosby on making an offer to advise Devils forward Ryane Clowe on his recent concussion.

-Did any potential players for Team USA try to make an impression in front of Dany Bylsma this season?

-Sidney Crosby speaks:

-Happy 59th birthday to former Penguins forward Terry Ruskowski. A free agent signing prior to the 1985-86 season, Ruskowski spent two seasons with the Penguins. In 1985-86, Ruskowski played in 73 games and scored 63 points. He followed that up in 1986-87 by appearing in 78 contests and contributing 51 points. During the 1987 offseason, he joined the Minnesota North Stars as a free agent. In 143 regular season games with the Penguns, Ruskowski scored 114 points, 71th-most in franchise history.

-Happy 36th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Dan Focht. Acquired at the 2003 trade deadline along with Ramzi Abid and Guillaume Lefebvre in exchange for Jan Hrdina and Francois Leroux, Focht spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He finished 2002-03 by appearing in 12 games for the Penguins and recorded three assists. In 2003-04, Focht appeared in 52 games and scored five points. Following the 2004-05 lockout, Focht joined the Panthers as a free agent.

-Happy 65th birthday to former Penguins forward Rene Robert. Claimed from the Sabres during the 1971 offseason in an intra-league draft, Robert's Penguins' career amounted to 49 games and 18 points in 1971-72. Late in the 1971-72 season, Robert was traded to the Sabres in exchange for Eddie Shack. Robert became an all-star with the Sabres as part of the famed "French Connection line with Rick Martin and Gilbert Perreault.

-Happy 66rd birthday to former Penguins forward Nelson Debenedet. Acquired in the 1974 offseason in a trade which sent Hank Nowak and a draft pick to the Red Wings, DeBenedet's Penguins' career amounted to 31 games and nine points during the 1974-75 season. He was released in the 1975 offseason. Debenedet is one of three native Italians who have played in the NHL.

-Happy 58th birthday to former Penguins forward Gary McAdam (right). Acquired midway through the 1978-79 season in a trad which sent Dave Schultz to the Sabres, McAdam spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1978-79 by appearing in 28 games and scoring 14 points for the Penguins. In the 1979 postseason, he played in seven games and scored three points. He followed that up in 1979-80 by playing in 78 games and scoring 41 points. That spring's postseason saw him appear in five games and score three points. After 34 games and 12 points in 1980-81, McAdam was traded to the Red Wings in exchange for Errol Thompson. In 140 regular season games with the Penguins, McAdam scored 67 points. In 12 postseason games, he contributed six points.

-Happy 58th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Lex Hudson. A 12th-round pick in 1978-79, Hudson's entire Penguins and NHL career amounted to two games and no points in 1978-79. He was released in 1979.

-After the Jump: Jaromir Jagr keeps on ticking while the Hurricanes make a trade.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-A shootout goal by Vincent Lecavalier gave the Flyers a 4-3 win against the Canucks. Captain Claude Giroux had a regulation goal and an assist for Philadelphia while teammate Michael Raffl recorded two assists. Steve Mason made 41 saves in the victory. Daniel Sedin led Vancouver with a regulation goal and an assist.

-Check out the passing which led to this goal by Vancouver's Jannik Hansen:

-A goal by Philadelphia's Brayden Schenn with 46.8 seconds remaining in regulation forced overtime:

 

-Philadelphia's Zac Rinaldo > Vancouver's David Booth:

 

-“I just remember my father’s words. He said, ‘If you’re going to be like me, you’re going to be [your] strongest around 40.’ … Maybe he’s right." - Devils forward and former Penguins captain Jaromir Jagr on his success at age 41.

-Devils forward Steve Bernier and defenseman Anton Volchecnkov are dealing with undisclosed injuries.

“There’s some bad things out there but I don’t think it’s going to happen at the Olympics because there’s going to be lots of security there and I’m sure the Russian government will do everything possible to protect the people and the athletes.” - See more at: http://www.senatorsextra.com/main/ovechkin-vows-sochi-games-will-be-safe#sthash.mnZ0pU15.dpuf

-“It’s kind of situation when somebody wants to make [others] afraid of people, do some bad things out there. don’t think it’s going to happen in Olympics because there’s going to be lots of security out there. I’m sure Russian government is going to do everything that’s possible to protect the people and athletes there.” - Capitals captain/forward Alex Ovechkin on security at the Olympics in Sochi in the wake of suicide bombings in Volgograd, Russia.

-In the wake of the attacks, Devils forward Patrik Elias, a Czech, does not want his family coming to the Olympics.

 

-The 2015 Winter Classic is expected to be held at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

 

-Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (right) is expected to return to the lineup today against the Panthers after missing 10 games due to a concussion.

-The Hurricanes acquired forward Greg Nemisz from the Flames in exchange for forward Kevin Westgarth. Nemisz, 23, has spend the entire season with Abbotsford of the AHL and has appeared in 32 games while scoring nine points (five goals, four assists). A first-round pick in 2008, Nemisz is on a one-year, two-way contract with a salary cap hit of $725,000. Westgarth, 29, has appeared in 12 games this season and has no points. The son in law of former Steelers coach Bill Cowher, Westgarth is in the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $725,000.

-“There’s no doubt in my mind our team is good enough to compete in our conference, so it’s been very disappointing and frustrating. We have a handful of players who are not playing up to their potential and contributing enough. They’ve got to get going.” - Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford.

-“I’ve liked him since he played college hockey ... I liked him in the American League. What he brings is what we desperately need: Size and toughness.” - Flames acting general manager Brian Burke on Westgarth.

-EN Says: The Hurricanes have badly underachieved this season and this seems to be the start of a shakeup to the team's roster. This trade won't make or break the Hurricanes but it's an attempt to send a message. Nemisz is a failed first round pick who may benefit from a change in scenery. The Hurricanes have a history of success in reclamation projects such as Jiri Tlusty and Alexander Semin. As for the Flames, as long as Burke is acting as the general manager, there will always be a need for enforcers such as Westgarth.

Atlantic Division

-Craig Anderson made 34 saves for the Senators in a 3-1 win against the Capitals. Ottawa has won three out of its past four games.

-Check out the passing which led tot his goal by Ottawa's Mika Zibanejad:

-Washington defenseman Mike Green was torched badly on this goal by Ottawa's Kyle Turris:

-Senators forward Chris Neil left the game in the first period due to a "lower-body" injury.

-Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson missed last night's game against the Predators due to an "upper-body" injury.

-“I’d rather be skating on ice than water." - Maple Leafs defenseman Paul Ranger on the expected frigid temperatures for tomorrow's Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Mich.

-Sabres forward Ville is dealing with an undisclosed injury.

Central Division

-Colin Wilson had two goals and an assist for the Predators who beat the Red Wings, 6-4. Mike Fisher added a goal and an assist for Nashville while teammate Craig Smith netted a goal and an assist. Marek Mazenac made 21 saves in the victory. Niklas Kronwall and captain Henrik Zetterberg each recorded two assists for Detroit.

-Check out the effort by Detroit's Justin Abdelkader on this goal:

-A catfish hit the ice in Nashville:

-Check out the power on this one-timer by Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk:

-Check out the move in tight on this goal by Wilson:

-Pass of the Night: Check out this feed by Zetterberg to set up Patrick Eaves for a goal:

-Antti Raanta made 26 saves for the Blackhawks in a 1-0 shutout of the Kings. It was Raanta's first career shutout.

-A good look at the game's only goal by Blackhawks forward and Gibsonia native Brandon Saad:

-Toews had to fend off Los Angeles' Jeff Carter while controlling this puck:

-Hit of the Night: Los Angeles' Jake Muzzin on Chicago captain Jonathan Toews:

-Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford, sidelined since Dec. 8 due to a groin injury, declared himself "ready to go."

-Avalanche forward P.A. Parenteau will be sidelined approximately six weeks due to a left knee injury.

-The Jets signed forward Nic Petan, a second-round pick in this year's draft, to a three-year entry-level contract.

-The Jets assigned defenseman Julian Melchiori to St. John's of the AHL.

-The Wild recalled defenseman Jonathan Blum from Iowa of the AHL.

Pacific Division

-“Being off three weeks, it’s tough on the body. Being off and lying down and not really doing much and fighting whatever it is, it makes it hard.” - Coyotes captain/forward Shane Doan (right) on his recovery from Rocky Mountain fever.

-Coyotes forward Gilbert Brule refused an assignment to Portland of the AHL and was suspended by the team.

-The Coyotes recalled forward Chris Brown from Portland.

-The Oilers plan on making forward Nail Yakupov, the first overall pick in the 2012 draft, a healthy scratch for tonight's game against the Coyotes.

IIHF World Junior Championship

-In the preliminary round, Derrick Pouliot recorded an assist for Canada in a 5-3 win against Slovakia.

-Predators goaltending prospect Juuse Saros made 28 saves for Finland in a 4-1 defeat of Russia.

-A goal by Sharks defensive prospect Mirco Müller held Switzerland beat Norway, 3-2.

-Undrafted goaltender Marvin Cupper made 40 saves for Germany in a 3-0 shutout of the Czech Republic.

(Photos: Maatta-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images; McAdam-Penguins Hockey Cards; Flyers/Canucks-Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press; Staal-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Kings/Blackhawks-Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press and Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images; Doan-Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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