Empty Netter Assists - 07-01-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The Penguins signed forward Oskar Sundqvist, a third-round pick in 2012, to a three-year entry-level contract. Sundqvist, 20, appeared in 51 games for Skellefteå of Sweden's SHL last season and scored 16 points (six goals, 10 assists).

-EN Says: Sundqvist is a two-way center with a little bit of nastiness to his game. If he makes it in the NHL, it will be as a bottom-six forward.

-A goal by Zach Sill (above, leaping) with 16 seconds remaining in regulation proved to be the winning score for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins who held off elimination with a 4-2 win against the St. John's IceCaps in Game 5 of the AHL's Eastern Conference final series. St. John's leads the series, 3-2. The Penguins scored three goals in the third period to come back for the victory. Chuck Kobasew tied the game, 2-2, with a score at 12:30 of the third and secured the win with an empty-net goal at 19:53. Andrew Ebbett and Simon Despres each recorded two assists for the Penguins while Peter Mannino made 19 saves in the victory. St. John's will host Game 6 Tuesday, 6 p.m. EDT.


-Ebbett (11 games) and Kobasew (two games) each returned to the lineup after being sidelined due to injuries.

-Happy 53rd birthday to former Penguins all-star defenseman Paul Coffey. Acquired early in the 1987-88 season along with Dave Hunter and Wayne Van Dorp in a deal which sent Craig Simpson, Dave Hannan, Moe Mantha and Chris Joseph to the Oilers, Coffey parts of five highly productive seasons with the Penguins. Coffey (right) immediately paid dividends for the Penguins that season as he appeared in 46 games and recorded 67 points. The following season in 1989-90, Coffey's first full campaign with the Penguins, he played in 75 games and established marks which are still franchise records for defensemen in goals (30), assists (83) and points  (113). He also helped the team reach the postseason for the first time in seven years and netted 15 points in 11 playoff games. In 1989-90, Coffey's points "fell" to 103 in 80 games. During 1990-91, with Mario Lemieux missing most of the season due to a back ailment, Coffey steered a young team to its first division championship by recording 93 points in 76 points. Despite missing 12 postseason games due to a jaw injury, Coffey recorded 11 points in 12 contests and helped the Penguins claim their first Stanley Cup title. After scoring 64 points in 54 games in 1991-92, Coffey was traded to the Kings at the trade deadline in exchange for Brian Benning, Jeff Chychrun and a first-round pick. After retiring in the 2001 offseason, Coffey was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. In 331 regular season games with the Penguins, Coffey scored 440 points, the most in franchise history among defensemen and 11th-most overall. In 23 postseason games, he scored 26 points. Coffey was selected to the all-star game in all five of his seasons with the Penguins.

-Today would've been 66th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Michel Plasse. Acquired midway through the 1974-75 season in a deal which sent Denis Herron and Jean-Guy Lagace to the Kansas City Scouts, Plasse spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. In 20 games that during 1974-75, Plasse went 9-5-4 with a 4.00 goals against average. The 1975-76 season was his only full campaign in Pittsburgh as he played in 55 games and had a 24-19-10 record with a 3.45 goals against average and two shutouts. In the 1976 offseason, he was transferred to the Colorado Rockies along with Simon Nolet and Colin Campbell as compensation for the Penguins re-signing Herron. In 75 games with the Penguins, Plasse had a record of 33-24-14, a goals against average of 3.59, a .889 save percentage and two shutouts. He died Dec. 30, 2006 at the age of 58.

-Happy 49th birthday to former Penguins forward Dan Quinn (right). Acquired early in the 1986-87 season in a deal which sent Mike Bullard to the Flames, Quinn spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins. Quinn produced immediately for the Penguins in his first season in Pittsburgh as he recorded 71 points in 64 games. During 1987-88, Quinn appeared in 70 games and netted 79 points. The 1988-89 season saw him record a career high 94 points in 79 games and helped the Penguins reach the postseason. In 11 postseason games that spring, he scored nine points. After only scoring 29 points in 41 games in 1989-90, Quinn was dealt midway through the season to the Canucks along with Dave Capuano and Andrew McBain in exchange for Rod Buskas, Barry Pederson and Tony Tanti. After bouncing around with the Canucks, Blues, Flyers, North Stars, Senators and Kings, Quinn returned to the Penguins as a free agent in the 1996 offseason as a free agent. He recorded three assists in 16 games. He retired after being released in November. In 270 regular season games with the Penguins, Quinn scored 270 points, 25th-most in franchise history. Quinn is currently a top celebrity golfer and occasionally caddies on the PGA Tour.

Playoff Stuff
Canadiens - Rangers

-The Staals are brothers ... and this time, it's Rangers defenseman Marc Staal who has a shot at winning the Stanley Cup.

-Ten years after winning the Stanley Cup with the Lightning, Rangers forwards Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis are back in the Stanley Cup final.

-“I don’t think it was on purpose. Hockey is a rough sport. Injuries happen all the time. Sometimes they’re intentional, sometimes it’s just bad luck. I don’t think he did it on purpose.” - Canadiens goaltender Carey Price on suffering a knee injury in Game 1 which ended his postseason. Price was injured when Rangers forward Chris Kreider collided with him. The injury will not require surgery.

Blackhawks - Kings

-"If the crowd can bring the same energy in the building, it's going to take a lot for LA to beat us. We've got to obviously do as best as we can and even more, but hopefully the crowd can bring the same effort. It was a great atmosphere last game." - Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson on hosting tonight's Game 7.

-The Blackhawks are 13-0 in Games 5-7 over the last two postseasons.

-Kings forward Justin Williams (right) has a career record of 6-0 in Game 7s and has 12 points in those games.

-The Kings are the third team in NHL history to play in three Games 7s in the same postseason.

-How much impact as the Kings' success in recent seasons made on fans in Southern California?

Non-Playoff Stuff
Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-The Islanders signed defenseman Jesse Graham, a sixth-round pick in 2012, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Atlantic Division

-The Sabres signed forward Nicholas Baptiste, a third-round pick in 2013, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Central Division

-The Wild signed head coach Mike Yeo (right) to a three-year contract extension. A former assistant coach with the Penguins, Yeo has spent the past three seasons with the Wild and has a career record of 104-82-26. Minnesota has reached the postseason each of the past two seasons.

-EN Says: The Wild has gotten better each and every season Yeo has been in charge behind the bench. As embattled as he was here at times in Pittsburgh, he has proven to be an ideal fit for Minnesota.

-The Stars signed forward Gemel Smith, a fourth-round pick in 2012, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

(Photos: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, Associated Press and Penguins Hockey Cards)

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