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Empty Netter Assists - 02-01-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Dave Molinari's recap from last night's game. "We didn't let them go east-west. All the shots were coming straight at me. That makes it a lot easier for a goalie. That's something we hadn't been doing in the past games, and it cost us." - Tomas Vokoun (above).

-Newsday's recap. "Probably our worst game of the year collectively." - Rangers coach John Tortorella.

-The (New York) Daily News' recap. "We didn’t make it too tough on their goalie, and that’s why he gets the shutout.” - Rangers forward Brad Richards.

-The Bergen (N.J.) Record's recap. After going 0 for 4, the Rangers' power play dropped to 3-for-28 for the season.

-The Associated Press' recap. "I was imagining it in the penalty box. It's the first time in my career. I have been imagining it all my life.'' - Simon Despres on his breakaway goal.

-Highlights:

-“He tomahawked me right on top of the helmet, he dazed me. I don’t know how that’s not called or something. I understand we’re battling in front of the net but he’s falling down like he’s chopping wood across my head." - Rangers defenseman Marc Staal on a first period battle he had with Evgeni Malkin.

-The play in question:

-Pascal Dupuis and Despres being popular:

-Kris Letang went stick on puck here against New York's Rick Nash:

-Malkin speaks:

-Vokoun speaks;

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-"He has real good speed, creates opportunities with his speed, and can shoot the puck." - Ray Shero on new forward Zach Boychuk.

-“I have mixed emotions. Obviously it’s nice to know I’m going to Pittsburgh and get a new opportunity in the NHL. At the same time, it’s tough to leave some great teammates and people who have treated me so well all of my career at Carolina.” - Boychuk on joining the Penguins.

-Jonathan Bombulie of the Wilkes-Barre Citizen's Voice offers some thoughts on Boychuk.

-Happy 45th birthday to former Penguins all-star forward Mark Recchi (right). A fourth-round pick in 1988, Recchi spent parts of seven seasons with the Penguins over three different stints. As a rookie in 1988-89, Recchi appreared in 15 games and recorded two points. He followed that up in 1989-90 by playing in 74 games and recording 67 points. In 1990-91, Recchi saw action in 78 games and led the team with 40 goals and 113 points. During that spring's postseason, Recchi played in all 24 of the team's games and scored 34 points while helping the franchise claim the Stanley Cup for the first time. After 58 games and 70 games in 1991-92, Recchi was traded to the Flyers along with Brian Benning and a draft pick in exchange for Rick Tocchet, Kjell Samuelsson, Ken Wregget and a draft pick. After several seasons with the Flyers and Canadiens, Recchi returned to the Penguins as a free agent in the 2004 offseason. Following the 2004-05 lockout, Recchi played in 63 games and scored 57 points in 2005-06 before being traded to the Hurricanes at the trade deadline in exchange for Niklas Nordgren, Krys Kolanos and a draft pick. Recchi returned to the Penguins yet again as a free agent in the 2006 offseason. In 2006-07, he played in all 82 games and scored 68 points. During the 2007 postseason, he appeared in five games and recorded four assists. After 18 games and eight points in 2007-08, Recchi was claimed off waivers by the Thrashers. In 389 regular season games with the Penguins, Recchi scored 385 points, 14th-most in franchise history. In 29 playoff games, he scored 38 points, 10th-most in franchise history.

--Happy 75th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Bob Blackburn. Claimed from the Rangers in an intra-league draft during the 1969 offseason, Blackburn spent two seasons with the Penguins. In 1969-70, he appeared in 60 games and scored 11 points. He appeared in six games that postseason and failed to record a point. During 1970-69, Blackburn saw action in 64 games and scored nine points. Just prior to 1971-72, he was traded to Vancouver of the WHL in exchange for cash. In 124 games with the Penguins, he scored 20 points.

-After the jump: Former Penguins defenseman Brian Strait gets paid and San Jose's Logan Couture introduces "Kaepernicking" to the NHL.

Atlantic Division

-An overtime goal and an assist by Brad Boyes gave the Islanders a 5-4 win against the Devils. John Tavares collected two goals and an assist for New York while teammate Frans Nieslen recorded two assists. Evgeni Nabokov made 28 saves in the victory. Ryan Carter had a goal and an assist for New Jersey.

-New Jersey's Kris Barch and New York's Eric Boulton had issues:

-New York's Mark Streit gunned this puck:

-Islanders coach Jack Capuano required stitches after being hit in the head with a puck on the bench.

-The Islanders signed former Penguins defenseman Brian Strait to a three-year contract extension worth a total of $2.325 million. Entering the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $605,000, Strait's new deal will be have a cap hit of $775,000. Strait, 25, was acquired off waivers from the Penguins prior to the start of the season. In seven games this season, he has no points.

-EN Says: Strait has meshed very well with defenseman Mark Streit thus far this season. He stays at home and allows the fleet Streit to take offensive chances. It's been a perfect mix thus far. The Islanders have a good history of finding contributors on waivers and Strait is a perfect example of that.

-The Devils activated forward Adam Henrique (thumb) from injured reserve and assigned forward Cam Janssen to Albany of the AHL after he cleared waivers.

Northeast Division

-A hat trick and two assists by Thomas Vanek led the Sabres to a 7-4 rout of the rival Sabres. Cody Hodgson and captain Jason Pominville each had a goal and two assists for Buffalo while teammate Tyler Ennis collected a goal and an assist. Ryan Miller made 38 saves in the victory. Brad Marchand scored two goals for Boston.

-Vanek's hat trick:

-Goal of the Night: Check out this effort by Marchand:

-Pass of the Night: Pominville setting up Cody Hodgson for a goal:

-Not to be outdone, Vanek had a nice dish to set up Ennis for his goal:

-Save of the Night: Miller on Boston's Patrice Bergeron:

-Check out this pretty goal by Boston's David Krejci:

-In a much anticipated bout, Buffalo's John Scott made quick work of Boston's Shawn Thornton:

-Thornton did not return to the game after the fight.

-“We both wanted to get our teams going. Told me in the box I got him pretty good when I knocked him out. It was a good fight and he stood in there. ... I was asking our trainers how he’s doing. You never want to hurt somebody; I was kind of concerned after the first period we never saw him again.” - Scott on the fight.

-Marchand called Sabres coach Lindy Ruff "disrespectful" after Ruff called a timeout with 13.6 seconds left in the game to put Scott on the ice for a faceoff.

-“I think he’s putting a lot of pressure on himself right now. He’s certainly not the Chris that we know. I’ve seen him enough to know he’s a really good skater. He’s a really good playmaker. Right now, he’s putting way too much pressure on himself. Hopefully, we can help him through that. Once he takes that extra weight off his shoulders, we can see a player who can certainly be a much more efficient player than he’s shown so far.” - Bruins coach Claude Julien on making former Penguins forward Chris Bourque a healthy scratch.

-James Reimer made 20 saves for the Maple Leafs in a 3-2 win against the Capitals. Mike Ribeiro recorded two assists for Washington.

-Happy times for Reimer:

-The Maple Leafs recalled forward Ryan Hamilton from Toronto of the AHL and placed forward Mike Brown (shoulder) on injured reserve.

-Toronto claimed forward Frazer McLaren off waivers from the Sharks.

-Senators forward Jason Spezza will be sidelined indefinitely following back surgery.

Southeast Division

-Tomas Kopecky and Kris Versteeg each had a goal and an assist for the Panthers in a 6-3 win against the Jets. Tomas Fleischmann recorded three assists for Florida while teammate Jose Theodore made 22 saves. Blake Wheeler recorded two assists for Winnipeg.

-Popular times for Florida's Peter Mueller:

-The Capitals acquired minor league forward Casey Wellman from the Panhters in exchange for minor league forward Zach Hamill.

-Washington also acquired minor league forward Peter LeBlanc from the Blackhawks in exchange fo rminor league forward Mathieu Beaudoin.

-Former Rangers/Predators/Sharks/Wild forward Jed Ortmeyer has joined the San Antonio Rampage, the Panthers' AHL affiliate.

-Lightning defenseman Brendan Mikkelson is day to day due to an undisclosed injury.

Central Division

-Captain David Backes had a goal and an assist for the Blues in a 4-1 defeat of the Blue Jackets. T.J. Oshie recorded two assists for St. Louis while teammate Brian Elliott made 24 saves.

-Check out this move by St. Louis rookie Vladimir Tarasenko around Columbus' James Wisniewski on this goal:

-Shootout goals by David Legwand, Craig Smith, Gabriel Bourque and Sergei Kostitsyn gave the Predators a 2-1 win against the Kings. Pekka Rinne made 23 saves in the victory.

-Cool Photo of the Night: Los Angeles' Drew Doughty bearing down on Rinne during the shootout:

-Los Angeles' Davis Drewiske and Nashville's Richard Clune kicked up a lot of ice here:

-Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick kept an eye on this puck:

Northwest Division

-John Mitchell and P.A. Parenteau each had two goals and an assist for the Avalanche which defeated the Flames, 6-3. Paul Stastny scored two goals for Colorado while teammates Matt Duchene and Jamie McGinn each recorded two assists. Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 25 saves in the victory. Jiri Hudler led Calgary with two goals and an assist.

-Check out this pass by Hudler to set up Alex Tanguay for a goal:

-Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly remains the NHL's only remaining unsigned restricted free agent.

-"I am not going to lie, there is bitterness, for sure." - Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa on playing the Blackhawks and defenseman Duncan Keith tonight for the first time since Keith injured Canucks forward Daniel Sedin with a hit to the head last season.

-The hit in question:

-Oilers captain/forward Shawn Horcoff is dealing with a strained neck.

-The Oilers recalled forward Anton Lander from Oklahoma City of the AHL and assigned forward Magnus Paajarvi to Oklahoma City.

Pacific Division

-Shootout goals by Michal Handzus and Dan Boyle gave the Sharks a 3-2 win against the Oilers. Antti Niemi made 26 saves in the victory.

-Sharks forward Logan Couture kissed his bicep following a goal as a tribute to 49ers quarterbacker Colin Kaepernick.

-Couture's goal and celebration:

-Check out this pass by Edmonton's Jordan Eberle to set up Taylor Hall for a goal:

-San Jose's Michal Handzus > Edmonton's Devan Dubnyk:

-The Sharks activated defenseman Jason Demers (wrist) from injured reserve.

(Photos: Penguins/Rangers-Paul Bereswill/Getty Images and Kathy Willens/Associated Press; Recchi-Penguins Hockey Cards; Islanders/Devils-Bill Kostroun/Associated Press and Elsa/Getty Images; Capitals/Maple Leafs-Nathan Denette/Canadian Press; Jets/Panthers-Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press; Predators/Kings-Jeff Gross/Getty Images and Reed Saxon/Associated Press; Oilers/Sharks-Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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