Empty Netter Assists - 05-23-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Another day. Another Penguin goes under the knife. Beau Bennett (above) is expected to be sidelined upwards of four months following wrist surgery.

-Olli Maatta's shoulder surgery is expected to sideline him four to six months.

-Does Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins head coach John Hynes stand a chance at becoming the Penguins' next head coach?

-Happy 73rd birthday to former Penguins forward Bryan Hextall, Jr. (right) Acquired in the 1969 offseason in a trade which sent Paul Andrea, John Arbour and Andy Bathgate to Vancouver of the WHL, Hextall, a member of one of hockey's great families, spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins. His first full season in Pittsburgh saw him help the Penguins reach the postseason for the first time in franchise history as he appeared in 66 games and recorded 31 points. During those playoffs, he appeared in 10 games and recorded one assist. In 1970-71, Hextall's saw action in 76 games and recorded 48 points. Hextall appeared in 78 games during 1971-72 and contributed 20 goals and 44 points while leading the team with five game-winning goals. He appeared in four postseason games that spring and recorded two assists. During 1972-73, Hextall played in 78 games and scored a career-high 54 points. After 37 games and nine points in 1973-74, Hextall was claimed off waivers by the Atlanta Flames. The son of Rangers hall-of-Famer Bryan Hextall, Sr. and father of a future Penguins rival, Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall, Bryan Hextall, Jr. appeared in 335 games for the Penguins and scored 186 points, 41st-most in franchise history. In 14 postseason games, Hextall recorded three assists.

-Happy 48th birthday to former Penguins forward Gary Roberts. Acquired at the 2007 trade deadline in a deal which sent Noah Welch to the Panthers, Roberts spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. After scoring 13 points in 19 regular season games to finish the 2006-07 season, Roberts recorded four points in five postseason games. In 2007-08, Roberts appeared in only 38 games and scored 15 points due to various injuries. He recovered in time to appear in 11 postseason games and recorded four points as the Penguins advanced to the Stanely Cup final for the first time in 16 years. In the 2008 offseason, the rights to Roberts and Ryan Malone were traded to the Lightning in exchange for a draft pick. One of the most popular players in recent team history, Roberts appeared in 57 games for the Penguins and recorded 28 points. In 16 postseason games, Roberts recorded eight points.

-After the Jump: The Canadiens get back into the Eastern Conference final with an overtime win.

Playoff Stuff
Canadiens - Rangers

-An ovetime goal by Alex Galchenyuk gave the Canadiens a 3-2 win against the Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final. Dustin Tokarski made 35 saves for Montreal. New York leads the series, 2-1.

-New York's Derek Stepan was injured on a high hit by Montreal's Brandon Prust:

-Stepan was shaken up afterwards:

-"I mean, I can sit here and pick apart the hit. I personally think it's late. I think the main contact is my face." - Stepan on the hit. He returned to the game:

-"It's a dirty hit. We'll see what happens with that. You'll have to ask [Prust] what he was thinking on that play. I counted at least to two or three, he came from the blind side and got all head from what I saw. He'll have some explaining to do.'' - Marc Staal on the hit.

-Rangers forward Dan Carcillo could be facing a suspension after receiving a game misconduct penalty when he made contract with linesman Scott Driscoll while teammate Derek Dorsett fought Prust in the first period. The play in question:

-New York's Dan Girardi and Henrik Lundqvist combined to stopped Dale Weise on a point-blank chance here:

-Montreal's Daniel Briere scored a go-ahead goal with 3:03 remaining in regulation:

-Tokarski robbed New York's Martin St. Louis late in regulation:

-New York's Chris Kreider scored with 28.1 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime:

-Kreider was excited for his goal:

-So where his teammates:

-Galchenyuk's goal:

-“To be honest, I’m not sure how it happened." - Galchenyuk.

-Hockey Night in Canada's pregame montage:

-Things were looking up for Canadiens coach and former Penguins coach Michel Therrien:

-Lundqvist punched away this puck:

-Galchenyuk and Girardi battled for this puck:

-New York's Ryan McDonagh worked over Montreal's Brendan Gallagher:

-A hockey night in Manhattan:

-Rangers forward Derick Brassard missed Game 3 due to an undisclosed injury.

-How exactly did the Rangers steal defenseman Ryan McDonagh from the Canadiens?

Blackhawks - Kings

-Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw is expected to be back in the lineup for Game 3 tomorrow. He has been sidelined since Game 1 of the second round series against the Wild due to a "lower-body" injury.

IIHF World Championship

-Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist for Russia which beat France, 3-0, in the quarterfinal round.

-Malkin fended off France's Nicolas Besch:

-Former Panthers goaltender Alexander Salak made 31 saves for the Czech Republic in a 4-3 win against the United States.

-Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne made 36 saves for Finland which beat Canada, 3-2.

-Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm had a goal and an assist for Sweden in a 3-2 win against Belarus.

-Belarus' Kevin Lalande had issues with this puck:

Non-Playoff Stuff
Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Islanders signed defenseman Jaroslav Halak to a four-year contract worth a total of $18 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.75 million, Halak's new deal will have a cap hit of $4.5 million. The 29-year-old Halak, whose signing rights were acquired from the Capitals three weeks ago, appeared in 52 games this season and had a 29-13-7 record with a 2.25 goals against average, a .921 save percentage and five shutouts.

-EN Says: Halak has a few questions marks but the bottom line is he is an upgrade over Islanders incumbent goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. That said, Halak is hardly a paragon of durability has he has dealt several injuries throughout his career. One of the Islanders' downfalls this season was a lack of healthy goaltenders. Halak will make the Islanders a better team if healthy ... and that is a big if.

-The Islanders will retain their first round pick in this year's draft and will transfer their first-rounder in 2015 to the Sabres as a condition of a trade involving forward Thomas Vanek earlier this season.

Atlantic Division

-The Senators re-signed defenseman Patrick Mullen to a one-year two-way contract. He is the son of former Penguins forward Joe Mullen.

Patrick Division

-Former Predators/Blues/Thrashers/Jets goaltender Chris Mason has joined the Augsburger Panther of Germany's DEL.

(Photos: Claus Andersen/Getty Images, Al Bello/Getty Images, Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images, Elsa/Getty Images and Penguins Hockey Cards)

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