Empty Netter Assists - 02-08-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Dave Molinari's recap from last night's game. "That was a big factor. Paul was outstanding at it. It was the difference in the game, especially as we took over the second period." - Dan Bylsma on using Paul Martin (above, with James Neal) at the point on the power play.

-The Washington Post's recap. “We’re weak mentally right now.” - Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner.

-The Associated Press' recap. The last time the Penguins had a regulation home win in the regular season against the Capitals was Feb. 18, 2007.


-Bylsma (and Tyler Kennedy) weren't impressed with the great Joe Vitale's weak attention span:

-We think.

-Dylan Reese wearing the jersey of his hometown team for the first time in his NHL career:

-Sidney Crosby shoots on Washington's Michal Neuvirth while Tomas Kundratek defends:

-Bylsma speaks:

-Dylan Reese speaks:

-Kris Letang missed the game due to a "lower-body" injury. (PG+)

-Sidney Crosby wants to go to Sochi.

-“We know what they’re about. They gave us a pretty good lesson in Pittsburgh last week, so we have to take a deep breath here and try to refuel and get ready because it’s four big points with a division rival. We need to play better than we did last time.” - Devils coach Peter DeBoer on his team's upcoming home-and-home series with the Penguins this weekend.

-Peter Delmas made 24 saves for the Wheeling Nailers in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Gwinnett Gladiators.

-Happy 38th birthday to former Penguins forward Andre Roy. A free agent signing following the 2004-05 lockout, Roy, worked as the Penguins' primary enforcer for parts of two seasons. In 2005-06, he appeared in 42 games recording three points and 116 penalty minutes. Roy would appear in five games and fail to record a point in 2006-07 before being put on waivers and claimed by his former team, the Lightning. In 47 games with the Penguins, he scored three points and 128 penalty minutes.

-Happy 58th birthday to former Penguins forward Kelly Pratt. A free agent signing in the 1974 offseason, Pratt's NHL career amounted to 22 games with the 1974-75 Penguins. He recorded six points.In the 1975 offseason, he was sold to Hershey of the AHL.

-After the jump: Pittsburgh-area product J.T. Miller gets his first two career goals while Tim Thomas (or his salary cap hit more accurately) gets traded.

Atlantic Division

-East Palestine, Ohio native J.T. Miller scored the first two goals of his career for the Rangers in a 4-1 defeat of the rival Islanders. Ryan McDonagh added a goal and an assist for New York while teammate Marc Staal recorded two assists. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves in the victory.

-Miller's second goal:

-Miller's second goal:

-The Rangers made forward Brian Boyle, one of the team's top defensive forwards, a healthy scratch.

-MSG sideline reporter John Giannone had a scare last night when he took a puck to the face during the second period. Despite some facial injuries, Giannone finished the game"

-Happy times for Miller (center) and teammate Chris Kreider. Not so much for Islanders defenseman and former Penguin Brian Strait:

-A goal and two assists by Patrik Elias led the Devils past the Lightning, 4-2. Andy Greene and Ilya Kovalchuk each added a goal and an assist for New Jersey while teammate Martin Brodeur made 17 saves in the victory. Martin St. Louis recorded two assists for Tampa Bay.

-Check out the placement on this shot for a short-handed goal by Kovalchuk:

-Cool Photo of the Night: The Devils taking the ice:

-Elias throught this puck was a Klondike Bar:

-We think.

-New Jersey captain Bryce Salvador kept an eye on this puck:

-As did Brodeur:

-With forward Dainius Zubrus sidelined due to an "upper-body" injury, the Devils played rookie forward Stefan Matteau in his place. It was the sixth game of the season for Matteau who was still eligible to return to the junior ranks up until the sixth game.

-The Islanders acquired former all-star goaltender Tim Thomas from the Bruins in exchange for a conditional second-round draft pick in 2014 or 2015. Thomas, 38, was suspended by the Bruins for not reporting to the team. During this offseason, he announced his decision to sit out the season on Facebook for various reasons including, "friends, family, and faith." While he was not being paid as a result of the suspension, the Bruins were still on the hook for his $5 million salary cap hit. In 59 games last season, Thomas went 35-19-1 with a 2.36 goals against average, .920 save percentage and five shutouts. A two-time winner of the Vezina Trophy, Thomas also won the Conn Smythe Award while leading the Bruins to the Stanley Cup in 2011. His contract is scheduled to expire this offseason.

-EN Says: The primary reason the Islanders made this move was so they could stay above the salary cap floor. It's doubtful they have a legitimate interest in seeing Thomas (right) wear their jersey one day. That said, they have the option of tolling Thomas' contract until the 2013-14 season presuming he never reports this season. And with starting goaltender Evgeni Nabokov scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and the health of backup Rick DiPietro always in doubt, it's not out of the realm of possibilities. Thomas has stated a desire to play in the NHL in 2013-14 while also playing for the United States in the Olympics. For the Bruins, they clear out a decent chunk of salary cap space and remove a headache from the organization. This is a good move for both teams off the ice.

-The Flyers signed defenseman Kimmo Timonen to a one-year contract extension worth $6 million. In the final season of a contract with a salary cap hit of $6,333,333, Timonen, 37, has played in 11 games this season and has scored six points (one goal, five assists).

-EN Says: Timonen is a legitmate top-two defenseman who can play upwards of 25 minutes a game and in all situations. His biggest assets are his skating ability and his puck-handling. His only weakness is durability. Given his modest size (5-foot-10, 194 pounds), Timonen is hardly a banger and crasher around his own net, especially at his age. That said, getting a defenseman with this diverse of a skill set for $6 million is a pretty good deal.

Northeast Division

-Shootout goals by Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville gave the Sabres a 5-4 against the Canadiens. Tyler Ennis had a regulation goal and two assists for Buffalo while Vanek scored two regulation goals. Ryan Miller made 28 saves in the victory. Tomas Plekanec had two regulations goals for Montreal.

-Vanek tied the game with 1.9 seconds remaining in regulation:

-Check out the placement on this shot on Plekanec's first goal:

-In just 10 game this season, Vanek already has 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists).

-A goal and an assist by Tyler Bozak led the Maple Leafs past the Jets, 3-2. James Reimer made 23 saves in the victory. Bryan Little recorded two assists for Winnipeg.

-Defensive Play of the Night: Check out this poke check and steal by Bozak against Winnipeg's Paul Postma which led to Bozak's goal:

-Check out this snipe of a goal by Toronto's Phil Kessel:

-The Bruins assigned forward Ryan Spooner to Providence of the AHL.

-Even after suffering a concussion as a result of a fight last week, Bruins forward/enforcer Shawn Thornton defended fighting's role in the game.

Southeast Division

-Shootout goals by Jonathan Huberdeau and Peter Mueller gave the Panthers a 3-2 win against the Flyers. Dmitri Kulikov recorded two assists for Florida while teammate Jose Theodore made 30 saves.

-Shootout Goal of the Night: Check out this score by Huberdeau:

-The Panthers made former Penguins forward Alex Kovalev a healthy scratch.

-An overtime goal and an assist by Jay Harrison gave the Hurricanes a 3-2 win against the Senators. Cam Ward made a whopping 45 saves in the victory.

-Harrson's goal:

-It wasn't all bad for the Senator. Check out the placement on this shot by captain Daniel Alfredsson:

-Two days after being knocked down in a violent fight with Philadelphia's Zac Rinaldo, Lightning forward B.J. Crombeen said he is not suffering from concussion symptoms.

-When did things go wrong for the Capitals?

Central Division

-The Blackhawks got two goals and an assist from Patrick Kane in a 6-2 defeat of the Coyotes. Bryan Bickell, Viktor Stalberg and captain Jonathan Toews each added a goal and an assist for Chicago while teammate Patrick Sharp recorded three assists. Ray Emery made 22 saves in the victory.

-Playing the Blackhawks for the first time since he injured Chicago's Maran Hossa in last season's playoffs, Torres answered the bell with Chicago's Jamal Mayers:

-“It still doesn’t excuse what happened, but give him credit — he was willing to go." - Mayers.

-Toews put a paralyzing move on Phoenix's Oliver Ekman-Larsson to score this goal:

-A goal and an assist by Cory Emmerton led the Red Wings past the rival Blues, 5-1. Drew Miller recorded two assists for Detroit while teammate Petr Mrazek made 26 saves in his NHL debut.

-Check out this stick work in tight by Emmerton which led to his goal:

-Detroit's Johan Franzen received a match penalty for spearing St. Louis' David Perron in the third period:

-Happy times for the Red Wings. not so much for the Blues:

-St. Louis' Brian Ellliott got a little too close to this puck:

-Pekka Rinne made 32 saves and led the Predators to a 3-0 shutout of the Kings. It was his 26th career shutout. Colin Wilson scored two goals for Nashville while teammate Kevin Klein recorded two assists.

-Nashville's Craig Smith got down low here while trying to defend Los Angeles's Jake Muzzin:

-The Kings actuall outshot the Predators, 32-14.

-The Blue Jackets activated defenseman Nikita Nikitin ("upper body") from injured reserve.

Northwest Division

-An overtime goal by Alex Tanguay gave the Flames a 4-3 win against the Blue Jackets. T.J. Brodie and Jiri Hudler each recorded two assists for Calgary while teammate Leland Irving made 26 saves in the victory. Former Penguin Mark Letestu and Vaclav Prospal each collected a goal and an assist for Columbus.

-Tanguay's goal:

-Old School Goal of the Night: You don't see too many plain and simple slappers from the wings like this one from Calgary's Lee Stempniak:

-Mason Raymond had a goal and an assist for the Canucks who defeated the Wild, 4-1. Cory Schneider made 22 saves in the victory.

-Check out this nasty wrister by Vancouver's Jannik Hansen:

-The Avalanche is the only team in the NHL which has yet to get a goal from a defenseman this season.

-Colorado assigned forward David van der Gulik to Lake Erie of the AHL.

-The Oilers assigned forward Mark Arcobello to Oklahoma City of the AHL.

Pacific Division

-Ducks defenseman and former Penguin Ben Lovejoy said he received text messages from owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle following Wednesday's trade.

-"You think Anaheim, you think the high-end skill guys up front and the amount of talent they have on the ice. It’s pretty special and I’m so excited to be a Duck right now. I had a great six years with Pittsburgh, but I’m looking forward to a fresh start, and this is a pretty good place to be." - Lovejoy on joining the Ducks.

(Photos: Capitals/Penguins-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images and Keith Srakocic/Associated Press; Islanders/Rangers-Seth Wenig/Associated Press; Lightning/Devils-Julio Cortez/Associated Press, CX Matiash/Associated Press and Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Thomas-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Red Wings/Blues-Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images; Kings/Predators-Mark Humphrey/Associated Press)

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