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Empty Netter Assists - 04-24-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Playoff Stuff
Penguins - Blue Jackets

-Dave Molinari's recap from last night's game. “We let another one slip away. We’re making it harder on ourselves than we need to, but I don’t think we need to pout about it now.” - Matt Niskanen.

-The Columbus Dispatch's recap. “Oh, man, the noise in the building when that went in. Chills. It’s been a long time coming for a lot of the people out there. A lot of this win was for them.” - Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno on his overtime goal.

-The Associated Press' recap. "I didn't get a good look but, you know what, I trust Marc. For a puck to come out like that, I'm sure it had to take a bounce or some kind of a weird hop." - Sidney Crosby on how Marc-Andre Fleury played the puck which led to the game-tying goal late in regulation.

-Highlights:

-Mike Lange's goal calls.

-Niskanen was chirped (and chirped back) by some Blue Jackets fans:

-Tanner Glass had a rough start to the night:

-Hockey Night in Canada's opening montage:

-A good look at Foligno's goal:

-A great look at the goal by Columbus' Ryan Johansen:

-Fleury speaks:

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-Crosby speaks:

-Craig Adams speaks:

-Nationwide Insurance's corporate headquarters was in a festive mood after the game:

-One of those dreaded 3-1 leads struck again.

-“The puck just dropped on me. I don’t know, he shot through a guy’s legs, I think, and it seemed to drop right in front of me.” - Fleury on Umberger's overtime goal.

-"We thought we had them on the ropes there the whole second period on. We started taking it to them." - Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger.

-"We as a team know his value and how good a player he is. We feel sorry for him that he didn't get that recognition that I think all of our team feels he deserves." - Jussi Jokinen on Olli Maatta being left out as a finalist for the Calder Trophy.

-After the Jump: Matt Cooke is suspended while the Blackhawks and Stars tie their series.

Rangers - Flyers

-"We’re going to be ready for Game 4, we’re going to tie up this series, and go back to New York.” - Flyers captain Claude Giroux.

-"We're going to see another goaltender. We're going to have a plan for that." - Rangers coach Alain Vigneault on expecting to face Flyers goaltender Steve Mason in Game 4.

Bruins - Red Wings

-Red Wings captain/forward Henrik Zetterberg (right) practiced for the first time since undergoing back surgery Feb. 21.

-The Red Wings recalled defenseman Xavier Ouellet from Grand Rapids of the AHL.

-The wives of Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk and defenseman Niklas Kronwall each gave birth Wednesday.

Canadiens - Lightning

-“Rest is a weapon right now. I don’t see it as a disadvantage. Boston or Detroit, it doesn’t matter. We’re going to have to beat one of them — or any other team — to keep advancing, so we’ll just sit back and see what happens.” - Canadiens forward Lars Eller on having down time after sweeping the Lightning.

Avalanche - Wild

-Wild forward Matt Cooke was suspended seven games by the NHL for a knee-on-knee  hit against Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie in Game 3. The NHL's explanation:

-EN Says: Given Cooke's considerable history and the severity of Barrie's injury, this a woefully inadequate suspension.

-Stop us if this sounds familiar. The Wild's top goal scorers are struggling in the posteason.

-The Avalanche recalled forward Joey Hishon from Lake Erie of the AHL.

Blues - Blackhawks

-Two goals, including one in overtime, and an assist by Patrick Kane gave the Blackhawks a 4-3 win against the Blues in Game 4. Captain Jonathan Toews recorded two assists for Chicago while teammate Corey Crawford made 30 saves. The series is tied, 2-2. Vladimir Tarasenko led St. Louis with two goals.

-Pass of the Night: Check out this cross-ice feed by Chicago's Johnny Oduya to set up Kane for a goal:

-Check out this deflection goal by Chicago's Bryan Bickell:

-Kane's overtime goal:

-Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was pumped:

-Crawford was all over this puck:

-St. Louis' Adam Cracknell put too much on this shot:

-Blues forward and former Penguin Brenden Morrow is expected to miss the rest of the first round due to a foot injury.

Stars - Ducks

-Vernon Fiddler had a goal and an assist for the Stars in a 4-2 win against the Stars in Game 4. Shawn Horcoff recorded two assists for Dallas while teammate Kari Lehtonen made 21 saves. The series is tied, 2-2.

-Check out the placement and power on this shot by Anaheim's Bryan Allen:

-Dallas captain Jamie Benn scored the Stars' first goal off a neutral zone faceoff:

-Check out this snipe by Dallas' Cody Eakin for the eventual game-winning goal:

-Check out this feed by Fiddler to set up former Penguin Alex Goligoski for a goal:

-Fire Ray Shero.

-Theis game got ugly late. Anaheim Corey Perry dropped the gloves with Dallas' Antoine Roussel:

-A good look at the tussle:

-A near line brawl took place at the end of regulation:

-Lehtonen being popular:

-Anaheim's Frederik Andersen took this puck to the chest:

-Ducks captain/forward Ryan Getzlaf missed Game 4 due to an "upper-body" injury.

-The Ducks made forward Teemu Selanne a healthy scratch.

-“It’s really hard. I’ve been waiting to play in the playoffs the last five years and …” - Ducks defenseman Stephane Robidas on breaking his leg in Game 3.

Sharks - Kings

-"We have to be desperate. We're down, 3-0. There's no time to sit back and wait for things to happen. You have to out there and make them happen. If we don't, it's going to be a long summer. We need everybody on the same page tomorrow night." - Kings forward Jeff Carter.

-As member of the Flyers in the 2010 playoffs, Carter and forward Mike Richards were part of the last team to rally from a 3-0 series deficit and win.

Non-Playoff Stuff
Penguins

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins captain/forward Tom Kostopoulos is trying to win his first professional championship.

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will face former defenseman Alex Grant, now a member of the Binghamton Senators, in the first round.

-Mike Condon made 38 saves for the Wheeling Nailers in a 1-0 shutout of the South Carolina Stingrays in Game 3 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series of the Kelly Cup playoffs.

-Happy 41st birthday to former Penguins goaltender Peter Skudra (right). A free agent signing prior to the 1997-98 season, Skudra spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1997-98, Skudra appeared in 17 games, went 6-4-3 with a 1.83 goal against average and .924 save percentage. The 1998-99 campaign was by far his best in the NHL as he set career highs in games played (37), wins (15-11-5) and shutouts (3) while sporting a 2.79 goals against average and .892 save percentage. During 1999-2000, Skudra was limited to 20 games, a 5-7-3 record at 3.12 goals against average, an .872 save percentage and one shutout. He appeared in one postseason game that spring and had a 3.00 goals against average and .909 save percentage. In the 2000 offseason, he joined the Bruins as a free agent. In 74 regular season games with the Penguins, he had a 26-22-11 record with a 2.65 goals against average, .894 save percentage and four shutouts.

-Happy 27th birthday to current Penguins all-star defenseman Kris Letang (right). A third-round pick in 2005, Letang has spent parts of the last six seasons with the Penguins. After scoring two goals in a seven-game "tryout" with the Penguins in 2006-07, Letang broke through to the NHL full-time in 2007-08 and recorded 17 points in 63 games. In 16 postseason games that spring, Letang recorded two assists and helped the club reach the Stanley Cup final. He followed that up in 2008-09 by playing in 74 games and scoring 23 points. In 23 postseason games that spring, he scored 13 points and earned a Stanley Cup ring. During 2009-10, Letang saw action in 73 games and recorded 27 points. He appeared in 13 postseason games that spring and recorded seven points. In 2010-11, Letang played in all 82 games and scored a career-high 50 points while being selected to an all-star game for the first time in his career. In seven postseason games that spring, he had four assists. Injuries limited Letang to 51 points in 2011-12 but he managed to record 42 points. In six postseason games that spring, he recorded five points. Last season, Letang has appeared in 35 games and had 38 points. He appeared in 15 postseason games last spring and scored 16 points. This past season, Letang was l imited by injuries and played in 37 games and scored 22 points. This posteason, he has played in four games and has no points. Letang has appeared in 383 career regular season games for the Penguins and has scored 231 points, 35th-most in franchise history. In 84 postseason games, he has scored 48 points 16th-most in franchise history.

-Happy 30th birthday to former Penguins minor league forward Brett Sterling. A free agent signing in 2010, Sterling's Penguins career amounted to seven games  and five points in 2010-11. He joined the Blues as a free agent in the 2011 offseason. He is currently a membe of Örebro in Sweden's SHL.

Smythe Division

-Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon as well as Lightning forwards Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat were named finalists for the Calder Trophy.

-Former Sharks/Hurricanes defenseman Derek Joslin has joined the Nürnberg Ice Tigers of Germany's DEL.

-Former Senators/Bruins forward Kaspars Daugavins has joined Dynamo Moskow of Russia's KHL.

IIHF World Championship

-Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau was named to the United States' roster for next month's IIHF World Championship tournament.

(Photos: Bruce Bennett/Getty Image, Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images, Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press, Kirk Irwin/Getty Images, Jay LaPrete/Associated Press, Jamie Sabau/Getty Images and Ian Tomlinson/Allsport)

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