Empty Netter Assists - 01-31-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-The Penguins make adjustments to their struggling power play. Evgeni Malkin moves to the right point, Kris Letang to the left point and James Neal (right, with Malkin) down low near the net.

-"It's so much tougher. The bigger ice is so much different. You need a little bit of games to have more confidence on the [smaller] ice. I feel pretty good. I have lots of scoring chances, but I'm not scoring. A couple more goals scored, and I'll have more confidence." - Malkin comparing play in the KHL during the lockout to the NHL.

-Thinking out loud: Malkin's adjustment from the KHL to the NHL is probably valid but Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, Montreal's Andrei Markov and New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk don't seem to be fighting through the same struggles despite playing in the KHL during the lockout.

-Islanders forward and former Penguin Colin McDonald received a two-game suspension for boarding Ben Lovejoy.

-"If you get those opportunities, you have to try to make the most of them." - Dustin Jeffrey on playing on the team's second line.

-Shootout goals by Scott Zurevinski, Peter Lenes and Zach Hansen gave the Wheeling Nailers a 2-1 win against the Reading Royals. Peter Delmas made 39 saves in the victory.

-Happy 48th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Bobby Dollas. Orginally coming to the Penguins in the 1998 offseason along with Tony Hrkac in a deal which sent Josef Beranek to the Oilers, Dollas spent parts of two seasons in two stints with the Penguins. In 1998-99, he appeared in 70 games for the Penguins and scored 10 points. During that spring's postseason, he saw action in 13 games and scored one goal. In the 1999 offseason, he joined Long Beach of the IHL as a free agent. At the 2001 trade deadline, Dollas returned to the Penguins when he was acquired along with Johan Hedberg in a deal which sent Jeff Norton to the Sharks. He appeared in five games for the Penguins and failed to record a point. He was released in the 2001 offseason. In 75 regular seasons games with the Penguins, he scored 15 points.

-After the jump: Rangers captain Ryan Callahan has a dislocated shoulder and the Oilers beat the Coyotes in controversial fashion.

Atlantic Division

-Rangers captain/forward Ryan Callahan will be sidelined 10 to 14 days due to a partial dislocation of his left shoulder.

-The Devils placed forward Cam Janssen on waivers.

Northeast Division

-Craig Anderson made 31 saves for the Senators in a 5-1 thumping of the rival Canadiens. Andre Benoit, Colin Greening and Zack Smith each recorded two assists for Ottawa. Montreal had a four game winning streak snapped.

-Check out this save by Anderson against Montreal's Brandon Prust:

-Anderson had a second big save on Prust later in the game:

-Cool Photo of the Day: Prust rocked Ottawa's Chris Neil here:

-Montreal's Peter Budaj got an up-front look at this puck:

-Senators defenseman and former Penguin Sergei Gonchar missed the game due to a "lower-body" injury.

-“I never saw a player that was capable of making a referee change his mind. It’s never happened. Even Mario Lemieux tried it once and he wasn’t successful. I hope they got the message.” - Canadiens coach and former Penguins coach Michel Therrien on forward Ryan White taking an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for arguing with an official.

-Buffalo defenseman Mike Weber, a native of Cranberry, keeps battling for playing time.

-Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta is sidelined indefinitely due to a neck injury.

-At 5-0-1, the Bruins are off to their best start since 1970-71.

-The Maple Leafs assigned defenseman Jake Gardiner (right) to Toronto of the AHL.

-Would a second NHL team in Southern Ontario help the Maple Leafs off the ice?

Southeast Division

-The Panthers assigned defenseman Erik Gudbranson and forward Mike Santorelli to San Antonio of the AHL.

-The Hurricanes placed forward Zach Boychuk on waivers.

-Forget the Staals. The Pyatts - Tom of the Lightning and Taylor of the Rangers - are hockey's other family from Thunder Bay, Ont.

-Capitals owner Ted Leonsis called out captain/forward Alex Ovechkin.

Central Division

-With defensmen Adrian Aucoin and Nikita Nikitin dealing with "lower-body" injuries, the Blue Jackets placed forward Matt Calvert on injured reserve due to an "upper-body" injury and recalled forward Jonathan Audy-Marchessault and defenseman Tim Erixon from Springfield of the AHL.

Northwest Division

-Shootout goals by Zach Parise and Matt Cullen gave the Wild a 3-2 win against the Blackhawks. Niklas Backstrom made 28 saves in the victory. Chicago (6-0-1) lost for the first tme all season.

-Save of the Night: Chicago's Corey Crawford robbing Minnesota's Pierre-Marc Bouchard on a five-on-three power play:

-Goal of the Night: Check out this re-direction by Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck:

-Happy times for Cullen:

-An overtime goal by rookie Nail Yakupov gave the Oilers a 2-1 win against the Coyotes. Devan Dubnyk made 27 saves for Edmonton.

-Yakupov's goal which was followed by a bizarre attack by Phoenix's Derek Morris on Edmonton's Ryan Whitney:

-A good look at Morris about to unload on Whitney:

-The Coyotes disputed the goal and accused Whitney of setting up the goal with a hand pass.

-A goal by Coyotes forward and former Penguin Nick Johnson with 19 seconds remaining in regulation forced overtime:

-A good look at Johnson's goal:

-Roberto Luongo made 24 saves for the Canucks in a 3-0 shutout of the rival Avalanche. It was his 61st career shutout. Colorado has lost three consecutive games.

-Pass of the Night: Check out this subtle shot/pass by Vancouver's Dan Hamhuis to set up Zack Kassian down low:

-Luongo to a bit lucky here when he cleared a rebound with the knob of his stick:

-Kassian took part in an impromtu game of "One Of These Things Isn't Like The Others" with the Sedin twins:

-We think.

-Vancouver's Alex Burrows got a dual facewash here:

-Colorado's Semyon Varlamov was alone in the dark here:

-The Oilers placed forward Ben Eager on injured reserve due to a concussion.

-"At one point, I was considered a great NHL prospect, and now I feel way more confident in my game than when I was considered that. I believe I can play and win at the highest level." - Former Penguins goaltender John Curry. He is currently a member of the Orlando Solar Bears, the Wild's ECHL affiliate.

Pacific Division

-Coyotes forward and former Penguin Steve Sullivan is day to day due to a "lower-body" injury.

-The Stars recalled defenseman Jamie Oleksiak and forward Antoine Roussel from Texas of the AHL and assigned forward Reilly Smith to Texas.

-Kings forward Dustin Penner (right) has been a healthy scratch for three consecutive games.

-“You cannot make money with a hockey team. You cannot make money with a hotel, either, and you cannot make money with a golf club. I have all three of them.” - Sharks majority owner Hasso Plattner. Plattner acquired a larger majority of the club's ownership when he recently bought the shares of minority owners Kevin Compton and Stratton Sclavos.

Patrick Division

-Former Canucks/Islanders/Kings/Blackhawks/Thrashers/Canadiens defenseman Brent Sopel has joined Salavat Yulaev Ufa of Russia's KHL.

(Photos: Malkin/Neal-Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images; Dollas-Robert Laberge/Allsport/Getty Images; Canadiens/Senators-Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press; Gardiner-Claus Andersen/Getty Images; Blackhawks/Oilers-Genevieve Ross/Associated Press; Oilers/Coyotes-Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press; Avalanche/Canucks-Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press; Penner-Harry How/Getty Images)

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