Empty Netter Assists - 02-05-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Brooks Orpik (above). Shot blocker.

-"We know what happened last time they played us, and it wasn't a good game. They mopped us up." - Dan Bylsma on facing the Islanders tonight.

-Bylsma speaks:

-Sidney Crosby speaks:

-Happy 37th birthday to former Penguins forward Jan Hrdina. A fifth-round pick in 1995, Hrdina parts of five seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1998-99, he appeared in all 82 games and scored 42 points. During that spring's postseason, he saw action in 14 games and scored five points. He followed that up in 1999-2000 by playing in 70 games and collecting 46 points. In nine postseason games that spring he scored 12 points. During much of 2000-01, he centered a line with Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux and scored 43 points and in 79 games. In the 2001 postseason, he appeared in 18 games and contributed seven points. Hrdina played in 79 games in 2001-02 and set career highs in goals (24) and points (57) while leading the team with six game-winning goals. After 57 games and 39 points in 2002-03, Hrdina was traded to the Coyotes along with Francois Leroux in exchange for Ramzi Abid, Dan Focht and Guillaume Lefebvre. In 366 career regular season games, Hrdina scored 227 points, 33rd-most in franchise history. In 40 postseason games, he scored 24 points.

-Happy 68th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Jean-Guy Lagace. Originally acquired earlier in the 1968-69 season in a deal which sent Larry Hillman to the Canadiens, Lagace spent parts of four seasons over two separate stints with the team. He finished that season by playing in 17 games for the Penguins and recording one assist. After spending all of 1969-70 with the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Baltimore, he was claimed by the North Stars in an intra-league draft in the 1970 offseason. Midway through the 1970-71 season, he was re-acquired from the Sabres in a deal which sent Terry Ball to Buffalo. he finished that season by playing in 31 games for the Penguins and scoring six points. The 1973-74 campaign saw him play in 31 games and score eight points. After 27 games and nine points in 1974-75, Lagace was traded to the Kansas City Scouts along with Denis Herron in exchange for Michel Plasse. In 106 games with the Penguins, he scored 24 points.

-Happy 32nd birthday to former Penguins forward Kris Beech (right). Acquired in the 2001 offseason along with Michal Sivek and Ross Lupaschuk in one of the biggest trades in franchise history which sent Jaromir Jagr and Franticek Kucera to the Capitals, Beech spents parts of four seasons with the Penguins over two separate stints. In 2001-02, Beech appeared in a career-high 79 games and scored 25 points. He followed that up in 2002-03 by playing in 12 games and recording one assist. During 2003-04, he was limited to four games and one assist. Following the 2004-05 lockout, Beech was traded to the Predators in exchange for a draft pick. He returned to the Penguins midway through 2007-08 when he was claimed off waivers from the Capitals and appeared in five games while failing to record a point. In the 2008 offseason, he joined HV71 of the Elitserien in Sweden. He currently plays for Lukko of the SM-liiga in Finland. In 100 games with the Penguins, he scored 27 points.

-After the jump: Jordan Staal gets his first post-Penguins goal, Mike Rupp heads to Minnesota and Ryan Whitney is a healthy scratch.

Atlantic Division

-The Rangers acquired forwards Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri from the Wild in exchange for former Penguins forward Mike Rupp (right). Powe, 27, has appeared in eight games this season and as no points. According to, he has a salary cap hit of $1,066,667 on a contract set to expire after the 2013-14 season. This season, Palmieri, 23, has played in 39 games with the Houston Aeros, the Wild's AHL affiliate, and has scored 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists). He will be assigned to New York's AHL affiliate, the Connecticut Whale. He is on a two-way contract set to expire this offseason. Rupp, 33, has appeared in seven NHL games this season and has scored no points while recording 12 penalty minutes. He has a salary cap hit of $1.5 million on a contract set to expire after the 2013-14 season.

-EN Says: With captain Ryan Callahan sidelined with a shoulder injury, the Rangers needed someone eat up his minutes particularly on the penalty kill. They dealt a player in Rupp who hasn't played much this season. With the addition of another former Penguin in Arron Asham, Rupp hasn't had to function as the team's enforcer nearly as much this season. Additionally, the Rangers have all kinds of size. Rupp (6-foot-5, 243 pounds) was a luxury they didn't need. With the Wild, it adds size to a mostly smaller lineup and it adds a player somewhat familiar with head coach Mike Yeo who was an assistant coach with Rupp in Pittsburgh during the 2009-10 season.

-The Rangers placed forwards Ryan Callahan (shoulder) Chris Kreider (ankle) on injured reserve, recalled forwards J.T. Miller (right) and Brandon Mashinter from Connecticut of the AHL and assigned former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Benn Ferriero to Connecticut. Miller, a first-round pick in 2011, is a native of East Palestine, Ohio.

-The Islanders placed defenseman Radek Martinek on injured reserve due to an abdominal strain.

Northeast Division

-The Bruins recalled forward Ryan Spooner from Providence of the AHL.

-The Sabres recalled defenseman Adam Pardy from Rochester of the AHL.

-Maple Leafs defenseman Carl Gunnarsson is dealing with a "hip area" ailment.

-Thus far this season, Ottawa's Craig Anderson has been the NHL's best goaltender.

Southeast Division

-Patrick Dwyer and former Penguin Jordan Staal each had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes in a 4-1 win against the Maple Leafs. Fire Ray Shero. Jeff Skinner recorded three assists for Carolina while teammate Cam Ward made 41 saves.

-Staal's goal was his first with the Hurricanes:

-Fire Ray Shero.

-Check out the passing which led to a goal by Carolina's Justin Faulk:

-Staal had a nice pass to set up Dwyer for a goal:

-Fire Ray Shero.

-Referee Marc Joannette took a puck to the face during the second period. Despite losing a few teeth, he returned:

-Staal being stretchy:

-Carolina's Jeff Skinner and Toronto's Mikhail Grabovski crossed things up here:

-Staal and his brother, captain Eric Staal, became the first set of brothers to score in the same game for the Hurricanes/Whalers franchise since David and Wayne Babych in 1986. Like Jordan Staal, Wayne Babych was also a former Penguins.

-“It was more of a reflex and my elbow came up at the last second. I wasn’t targeting his head or trying to injure him. I don’t think it was a reckless play or a reckless elbow. I wasn’t flying down the ice at 100 miles an hour with my elbow up in the air, but that’s what he called it and I’ve got to live with it.” - Capitals defenseman John Erskine on his suspension for elbowing Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds in the head Friday.

-The hit in question:

Central Division

-The Blue Jackets placed defenseman Adrian Aucoin ("lower body") on injured reserve and recalled defenseman Cody Goloubef from Springfield of the AHL.

-Blue Jackets forward/enforcer worked on his fighting skills this past offseason with an ex-Marine and a retired mixed martial arts fighter.

-A shoulder sprain will sideline Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith three to four weeks. He was placed on injured reserve.

-Detroit assigned goaltender Tom McCollum to Grand Rapids of the AHL.

Northwest Division

-An overtime goal by Chris Tanev gave the Canucks a 3-2 win against the rival Oilers. Jannik Hansen added a goal and an assist for Vancouver while teammate Roberto Luongo made 23 saves in the victory.

-Check out the passing which led to Tanev's goal:

-Tanev's goal was also the first of his career.

-Goal of the Night: Check out this snappy move by Edmonton's Ales Hemsky:

-The Oilers made former Penguins defenseman Ryan Whitney a healthy scratch last night.

-Avalanche forward Milan Hejduk appeared in his 1,000th career game last night against the Stars.

Pacific Division

-Mike Smith made 21 saves for the Coyotes in a 2-1 defeat of the Wild. It was Phoenix's second consecutive win.

-Coyotes defenseman David Schlemko left the game in the first period due to an "upper-body" injury.

-Viktor Fasth made 25 saves for the Ducks in a 2-1 win against the rival Sharks. Anahem has won three consecutive games.

-Fluky Goal of the Night: Check out this ridiculous bounce off the end boards which set up Anaheim's Saku Koivu for a score:

-Check out this rocket of a goal by Anaheim's Sheldon Souray:

-Two goals and an assist by Jamie Benn led the Stars past the Avalanche, 3-2. Kari Lehtonen made 29 saves in the victory. Paul Stastny recorded two assists for Colorado.

-Defensive Play of the Night: Check out this steal by Benn off Colorado's Matt Huwick which led to Benn's first goal:

-There was a scary situation in this game when referee Chris Rooney left the game after taking a puck to the head:

-Sam Singleton, an NHL security representative, said Rooney ''checked out OK,'' but did not provide details.

-The Stars activated forward Derek Roy (groin) and goaltender Cris Nilstorp (groin) from injured reserve and assigned Nilstorp and defenseman Jordie Benn to Texas of the AHL.

Patrick Division

-Former Sharks/Bruins/Kings/Capitals/Canucks/Panthers forward Marco Sturm has joined Kölner Haie of Germany's DEL.

(Photos: Orpik-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images; Beech-Victor Decolongon/Getty Images; Rupp-Paul Bereswill/Getty Images; Miller-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Hurricanes/Maple Leafs-Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
More in this category: