Empty Netter Assists - 02-28-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Jordan Staal used to play for the Penguins.

-Brandon Sutter used to play for the Hurricanes.

-Jordan Staal used to play for the Penguins.

-Evgeni Malkin resumed skating for the first time since suffering a concussion last week.

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-An updated look at the 188 hat tricks scored against the Penguins all-time.

-A diverse crew of people helped save the life of a Penguins fan outside Consol Energy Center last week:

-Jeff Zatkoff made 31 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 2-1 win against loss to the Norfolk Admirals.

-Peter Delmas made 29 saves for the Wheeling Nailers in a 5-1 loss to the Elmira Jackals.

-Happy 66th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Barry Wilkins. Acquired early in the 1974-75 season in a deal which sent Ab DeMarco to the Canucks, Wilkins spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1974-75 by appearing in 59 games and scoring 34 points. During that spring's postseason, he played in three games and failed to record a point. In 1975-76, Wilkins appeared in 75 games and scored 27 points (all assists). He played in three postseason games that spring and recorded one assist. Wilkins left the team in the 1976 offseason by  joining the WHA's Edmonton Oilers as a free agent. In 134 regular season games with the Penguins, Wilkins scored 61 points. In six postseason games, he recorded one assist.

-Happy 44rd birthday to former Penguins forward Shawn McEachern (right). A sixth-round pick in 1987, McEachern spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins over two stints. After playing in the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, McEachern made his NHL debut late in 1991-92 by appearing in 15 games for the Penguins and recording four assists. In the postseason, he played in 19 games and scored nine points while helping the franchise win its second Stanley Cup championship. His first full season in the NHL was 1992-93. He played in all 84 games and scored 61 points. In that spring's postseason, he appeared in 12 games and scored five points. In the 1993 offseason, McEachern was traded to the Kings in exchange for Marty McSorley. Midway through 1993-94, McEachern came back to Pittsburgh along with Tomas Sandstrom in exchange McSorely and Jim Paek. He finished that season by playing in 27 games for the Penguins and scoring 21 points. During the 1994 postseason, McEachern played in six games and scored one goal. In the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season, McEachern played in 44 games and scored 26 points. In 11 postseason games that spring, he recorded two assists. During the 1995 offseason, McEachern and Kevin Stevens were traded to the Bruins in exchange for Glen Murray, Bryan Smolinski and a draft pick. In 170 regular season games for the Penguins, McEachern scored 112 points, 73rd-most in franchise history. In 48 postseason games, he scored 17 points.

-Happy 40th birthday to former Penguins forward Ryan VandenBussche. Signed prior to the 2004-05 lockout, the enforcer's Penguins career amounted to 20 games, one goal and 42 penalty minutes in 2005-06. He left the organization in the 2006 offseason when he signed with Jokerit Helsinki of the SM-liiga in Finland.

-After the Jump: Simon Gagne gets a goal in his return to Philadelphia and Vancouver's Ryan Kesler is injured again.

Atlantic Division

-A goal and an assist by captain Claude Giroux led the Flyers to a 4-1 win against the rival Capitals. Scott Hartnell recorded two assists for Philadelphia while teammate Ilya Bryzgalov made 23 saves in the victory.

-Forward Simon Gagne scored in his first game back with the Flyers.

-Gagne's goal:

-Flyers forward and former Penguin Maxime Talbot toasted Washington goaltender Braden Holtby with a slapper from long distance:

-Flyers forward Harry Zolnierczyk was given a kneeing major for this hit late on Capitals forward Mathieu Perreault:

-EN Says: We really don't have a problem with this hit. Zolnierczyk didn't deviate in his path to Perreault and didn't stick out his knee at the last moment. It looked like he even might have made contact with Perreault's thigh initially. It's an ugly hit but we wouldn't call this malicious.

-The Flyers placed goaltender Michael Leighton and forward Tom Sestito on waivers.

-“I always say there’s probably only three of us in the world with that combination—my sister, brother and I." - Devils captain/defenseman Bryce Salvador on having father of Brazilian and African descent and a mother who is Ukrainian.

-The Rangers assigned forward Brandon Mashinter to Connecticut of the AHL.

-"The last couple of years, with all the injuries, if it's taught me anything, it's that I need to enjoy what I do. It's a good opportunity to play a lot of games and get sharp. At the end of the day, you want to compete. You want to win. That's what I want to do." - Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro on being assigned to Bridgeport of the AHL.

Northeast Division

“It’s not like 73 meant that much to me,” Gallagher said. “I just feel sorry for the three people who bought 73 Gallagher jerseys.”

- See more at:

-Two goals by Max Pacioretty led the Canadiens to a 5-2 defeat of the rival Maple Leafs. David Desharnais recorded two assists for Montreal while teammate Carey Price made 21 saves in the victory.

-Check out this re-direction goal by Montreal rookie Brendan Gallagher:

-Check out the placement on this shot by Pacioretty:

-Bad Penalty of the Night: Toronto's Mike Brown was penalized for boarding Montreal's Josh Gorges here:

-EN Says: This is a race for the puck and Brown hits Gorges from the side. Gorges then slams into the end boards on the contact. In fairness to the officials, this play happened so fast, it's difficult for the officials to make this call at real speed.

-Canadiens defenseman Raphael Diaz has been diagnosed with a concussion.

-“It’s not like 73 meant that much to me. I just feel sorry for the three people who bought 73 Gallagher jerseys.”-  Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher on giving up his number to new teammate Michael Ryder. Gallagher will now wear No. 11.

-The Maple Leafs activated goaltender James Reimer (knee) from injured reserve and assigned goaltender Jussi Rynnas to Toronto of the AHL.

-“That’s completely unfair. They preach parity and they preach having the same chance. Well, the goal in hockey is to make the playoffs. If they can come up with some magical formula where teams can have the same opportunity to make the playoffs, then I’m for it. I think that’s the biggest issue right now. How can you have 14 on one side and 16 on the other side? The percentages of making it in the East become that much greater.” - Sabres forward Steve Ott (right) on a re-alignment proposal by the NHL which calls for 16 teams in two eastern conferences and 14 teams in two western conferences.

Southeast Division

-The Capitals claimed forward Aaron Volpatti off waivers from the Canucks.

-Jets defenseman Zach Redmond was discharged from a hospital where he was recovering from a skate cut to his right thigh.

-The Hurricanes recalled defenseman Michal Jordan from Charlotte of the AHL and assigned defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani to Charlotte.

-The Panthers assigned forward Scott Timmins to San Antonio of the AHL.

-The Lightning recalled forward Pierre-Cedric Labrie and defenseman Brendan Mikkelson from Syracuse of the AHL.

Central Division

-Columbus defenseman James Wisniewski (right) was placed on injured reserve due to a broken foot. He will be sidelined four to six weeks.

-Blue Jackets forward Derick Brassard will be sidelined one to two weeks due to an "upper-body" injury.

-The Blues recalled forward Adam Cracknell from Peoria of the AHL.

-Red Wings defensemen Brendan Smith (shoulder) and Kyle Quincey (ankle) returned to the lineup after nursing injuries.

-Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland is sidelined due to an "upper-body" injury.

Northwest Division

-“As far as the way I feel out there, I feel fit, I feel good and I feel comfortable with my abilities.” - Canucks forward Manny Malhotra on being placed on injured reserve due to a knee injury suffered in 2011.

Malhotra ‘shocked’ but not ready to stop

Manny Malhotra has been skating with the Canucks, even though the veteran forward will miss the rest of the season after the club placed the 32-year-old on injured reserve.


Manny Malhotra doesn’t agree with Mike Gillis. He also doesn’t question his motives.

Malhotra, the 32-year-old centre who was put on injured reserve at Gillis’ insistence and will miss the remainder of the Vancouver Canucks’ season due to the effects of the eye injury he suffered two seasons ago, spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since the move was announced on Valentine’s Day.

He admitted that it was “quite a shock to the system,” when Gillis, the Canucks general manager, told him of the plan. Gillis had voiced his concerns to Malhotra after last season about him being vulnerable to a big bodycheck due to changes in his vision, but opted to see where Malhotra’s game was at after a summer of training.

The Canucks nor Malhotra have ever said exactly how much his eyesight has been affected since he took a puck in the face late in the 2010-11 regular season.

“This was my Mike’s decision based on his feeling and what he saw on the ice,” said Malhotra, who has skated with the team at practice Wednesday, something he has done on other occasions since the move.

“As far as the way I feel out there, I feel fit, I feel good and I feel comfortable with my abilities.”

- See more at:

-Canucks forward Ryan Kesler will be sidelined six weeks due to a broken foot.

-“Things could be a lot worse in my life. I don’t necessary agree with not playing. I want to play. But I don’t want to make it a sideshow. I’ve got really good friends on this team who I’m rooting for every night. As [expletive] off as I am, it’s not about me.” - Oilers defenseman and former Penguin Ryan Whitney (right) on being a frequent healthy scratch.

“Things could be a lot worse in my life. I don’t necessary agree with not playing. I want to play. But I don’t want to make it a sideshow. I’ve got really good friends on this team who I’m rooting for every night. As pissed off as I am, it’s not about me.” - See more at:

-The Flames acquired enforcer/forward Brian McGrattan from the Predators in exchange for minor league defenseman Joe Piskula. In two games this season, McGrattan, 31, had no points and no penalty minutes.

Pacific Division

-A natural hat trick by Kyle Palmieri led the Ducks to a 5-1 win against the Predators. Captain Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry each recorded three assists for Anaheim while teammate Victor Fasth made 20 saves.

-Palmieri's hat trick:

-Defensive Play of the Nght: Anaheim's Emerson Etem forced a turnvoer behind the Nashville net to set up Nick Bonino for a goal:

-Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist for the Kings in a 2-1 defeat of the Red Wings. Jonathan Bernier made 32 saves in the win.

-Goal of the Night: Kopitar had a sick move in front of the crease to score the eventual game-winner:

-Los Angeles's Jeff Carter had a nifty redirection which led to the game-tying goal:

-Cool Photo of the Night: Detroit Jimmy Howard kept an eye on this pop fly:

-He also looked this grounder in:

-Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown flashed a good old fashioned hockey smile:

-The Stars activated goaltender Kari Lehtonen (groin) from the injured list and assigned goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp to Texas of the AHL.

-Here's something you won't see reported by Canadian media outlets. The Coyotes' attendance has risen this season.

(Photos: Staal-Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; McEachern-Penguins Hockey Cards; Ott-Rick Stewart/Getty Images; Wisniewski-John Grieshop/Getty Images; Whitney-Dale MacMillan/Getty Images; Red Wings/Kings-Jeff Gross/Getty Images and Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

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