Empty Netter Assists - 03-22-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-"I would be more alarmed if his production hadn't dropped off." - Dany Bylsma on James Neal's drop in production since Evgeni Malkin left the lineup due to a suspected shoulder injury.

-Bylsma was kind of wishy-washy yesterday when discussing the health of Kris Letang and Malkin.

-How did the Penguins use "Moneyball" to trade for Neal?

-Bylsma speaks:

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins signed defenseman Clark Seymour, a fifth-round pick in 2012, to an amateur tryout contract.

-Happy 36th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Joel Kwiatkowski. Acquired from the Panthers in exchange for a draft pick at the 2007 trade deadline, Kwiatkowski appeared in exactly one game for the 2006-07 Penguins and was a minus-1. The following offseason, he signed with the Thrashers. He is currently a member of Gottéron of the NLA in Switzerland.

-Happy 65th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Dunc Wilson (right). Acquired before the start of the 1976-77 season in a trade which sent a draft pick to the Rangers, Wilson spent two seasons with the Penguins. As the team's primary starter in 1976-77, Wilson appeared in 45 games, went 18-19-8 with a 2.95 goals against average and five shutouts, fourth-most in franchise history. In 1977-78, Wilson was limited to 21 games a 5-11-3 record and a 4.83 goals against average. Early in the 1978-79 season, he was traded to the Canucks for cash. In 66 career games with the Penguins, Wilson had a record of 23-30-11 a 3.53 goals against average and five shutouts.

-Happy 48th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Todd Charlesworth. A second-round pick in 1983, Charlesworth spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins As a rookie in 1983-84, Charlesworth appeared in 10 games and failed to record a point. In 1984-85, Charlesworth set career highs in games (67) and points (nine). He was limited to two games and no points in 1985-86. He only saw action on one game and failed to record a point again in 1986-87. During 1987-88, Charlesworth appeared in six games and scored two goals. After spending all of 1988-80 with the Penguins' IHL affiliate in Muskegon, Charlesworth joined the Oilers as a free agent in the 1989 offseason.

-Happy 39th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Tuomas Gronman. Acquired early in the 1997-98 season in a trade that sent Greg Johnson to the Blackhawks, he appeared in 22 games for the Penguins that campaign and recorded three points. He saw action in one postseason game that spring and failed to record a point. After missing most of 1998-99, he returned to his native Finland to play for Jokerit Helsinki of the SM-Liiga.

-Happy 37th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Sven Butenschon. A third-round pick in 1994, Butenschon, one of two Penguins born in Germany (Randy Gilhen was the other), spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1997-98, Butenschon appeared in eight games and failed to record a point. He followed that up in 1998-99 by playing in 17 games and once again did not score a point. In 1999-2000, he was limited to three games and no points. After five games and one assist in 2000-01, he was traded to the Oilers in exchange for Dan LaCouture. In 33 games with the Penguins, he recorded one assist. He currently plays for Adler Mannheim of the DEL in Germany.

-After the Jump: Alexei Kovalev retires and New Jersey's Martin Brodeur gets a goal.

Atlantic Division

-Martin Brodeur made 17 saves and was credited with a goal (see below) for the Devils in a 4-1 win against the Hurricanes. Travis Zajac recorded two assists for New Jersey.

-After being sidelined a month due to a back injury, Brodeur was credited with a goal after Hurricanes forward and former Penguin banked a puck off the boards and into his own net during a delayed penalty:

-Maintain Ray Shero's employment.

-"I wasn’t sure what happened. When they cleared the zone I kind of looked behind me and I wasn’t really looking (at the puck). When the puck went in the net it was, ‘Wow, what happened there?’ I didn’t even know we had a delayed penalty or anything, so it was kind of a surprise." - Brodeur on the goal.

-Devils forward Andrei Loktionov also returned to the lineup after missing two games due to a shoulder injury.

-The Flyers recalled forward Harry Zolnierczyk from Adirondack of the AHL.

-Philadelphia signed undrafted free agent forward Kyle Flanagan, formerly of Saint Lawrence, to a one-year entry-level contract.

Northeast Division

-P.K. Subban scored two goals for the Canadiens in a 5-2 win against the Islanders. David Desharnais, Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty each recorded two assists for Montreal while teammate Carey Price made 25 saves. Matt Moulson had two assists for New York.

-Dive of the Night: New York's Keith Aucoin appeared to have something wrong with his skates here after this shove from Subban:

-Price was all over this puck:;

-The Islanders' crease was crowded here:

-New York's Thomas Hickey and Montreal captain Brian Gionta each went for the poke check here:

-Stuffy times for Montreal rookie Brendan Gallagher:

-Shootout goals by Drew Stafford and Steve Ott gave the Sabres a wild 5-4 win against the Maple Leafs. Christian Ehrhoff had a regulation goal and two assists for Buffalo while teammate Tyler Ennis added a regulation goal and an assist. Ryan Miller made 30 saves in the victory. Nazem Kadri led Toronto with two goals and an assist.

-Check out this re-direction goal by Kadri:

-Cool Photo of the Night: Kadri celebrating with the "home" crowd in Buffalo:

-Fight of the Night: Buffalo's John Scott versus Toronto's Frazer McLaren:

-Scott was all "Are you not entertained?!?" after the fight:

-Save of the Night: Buffalo's Ryan Miller on Toronto's Jay McClement:

-Anton Khudobin made 27 saves for the Bruins who edged the Senators, 2-1. Ottawa had a three-game winning streak snapped.

-It wasn't all bad for Ottawa. Check out the placement on this shot by Kaspars Daugavins:

-The Bruins have won 11 consecutive games in Ottawa.

-Bruins forward David Krejci returned to the lineup after suffering a knee injury against the Penguins Sunday.

-“I think it should be, for sure, grandfathered in. (The Marc Staal injury) was a little bit flukey, but at the same time, you’ve got to protect yourself with a visor. I want to wear all the best gear I can. You can limit those fluke plays with equipment. It’s like shoulder pads. Looking around the room, a lot of the older guys use a lot less of a shoulder pad than maybe a guy coming in from junior or something like that. It’s what you’re used to.” - Bruins rookie defenseman Marc Staal on the NHL potentially making visors mandatory but with a "grandfather" status.

-Maple Leafs foward Joffrey Lupul was suspended two games by the NHL for a hit to the head of Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman Wednesday. The NHL's explanation:

It’s a little frustrating when they say I targeted (Hedman’s) head. It’s an easy thing to say if you’ve never played the game. . . . Frame by frame it looks like I hit him in the head, but it’s a split-second decision. He came into me and I decided at the very last second to throw a shoulder-to-shoulder hit and I thought I did that . . . until I saw (the replay) after the game.” - Lupul.

-EN Says: We're assuming the context of Lupul's "never played the game" comments wasn't directed at the NHL's discipline department which is headed by Brendan Shanahan, a future hall-of-famer. Regardless, he clearly  made contact with the head of Hedman. Given his lack of discipline prior to this and the lack of an injury to Hedman, this seems like a fair punishment.

-After he cleared waivers, the Maple Leafs assigned defenseman Mike Komisarek to Toronto of the AHL and recalled forward Ryan Hamilton from Toronto.

Southeast Division

-Jacob Markstrom made 44 saves for the Panthers in a 3-1 win against the Rangers. Florida has won two consecutive games.

-Rangers forward Rick Nash struck Panthers forward Tomas Kopecky in the back of the head after leaving his skates:

-Braden Holtby made 20 saves for the Capitals in a 4-0 shutout of the Jets. It was his seventh career shutout. Captain Alex Ovechkin had a goal and two assists for Washington while teammates Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson each collected a goal and an assist.

-Check out this pass by Ovechkin to set up Johansson for a goal:

-Check out this save by Holtby against Winnipeg's Antti Miettinen:

-Washington's Steve Olesky and Winnipeg's James Wright had a pretty wild bout:

-Ovechkin is popular in Winnipeg:

-The Jets assigned forward Eddie Pasquale to St. John's of the AHL.

-The Capitals placed forward Joey Crabb on waivers.

-Panthers forward and former Penguin Alex Kovalev officially retired. We'll have more on this later.

-With goaltender Anders Lindback will be sidelined indefinitely due to a right right high ankle sprain, the Lightning recalled goaltender Cedrick Desjardins and forward Panik from Syracuse of the AHL.

-The Lightning signed undrafted free agent defenseman Andrej Sustr to a two-year entry level contract. A product of Nebraska-Omaha, Suster attended the Penguins' prospect development camp as an invitee last summer.

-Carolina forward Tuomo Ruutu returned to the lineup after missing the first 29 games of the season due to a hip injury.

-Hurricanes goaltender Dan Ellis will be sidelined seven to 10 days due to a cut near his knee.

-The Hurricanes reclaimed former Penguins forward Zach Boychuk off waivers from the Predators.

Central Division

-Martin Erat had a goal and two assists for the Predators who beat the Flames, 5-3. Mike Fisher added two goals for Nashville while teammate Roman Josi and Kevin Klein recorded two assists. Pekka Rinne made 19 saves in the victory. Mark Giordano led Calgary with a goal and an assist.

-Check out this rocket of a short-handed one-timer by Giordano:

-Check out his passing which led to a goal for Calgary's Blake Comeau:

-Defensive Play of the Night: Check out this steal by Erat and his set-up for Fisher:

-Happy times for Nashville's Mike Fisher (top) and Sergei Kostitsyn:

-Calgary's Mikael Backlund and Nashville's Nick Spaling were ready for this faceoff:

-The Predators assigned forward Craig Smith to Milwaukee of the AHL.

Northwest Division

-Cory Schneider made 33 saves for the Canucks in a 2-1 win against the Coyotes. Phoenix has lost five consecutive games.

-Check out the placement on this shot by Vancouver's Chris Tanev:

-You don't see this too often. Vancouver defenseman Alex Edler received a charging major for running Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith:

-Eder will face a disciplinary hearing for the hit.

-The Canucks recalled forward Andrew Gordon from Chicago of the AHL.

-He might have flashy statistics, but Wild rookie defenseman Jonas Brodin has emerged as a candidate for the Calder Trophy.

Pacific Division

-Kari Lehtonen made 40 saves for the Stars in a 2-0 shutout of the Kings. It was his 22nd career shutout. Los Angeles had a three-game winning streak snapped.

-It wasn't all bad for Los Angeles. Check out this flashy glove save by goaltender Jonathan Quick:

-Lehtonen was all over this puck:

-The Stars recalled forward Alex Chiasson from Texas of the AHL.

-The Ducks signed forward Patrick Maroon to a two-year contract extension worth a total of $1.5 million. In the final year of a two-way contract with a salary cap hit $550,000, Maroon's new deal will have a cap hit of $575,000. Maroon, 25, has appeared in 11 NHL games this season and has two goals.

-Anaheim assigned forward Brandon McMillan to Norfolk of the AHL.

-The Kings will visit the White House Tuesday to be honored for their Stanley Cup championship.

Adams Division

-Finalists for the Hobey Baker Award were named.

(Photos: Malkin/Neal-Claus Andersen/Getty Images; Wilson-Penguins Hockey Cards; Canadiens/Islanders-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images and Seth Wenig/Associated Press; Maple Leafs/Sabres-Rick Stewart/Getty Images; Capitals/Jets-Marianne Helm/Getty Images; Flames/Predators-Mark Humphrey/Associated Press; Stars/Kings-Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

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