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Empty Netter Assists - 04-29-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Playoff Stuff
Penguins - Blue Jackets

-Dave Molinari's recap from last night's game. "It was tougher than it should have been. It wasn't easy, seeing 1-2-3 go in like that." - Sidney Crosby on the Blue Jackets' attempt at a comeback.

-The Columbus Dispatch's recap. “We came a long way. We grew a lot as a team. We didn’t go anywhere near as far as we wanted to go, but I can say it and mean it: I’m proud of these guys, and I’m excited as (heck) for the future here.” - Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky.

-The Associated Press' recap. "It's more important that we win the game and (end) the series." - Evgeni Malkin on his hat trick.

-Highlights:

-Mike Lange's goal calls.

-The handshake line:

-Joe Vitale's knee-on-knee hit which injured himself and Columbus' Blake Comeau:

-Vitale needed some help off the ice from Rob Scuderi and Lee Stempniak:

-Hockey Night in Canada's pregame montage:

-A great look at Brandon Sutter's breakaway goal against Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky:

-Columbus' Jack Skille battled with Paul Martin for this puck:

-The Blue Jackets bid adieu to their fans for the season:

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-Malkin speaks:

-Marc-Andre Fleury speaks:

- "He's been really good. I mean, he's been really good. What a series." - Matt Niskanen on Marc-Andre Fleury.

-“We got a rivalry born here. They gave us everything we could handle. They were an extremely tough first-round opponent.” - Dan Bylsma on the Blue Jackets.

-"Your attitude can't change. You can't change the way you work or anything like that." - Crosby on working through his slump.

-"They pushed the last two games. You could see. They've won. They know what it takes." - Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards.

-Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson is good people.

-After the Jump: The Wild and Kings each force a Game 7 while Ron Francis gets a promotion.

Rangers - Flyers

-The Rangers have lost 11 consecutive games when leading in a playoff series.

Bruins - Red Wings

-Are the Bruins a slow team?

-“I’d be lying if I said no. I mean, any athlete would be lying if they said it doesn’t. It was good to get that one.” - Bruins forward Milan Lucic on if scoring a goal offers any extra satisfaction after being the subject of vulgar chants.

Canadiens

-"If they're trying to find ways to get me off my game, that means I'm doing something right." - Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban on facing the Bruins in the second round.

Avalanche - Wild

-Zach Parise had two goals and two assists for the Wild in a 5-2 win against the Avalanche in Game 6. Jason Pominville added a goal and an assist for Minnesota while teammates Mikko Koivu and  Ryan Suter recorded two assists. Darcy Kuemper made 21 saves in the win which tied the series, 3-3. Ryan O'Reilly collected two assists for Colorado.

-Check out the release by Minnesota's Mikael Granlund on this goal:

-Spearing has apparently become the penalty du jour. Colorado's Paul Stastny speared Minnesota's Cody McCormick between the legs:

-Check out the passing which led to this goal by Nick HOlden:

-Check out this deflection by Parise which led to the eventual game-winning goal:

-"These games are fun when you win and you contribute. But when we signed here, we didn't sign here to win a first-round game. We look at the big picture. Tonight, we were able to force a Game 7, which is what we wanted to do when we skated this morning. We did it and now we've got to win in Denver." - Parise on himself and Suter.

-Avalanche forward Matt Duchene returned to the lineup after being sidelined the first five games of the series due to a knee injury.

Blues - Blackhawks

-"If I played like this all through the regular season, I would be in the ice tub probably 24 hours." - Blackhawks foward Bryan Bickell on the physical nature of the series.

-The Blues never seemed to shake off a six-game losing streak to end the regular season.

Ducks - Stars

-“I know it’s hard, I know it’s a tough day, but I’m excited about what we accomplished and where we’re going. If you look at the players we brought in and what they were able to accomplish, I think you have to be excited. If you look at the players we have coming up, I think you have to be excited.” - Stars general manager Jim Nill on the direction of his team.

Sharks - Kings

-Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams had two goals and an assist for the Kings in a 4-1 win against the Sharks in Game 6. Drew Doughty recorded two assists for Los Angeles while teammate Jonathan Quick made 25 saves. The series is tied, 3-3.

-Pass of the Night: Check out this cross-ice feed by Doughty to set up Williams:

-Sharks captain Joe Thornton knocked down Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown with a knee-on-knee hit:

-"That is why I think a lot of people watching the game think he is a dirty player, I made a move and he acted on it. hat play happens all the time.” - Brown on Thornton.

-This game turned on a controversial goal by Williams which proved to be game-winner. The Sharks protested by saying Williams shoved goaltender Alex Stalock into the net:

-"We got cheated. Simple as that." - Sharks coach Todd McLellan on the goal.

-This game got ugly late. Los Angeles' Mike Richards fought San Jose's Logan Couture:

-Later, Quick went after Thornton:

-Hockey Night in Canada's pregame montage:

-Quick was all over this puck:

-Stalock stretched out but could not stop Los Angeles' Anze Kopitar:

 

-Quick and Kopitar had a moment:

-"To be honest, we couldn't wait for the next game .... after Game 3. We couldn't wait for Game 4. We couldn't wait for Game 5 and then tonight. That doesn't change." - Kings forward Jarret Stoll on his team tying the series after being down 3-0.

-Stalock replaced Antti Niemi as the Sharks' starter in net.

Non-Playoff Stuff
Penguins

-Today would've been the 76th birthday of former Penguins forward Mel Pearson. Claimed in the 1967 expansion draft from the Blackhawks, Pearson's Penguins career amounted to two games and one assist with the 1967-68 club. After being loaned for most of the next two seasons, he was traded to Portland of the WHL for cash during the 1969 offseason. He died in 1999 at the age of 60.

-Happy 53rd birthday to former Penguins forward Doug Shedden (right). A fifth-round pick in 1980, Redden spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1981-82, Shedden saw action in 38 games and scored 25 points. He followed that up in 1982-83 by playing in 80 games and scoring a team-leading 67 points. During 1983-84, he was limited to 67 games and 57 points. In 1984-85, Shedden appeared in 80 games and contributed 67 points. After 67 games and 66 points in 1984-85, Shedden was traded to the Red Wings in exchange for Ron Duguay. In 332 games with the Penguins, Shedden scored 282 points, 23rd-most in franchise history.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-Longtime Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford, a former Penguins goaltender, officially stepped down as general manager after 20 years. He will be replaced by former Penguins captain/forward Ron Francis. Rutherford will remain president of the team in an advisory role.

-EN Says: Francis had been groomed to be the Rutherford's successor for several years. The Hurricanes have not reach the postseason since 2009. Something had clearly gotten stale during Rutherford's tenure and while this isn't a wholesale change, this is a different voice making the decisions.

-“I refuse to be bitter about anything and I’m not going to look back and I blame no one. I was the manager. I did the best I could. I’m going to look back at all the good things we did, and that’s how we’re going to proceed.” - Former Capitals general manager George McPhee on his time with Washington. He was fired Saturday.

Pacific Division

-The Flames hired former Coyotes assistant general manager Brad Treliving as general manager.

-EN Says: Treliving spent seven years with the Coyotes under a tight budget. Despite that constraint, he helped the Coyotes develop into a regular playoff contender by drafting and developing a lot of talent in house. The Flames are in the midst of a massive rebuild and Treliving should able to steer this team in the right direction.

Norris Division

-Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith and Predators defenseman Shea Weber were named finalists for the Norris Trophy.

IIHF World Championship

-Hurricanes goaltender Justin Peters was named to Canada's roster for next month's IIHF World Championship tournament.

(Photos: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images, Jay LaPrete/Associated Press and Penguins Hockey Cards)

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