Empty Netter Assists - 04-09-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-"I miss him." - Evgeni Malkin on linemate James Neal (above) who is sidelined indefinitely due to a concussion.

-"I'm not too worried about the teeth. I'm more worried about making sure I'm healed. Hopefully, that's sooner rather than later." - Sidney Crosby on his recovery from a broken jaw and other facial injuries.

-In less than a year, Ray Shero has changed roughly a third of his roster.

-Crosby speaks:


-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-Malkin speaks:

-Kris Letang speaks:

-Happy 76th birthday to former Penguins forward Wayne Hicks. Acquired midway through the 1967-68 season in a deal which sent Art Stratton to the Flyers, Hicks appeared in 15 games for the Penguins and scored 11 points. After that season, Hicks, one of nine NHL players born in the state of Washington, spent the rest of his professional career in the AHL and WHL. He is the father of former Penguins forward Alex Hicks.

-Happy 49th birthday to former all-star Penguins forward Rick Tocchet (right). Acquired midway through the 1991-92 season along with Kjell Samuelsson, Ken Wregget and a draft pick in exchange for Mark Recchi, Brian Benning and a draft pick, Tocchet became one of the most popular players in franchise history despite only spending parts of three seasons in Pittsburgh. Tocchet finished 1991-92 by appearing in 19 games and scoring 30 points. Tocchet saw action in 14 postseason games that spring and scored 19 points while helping the franchise win its second Stanley Cup championship. In 1992-93, Tocchet played in 80 games and scored 109 points - one of four 100-point scorers for the team that season - and led the team with 252 penalty minutes while helping the franchise earn its only Presidents' Trophy. He was also selected to the final all-star game of his career. Tocchet saw action in 12 postseason games that spring and scored 13 points. During 1993-94, Tocchet was limited to 51 games and 40 points. He played in six postseason games that spring and scored five points. In the 1994 offseason, Tocchet and a draft pick were traded to the Kings in exchange for Luc Robitaille. In 150 regular season games with the Penguins, Tocchet, the first player in franchise history to wear No. 92, scored 179 points, 42nd-most in franchise history. In 32 postseason games, Tocchet scored 37 points, 11th-most in franchise history.

-Happy 33rd birthday to former Penguins forward Alexei Ponikarovsky. Acquired at the 2010 trade deadline in a deal which sent Luca Caputi and Martin Skoula to the Maple Leafs, Ponikarovsky's Penguins career amounted to 16 games and nine points in 2010-11. In 11 postseason games, he scored five points. During the 2010 offseason, Ponikarovsky joined the Kings as a free agent. He is currently a member of the Devils.

-After the jump: Ottawa's Erik Karlsson returns to p ractice and Vancouver's Ryan Kesler returns to the lineup.

Atlantic Division

-The Flyers signed goaltender Steve Mason to a one-year contract worth $1.5 million. In the final year of a contract with a salary cap hit of $2.9 million, Mason was scheduled to become a restricted free agent this offseason. In 14 games this season, Mason, 24, has a 3-6-1 record with a 2.87 goals against average and .901 save percentage. He was acquired in a trade with the Blue Jackets last week.

-EN Says: This appears to be a "prove it" contract. Mason was given a one year deal in order to prove he deserves a longer and more lucrative contract. Additonally, he gives the Flyers a little bit more stability in terms of goaltending depth.

-Flyers forward Daniel Briere resumed practicing for the first time since suffering a concussion March 23.

Northeast Division

-Phil Kessel had two goals and an assist for the Maple Leafs in a 4-3 win against the Rangers. James van Riemsdyk added a goal and an assist for Toronto while teammate James Reimer made 31 saves. Rick Nash led New York with two goals.

-Dive of the Night: New York's Anton Stralman drew a slashing penalty after he appeared to embellish a tap on the knee from the stick of van Riemsdyk:

-Check out this power move in front of the crease which led to a goal for Nash:

-Two goal by Brad Marchand led the Bruins to a 6-2 rout of the Hurricanes. Former Penguin Andrew Ference and Rich Peverly each had a goal and an assist for Boston while teammate Dennis Seidenberg recorded three assists. Fire Craig Patrick. Tuukka Rask made 40 saves in the victory.

-Carolina forward and former Penguin Jordan Staal (now with a visor) was ready for this faceoff:

-Happy times for the Bruins. Not so much for Staal:

-Bruins forward and former Penguins captain Jaromir Jagr tried to run over Carolina's Tim Gleason here:

-“It’s in my genes. My dad is 70, and he still has a farm and he’s working every day. My mother, it’s the same thing. I cannot stop. I don’t think our family enjoyed life much. We feel like we have to work all the time.” - Jagr on playing at age 41.

-Canadiens Alexei Emelin will miss the rest of the season due a torn ligament in his left knee suffered in a collision with Bruins forward Milan Lucic Saturday.

-Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson resumed skating for the first time since suffering a sliced Achilles tendon Feb. 13.

-Rhianna is a Senators fan?

Southeast Division

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

-The Lightning recalled defenseman Mark Barberio from Syracuse of the AHL and assigned defenseman Matt Taormina to Syracuse.

Central Division

-Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp (right) is expected to return to the lineup tonight against the Wild after missing 14 games due to a shoulder injury.

-Could the Red Wings miss the playoffs for the first time in 21 seasons?

-The Red Wings assigned forward Riley Sheahan to Grand Rapids of the AHL.

-The Blue Jackets recalled forward Michael Chaput from Springfield of the AHL on an emergency basis.

Northwest Division

-Cory Schneider made 19 saves for the Canucks in a 2-0 shutout of the Coyotes. It was the eighth shutout of his career.

-Vancouver's Dan Hamhuis was credited with a goal after Phoenix's Antoine Vermette put a puck in his own net with the goaltender pulled:

-Down times for Phoenix's Keith Yandle:

-Vancouver's Zack Kassian employed a Vulcan nerve pinch on Phoenix's Rob Klinkhammer:

-Canucks foward Ryan Kesler returned to the lineup after missing 19 games due to a foot injury.

-Joey MacDonald made 39 saves for the Flames in a 3-1 win against the Avalanche. Roman Horak recorded two assists for Calgary.

-Colorado's Brad Malone scored his first NHL goal with a nifty re-direction:

-Check out this pass in tight by Horak to set up Mike Cammalleri for a goal:

-Check out this smooth pass by Calgary's Lee Stempniak to set up Alex Tanguay for a goal:

-Calgary's Alex Tanguay held off a stick check from Colorado's Matt Hunwick here:

-"There's no more excuses. It's not about being young. It's not about anything. We have to put our head into the game. Some guys are more worried about their Vegas trip at the end of the season than playing the games, playing every minute of the game. Quite frankly, I don't care about your Vegas trip right now. It's not constructive. We have to get out of this losing mentality. It starts with me and the next guy beside me, and everybody's got to do their part. It's embarrassing. I'm embarrassed to be here right now. It's not even funny." - Avalanche goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere on his team's effort.

-“We all understand the fans in Calgary might not be happy about seeing us win the game. But our situation is what it is. A lot of young guys are playing for a job next year. A lot of guys are playing to keep their position.” - Flames forward Alex Tanguay on his team being a "contender" for the first overall pick in this summer's draft.

-Oilers forward Ales Hemsky is dealing with a foot injury.

Pacific Division

-Radek Dvorak had two goals for the Ducks in a 2-1 win against the Oilers. Jonas Hiller made 27 saves in the victory.

-Edmonton's Devan Dubnky kept an eye on this puck:

-The Stars recalled defenseman Jordie Benn from Texas of the AHL.

-The Kings activated forward Dustin Penner ("lower-body") from injured reserve.

-The Sharks signed goaltender Troy Grosenick, formerly of Union College, to an entry-level contract. Terms were not reported.

Smythe Division

-Goaltender Eric Hartzell has pushed Quinnipiac to the Frozen Four.

(Photos: Neal-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images; Tocchet-Penguins Hockey Cards; Hurricanes/Bruins-Michael Dwyer/Associated Press and Jim Rogash/Getty Images; Sharp-Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images; Coyotes/Canucks-Rich Lam/Getty Images; Flames/Avalanche-Chris Schneider/Associated Press; Oilers/Ducks-Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

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