Empty Netter Assists - 12-17-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Evgeni Malkin (right) was named a finalist for the Dapper Dan Sportsman of the Year.

-Philippe Lefebvre had two goals and an assist for the Wheeling Nailers who defeated the Evansville IceMen, 7-5. Scott Zurevinski had two goals for Wheeling while teammates Luke Pither and Christiann Minella each collected a goal and an assist. Peter Delmas made 22 saves in the victory.

-This is a leftover from Friday. Dustin Jeffrey was held without a point for Medvescak Zagreb in a 4-2 win against Dornbirner EC in Austria's EBEL.

-Happy 29th birthday to former Penguins forward Erik Christensen. A third-round pick in 2002, "Crusher" spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 2005-06, Christensen appeared in 33 games and scored 13 points. He followed that up in 2006-07 by playing in 61 games and recording 33 points. He saw action in four postseason games that spring and failed to score a point. After 49 games and 20 points in 2007-08, Christensen was at the trade deadline along with Colby Armstrong, Angelo Esposito and a draft pick to the Thrashers in exchange for Pascal Dupuis and Marian Hossa. In 143 regular season games with the Penguins, Christensen scored 66 points. Arguably the greatest shootout artist in franchise history, Christensen's success rate of 60.9 (14 for 23) percent is the best in franchise history among those with more than five shot attempts. Christensen is currently a member of HC Lev Praha of Russia's KHL.

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-Happy 33rd birthday to former Penguins forward Matt Murley. A second-round pick in 1999, Murley spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 2003-04, Murley appeared in 18 games and scored two points. Following the 2004-05 lockout, Murley saw action in 41 games in 2005-06 and scored six points. In the 2006 offseason, Murley joined the Avalanche as a free agent. In 59 games with the Penguins, Murley scored 11 points.

-Happy 48th birthday to former Penguisn goaltender Frank Pietrangelo (right). A fourth-round pick in 1983, Pietrangelo spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1987-88, he saw action in 21 games, had a 9-11-0 record with a 3.98 goals against average, .867 save percentage and one shutout. He followed that up in 1988-89 by playing in 15 games, going 5-3-0 with a 4.04 goals against average and a .890 save percentage. During 1989-90, he appeared in 21 games, compiled a record of 8-6-2 and had a 4.33 goals against average and a 867 save percentage. Arguably, Pietrangelo's finest NHL season was 1990-91. He set career highs in games (25) and wins with a 10-11-1 record while sporting a 3.94 goals against average and .880 save percentage. During the 1991 postseason, Pietrangelo stepped up in place of injured starter Tom Barrasso. Facing elimination in Game 6 of a Patrick Division semifinal series at New Jersey, Pietrangelo made 27 saves, including a dazzling stop on Devils forward Peter Stastny which simply became known as "The Save," and led the Penguins to a 4-3 victory which tied the series, 3-3 (below). In Game 7, Pietrangelo made 27 saves in a 4-0 home shutout win to clinch the series. All together, Pietrangelo played in five games that postseason, went 4-1 and had a 3.12 goals against average, and .899 save percentage and helped the franchise claim its first Stanley Cup title. After five games, a 2-1-0 record, a 5.33 goals against average and .880 save percentage in 1991-92, Pietrangelo was dealt at the trade deadline to the Whalers in exchange for two draft picks. The first player in franchise history to wear No. 40, Pietrangelo played in 87 games for the Penguins and had a 34-32-3 record with a 4.13 goals against average, .873 save percentage and one shutout.

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Northeast Division

-According to Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul, a restaurant adjacent to Air Canada Centre and owned by Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment, is barred from taking reservations from Maple Leafs players as a result of the lockout.

Southeast Division

-“It feels like I’m not really a true Hurricane yet. I haven’t gone out on the ice and played in front of the fans and really feel part of that organization. It’s been a very long-awaited arrival and hopefully I can get in front of those fans soon." - Hurricanes forward and former Penguin Jordan Staal on the lockout. The Penguins traded Staal to the Hurricanes this past summer.

Norris Division

-Former Blackhawks/Flyers/Panthers forward Mark Cullen has joined EC Salzburg of Austria's EBEL.

(Photos: Malkin-Harry How/Getty Images; Pietrangelo-Penguins Hockey Cards)

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