Empty Netter Assists - 05-04-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Playoff Stuff
Penguins - Rangers

-"You don't want to lose two games, obviously, but we've battled back from being down within games. I expect a good response." - Lee Stempniak.

-"He's able to play in a playoff game 20-plus minutes. But he's not to the level where he was a couple of years ago, or last year in the playoffs, when we could get him to 27 or 28 minutes." - Assistant coach Todd Reirden on Kris Letang (above).

-Welcome back Brian Gibbons?

-Jussi Jokinen and Stempniak speaks:

-Sidney Crosby speaks:

-"I’m thinking of all those things right now to try and come up with a solution." - Rangers coach Alain Vigneault on his team's 0 for 25 slump on the power play.

-"I thought he played a really good game. He made it really hard on us. They had some transition looks, they had some looks down low. I mean he’s an elite player that is real tough to handle for us and we’re going to need a lot of help to stop him." - Vigneault on Sidney Crosby.

-“Coming back from injuries is not the easiest thing, but for me all the abilities and things that I’ve done are still there. Nothing’s changed that way. It’s just a matter of doing it consistently. I’ve tried all year long to get better, and there’s always room to improve.” - Rangers defenseman Marc Staal on his recovery from various head and neck injuries in recent seasons. 

-After the Jump: The Bruins tie things up while the Kings beat the Ducks in a classic.

Bruins - Canadiens

-A goal and an assist by Patrice Bergeron helped the Bruins beat the Canadiens, 5-3, in Game 2. Brad Marchand recorded two assists for Boston while teammate Tuukka Rask made 25 saves in the victory which tied the series, 1-1. Thomas Vanek scored two goals for Montreal.

-Check out this deflection goal by Vanek:

-Vanek had another nifty deflection later in the game:

-Fluky Goal of the Day: Bergeron tied the game, 3-3, with a shot which hit off the leg of Montreal's Francis Boullion:

-Hockey Night in Canada's pregame montage:

-Rask and his Montreal counterpart, Carey Price, got in some pregame stretching:

-Rask and Boston's Daniel Paille had a moment:

-Paille had a far less warmer moment here with Montreal's Rene Bourque:


-“Even after they scored and made it 3-1, all I could hear guys saying was, ‘Hey, there’s a lot of hockey left, let’s get that next goal here, let’s get going,’ and it was all about encouraging each other to be better." - Bruins coach Claude Julien on his team's comeback.

-“We won a game we didn’t deserve and this one we probably deserved but we didn’t play a full 60 minutes. They got a goal and they kept coming and coming. They got a goal closer and we all know what happened after that. We got a game out of here and that’s a positive. Now, we’ll look at this one and be ready for the next one.” - Vanek on Games 1 and 2.

-“The referee – I kind of told him that I didn’t agree with his calls." - Julien on why his team received a bench minor in the second period.

-"I don't like people ducking. I think {Marchand] got about five games for it once. I will say, off the draw he apologized afterwards, so there's that. I think it's a dangerous play, personally. But it's playoffs, it's hockey, I'm fine, so we're OK." - Bruins forward Shawn Thornton on being injured when Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban ducked to avoid a hit.

-EN Says: Thornton was referring to Marchand beings suspended in 2012 for this hit on Canucks defenseman Sami Salo:

-In his ruling on the suspension, former NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan detailed the specific difference between legally ducking a hit and what Marchand did. Shanahan said, "While we understand that in certain circumstances a player may duck or bail instinctively in order to protect himself from an imminent, dangerous check, we do not view this play as defensive or instinctive."

Yesterday, Subban had the puck, released it then ducked Thornton who initiated contact. In the Marchand-Salo hit, no one had the puck and Marchand initiated contact. Any comparison to the two plays is completely baseless.

-"You know what, this is the first time and probably the last time I’ll comment on it. First things first, the Boston Bruins are an Original Six franchise, they have been around for a very long time, they are respected. It’s completely unfair for anybody to point the finger at the organization or the fan base. They have passionate fans here, great fan base and since I’ve been in the league it’s been awesome. I’ve come to Boston many times, my family has come here, and it’s been great."

What people may say on Twitter or social media is not a reflection by any means of the league or the Boston Bruins. So whoever that is, they’ll get dealt with, but it’s completely separate from this league or the Boston Bruins organization. I know some of those players personally on that team, like I said, the fan base has been awesome, they are a great bunch of fans. It’s unfortunate when things take away from the great hockey that was played two days ago. It was a fantastic game, great for the league, great for hockey and that’s what we are going to talk about. So I’m happy now that we can just move on."

You know what the funny thing is, is that we get stronger as a league, you see how people come together and it’s great. And it’s not just about me, the NHL has tons of players from different backgrounds, from different places around the world and that’s what makes this league so special and that’s what makes sports so special, it brings everybody together. Another great hockey game today, I’m sure everybody enjoyed it and I look forward to the rest of the series and everybody else should too.” - Subban (right) on being the target of racists comments following Game 1.

Blackhawks - Wild

-Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw is considered questionable for today's Game 2 due to a "lower-body" injury.

-“We played a good game last game, but we didn’t play a great game. The little things that were missing, there was just a very small dip in some of the little things — stick on puck, net front screens, whether it’s a shot block that end up being the difference. Knowing who we’re playing against and the level of team that they are, we’re not going to get away with playing good games.” - Wild coach Mike Yeo on his team losing Game 1.

-"My numbers drop (the last) couple years. Before there was pretty good numbers. I don't know what's the reason. Maybe players much better right now." - Wild goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov (right) on having a 5-13 record with a .875 save percentage and 3.67 goals-against average in his past 18 postseason starts.

Ducks - Kings

-Two goals, including one in overtime, and an assist by Marian Gaborik gave the Kings a 3-2 win against the Ducks in Game 1. Anze Kopitar recorded three assists for Los Angeles while teammate Jonathan Quick made 33 saves. Captain Ryan Getzlaf led Anaheim with two assists.

-Check out this move by Getzlaf to draw Quick out of the net and set up Matt Beleskey for a goal:

-Quick couldn't stop Beleskey here:

-Anaheim's Teemu Selanne, 43, became the third-oldest player to score a playoff goal in NHL history:

-Gaborik's first goal came with six seconds remaining in regulation and forced overtime:

-Defensive Play of the Night: Check out this block by Los Angeles' Alec Martinez to deny Anaheim's Corey Perry of a potential overtime goal:

-Pass of the Night: Check out the pass by Kopitar to set up Gaborik's overtime goal:

-Martinez got an arm up on Beleskey:

-Anaheim's Cam Fowler battled Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown for this puck:

-A hockey night in Anaheim:

-Gaborik became the first player in Stanley Cup playoff history to score in the final 10 seconds of regulation, then get the overtime goal.

-Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr left the game in the first period due to an injury.

-The Ducks recalled forward Rickard Rakell from Norfolk of the AHL.

Minor League Playoff Stuff

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will face the Providence Bruins in an Eastern Conference semifinal series of the Calder Cup playoffs. The schedule for the best-of-seven series:

Game 1 – Friday, May 9 – Providence at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
Game 2 – Saturday, May 10 – Providence at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
Game 3 – Wednesday, May 14 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Providence, 7:05 p.m.
Game 4 – Friday, May 16 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Providence, 7:05 p.m.
*-Game 5 – Saturday, May 17 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Providence, 7:05 p.m.
*-Game 6 – Monday, May 19 – Providence at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
*-Game 7 – Wednesday, May 21 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.

*-If necessary.

-Tom Kuhnhackl scored two goals for the Wheeling Nailers in a 7-3 home loss to the Greenville Road Warriors in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. Greenville leads the best-of-seven series, 1-0. Mike Condon made 16 saves for Wheeling. The Nailers will host Game 2 Sunday, 6 p.m.

Non-Playoff Stuff

-Happy 41st birthday to former Penguins forward/antagonist Matthew Barnaby (right). Acquired at the 1999 trade deadline in a deal which sent Stu Barnes to the Sabres, Barnaby became one of the most popular players in franchise history despite only spending parts of three seasons in Pittsburgh. He finished the 1998-99 season with the Penguins by appearing in 18 games and recording four points and 18 penalty minutes. In 13 postseason games that spring, he did not record a point but accumulated 35 penalty minutes. The 1999-2000 campaign was his only full campaign in Pittsburgh and in 64 games, he netted 24 points and a team-high 197 penalty minutes. He saw action in 11 postseason games that season and recorded two assists. Despite only appearing in 47 games and recording five points in 2000-01, Barnaby still managed to lead the team with 168 penalty minutes. At the 2001 trade deadline, he was traded to the Lightning in exchange for Wayne Primeau. In 129 regular season games with the Penguins, Barnaby scored 33 points and accumulated 399 penalty minutes. In 24 postseason games, he recorded two assists and 64 penalty minutes.

 -Happy 77th birthday to former Penguins defenseman/forward George Konik. Acquired from the Rangers in the 1967 offseason along with Paul Andrea, Dunc McCallum and Frank Francis in a trade which sent Larry Jeffrey to the Rangers, Konik's NHL career amounted to 52 games and 19 points with the Penguins in their inaugural season. The following offseason, he was traded to the Oakland Seals in exchange for cash.

(Photos: Elise Amendola/Associated Press, Jeff Gross/Getty Images, Harry How/Getty Images, Kirk Irwin/Getty Images, Charles Krupa/Associated Press, Annie O'Neill/Post-Gazette and Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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