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Empty Netter Assists - 03-30-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Jarome Iginla (above) had his immigration issues resolved.

-"The way we're playing defensively, the way everybody is helping out and doing such a great job, that's big in the playoffs. That's something we weren't as good at against Philly last year. Right now, we're good at it." - Marc-Andre Fleury on his team's 14-game winning streak.

-Welcome back Fleury ... as Tomas Vokoun's backup at least.

-“It’s his one chance to really make a decision for what’s best for him in his eyes. How can you fault somebody for doing what they want to do in a situation where they have that kind of control?" - Bruins defenseman and former Penguin Andrew Ference on Iginla choosing the Penguins over the Bruins.

-Here's the video tribute the Flames played for Iginla during last night's game against the Blue Jackets:

-Here was the reaction to the video:

-With Fleury healthy, the Penguins assigned goaltender Brad Thiessen to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-Sidney Crosby speaks:

-Dylan Reese scored two regulation goals for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 3-2 shootout loss at home to the Providence Bruins Friday. Trevor Smith recorded two assists for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while teammate Brad Thiessen made 26 saves.

-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's Bobby Farnham went at it with Providence's Alden Hirschfeld:

-Chris Barton had two goals and an assist for the Wheeling Nailers in an 8-5 home loss to the Toledo Walleye Friday. Paul Crowder added a goal and two assists for the Nailers while teammate Zach Hansen recorded two assists. Peter Delmas made 27 saves in the loss.

-Happy 53rd birthday to former Penguins defenseman and assistant coach Randy Hillier (right). Acquired prior to the 1984-85 season in a trade which sent a draft pick to the Bruins, Hillier spent parts of seven seasons with the Penguins as a player. In 1984-85, Hillier appeared in 45 games and scored 21 points. During 1985-86, he was limited to 28 games and three assists. He followed that up in 1986-87 by seeing action in 55 games and  recorded 12 points. In 1987-88, Hillier once against played in 55 games and netted 13 points. Hillier appeared in a career-high 68 games in 1988-89 and scored a career-high 24 points. He saw action in nine postseason games that spring and recorded one assist. In 1989-90, he saw action in 61 games and netted 15 points. During 1990-91, Hillier appeared in 31 games and scored four points. He appeared in eight playoff games that spring and failed to record a point while helping the franchise earn its first Stanley Cup championship. During the 1991 offseason, he joined the Islanders as a free agent. In 343 regular season games with the Penguins, he recorded 92 points, 94th-most in franchise history. In 17 postseason games, he recorded one assist. Hiller returned to the Penguins and served as an assistant coach in the 1997-98 season and once again from 2001 through 2006.

Happy 37th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Ty Conklin. A free agent signing in the 2007 offseason, Conklin's Penguins career amounted to 33 games in 2007-08. He went 18-8-5 with a 2.51 goals against average, .923 save percentage and two shutouts. He also served as the team's starting goaltender in the first Winter Classic in 2008. During the 2008 offseason, Conklin, one of 11 NHL players born in Alaska, joined the Red Wings as a free agent.

-After the Jump: The Islanders' Lubomir Visnovsky gets paid and Jaromir Jagr gets his 1,000th career assist.

Atlantic Division

-The Islanders agreed with defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky to a two-year contract extension worth a total of $9.5 million. In the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $5.6 million, his new deal will have a cap hit of $4.75 million. Visnovsky, 36, has played in 22 games this season and has scored nine points (three goals, six assists).

-EN Says: For a defenseman who can still 23 or 24 minutes a game in all situations and offers plenty on offense, this is a pretty good contract even if he's approaching his late 30s.

-The Devils activated former Penguins forward Alexei Ponikarovsky ("lower body") from injured reserve.

-"I just have to be better. I have to try to get out of this funk. It’s a frustrating time, of course. I want to contribute. I want to be better.” - Rangers forward Marian Gaborik on being limited to one goal in 11 games.

-The Rangers signed undrafted defenseman Conor Allen, formerly of Massachusetts, to a contract. Terms were not revealed.

Northeast Division

-“It’s a pretty cool feeling to know that [Calgary] thought I had the potential to be a pretty good player in the future. Right around 12:30 at night it came out that the Pens had picked him and I was pretty relieved to hear it. But Peter [Chiarelli] reiterated to me today that it was Calgary that really wanted me. It wasn’t that Boston wanted to give me up.” - Bruins defenseman and Mt. Lebanon native Matt Bartkowski (right) on potentially being traded for Jarome Iginla.

-The Bruins assigned defenseman Torey Krug to Providence of the AHL.

-“The things that we will look to add will focus on things beyond this year. It may include this year, but the focus is going to be on next year and maybe even beyond that. So things that we do are going to be with that light in mind.” - Sabres general manager Darcy Regier essentially admitting his team will be a seller for the trade deadline.

-Canadiens forward Brandon Prust is expected to be back in the lineup today against the Rangers after missing eight games due to a shoulder injury.

Southeast Division

-Shootout goals by Teddy Purcell and Victor Hedman gave the Lightning a 5-4 comeback win against the Devils. Steven Stamkos had two regulation goals and an assist for Tampa Bay while rookie teammate Alex Killorn collected a goal and an assist. Former Penguin Mathieu Garon made 21 saves in the victory. Fire Ray Shero. Andy Greene led New Jersey with a goal and an assist.

-It wasn't all bad for New Jersey. Check out these two saves by Martin Brodeur on Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos and Benoit Pouliot:

-A goal by Killorn with 15.1 seconds left in regulation sent the game to overtime:

-New Jersey's Tom Kostopoulos > Garon:

-"That was a lot of fun. I'm going to remember this one for a long, long time." - Lightning coach Jon Cooper on getting a win in his NHL debut.

-The Panthers assigned defensemen Mike Caruso and Colby Robak to San Antonio of the AHL.

Central Division

-Former Penguin Mark Letestu, Plum native R.J. Umberger (No, really!) and Antoine Vermette each had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets in a 6-4 win against the Flames. Fire Ray Shero. Artem Anisimov recorded two assists for Columbus while teammate Steve Mason made 29 saves. Dennis Wideman led Calgary with a goal and an assist.

-Fluky Goal of the Night: Check out this goal by Calgary's Brian McGratton:

-The Red Wings signed undrafted defenseman Dan DeKeyser, formerly of Western Michigan, to a two-year entry-level contract.

Northwest Division

-What will the Flames do with their vacant captaincy after trading in Iginla?

-The Oilers acquired forward prospect Kale Kessy from the Coyotes in exchange for forward Tobias Rieder.

Pacific Division

-Jamie Benn, Cody Eakin and Ray Whitney each had a goal and an assist for the Stars in a 5-3 win against the Wild. Richard Bachman recorded the win despite not making a save. He replaced starter Kari Lehtonen due to an equipment issue and saw the eventual game-winning goal scored during his 2:32 of action. Minnesota had a seven-game winning streak snapped.

-Pass of the Night: Check out this dish from Minnesota's Matt Cullen to set up Devin Setoguchi for a goal:

-Check out this save by Minnesota's Matt Hackett on Dallas' Eric Nystrom:

-Stars forward and former Penguins captain Jaromir Jagr became the 12th player in NHL history to record 1,000 assist when he recorded the secondary helper on this power-play goal by Benn:

-Note: Jagr recorded his first assist with the Penguins on a goal by defenseman Zarley Zalapski in a 4-4 tie in Buffalo, Oct. 19, 1990.

-All heck broke out as Minnesota's Zenon Konopka and Mike Rupp tried to wheelbarrow Dallas' Reilly Smith into the Minnesota bench:

-A good look at the attempted wheelbarrow:

-Intense Face of the Night: Jagr:

-Jonas Hiller made 25 saves for the Ducks in a 2-1 win against the Blackhawks. Francois Beauchemin recorded two assists for Anaheim which snapped a four-game losing streak.

-Check out this laser of a goal by Anahem's Corey Perry:

-The Sharks assigned goaltender Thomas Greiss to Worcester of the AHL on a conditioning assignment.

-Coyotes forward and former Penguin Steve Sullivan appeared in his 1,000th career game Thursday against the Predators.

-Kings defenseman Matt Greene is expected to return to the lineup by late April after being sidelined for all but one game this season due to a back ailment.

Norris Division

-Chris Truehl made 22 saves for the Johnstown Tomahawks in a 5-0 shutout of the Jamestown Ironmen.

(Photos: Iginla-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Hillier-Penguins Hockey Cards; Bartkowski-Claus Andersen/Getty Images; Devils/Lightning-Chris O'Meara/Associated Press; Wild/Stars-Sharon Ellman/Associated Press)

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