Empty Netter Assists - 04-22-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-EN reader Adam Vrabel located the tougest street corner in Pittsburgh (or Squirrel Hill at the very least):

-Kris Letang is questionable for tonight's game in Ottawa due to an illness.

-Welcome back James Neal ... to practice ... briefly.

-The Penguins have had to make some adjustments to their schedule this week.

-"They brought me up to be a good soldier. I think the writing's on the wall. Ultimately, going into the last week of the season they want to put their best foot forward. I'm not 100 percent sure [what will happen]. I do my thing. If they need me, they need me. If they don't, just do the best that I can." - Steve MacIntyre on potentially facing the Senators tonight. (PG+)

-The Senators can secure a playoff berth with a win against the Penguins and a regulation loss by the Jets against the Sabres.

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-Chris Kunitz speaks:

-Pascal Dupuis speaks:

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will face the Binghamton Senators in the first round of the AHL postseason. (PG+) The schedule:

Game 1 – Saturday, April 27 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Binghamton, 7:05 p.m.
Game 2 – Sunday, April 28 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Binghamton, 5:05 p.m.
Game 3 – Thursday, May 2 – Binghamton at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
*-Game 4 – Saturday, May 4 – Binghamton at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
*-Game 5 – Monday, May 6 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Binghamton, 7:05 p.m.

*-If neccesary.

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins' fortuned improved dramatically after the NHL lockout came to an end.

-Happy 69th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Bob Paradise (right). A veteran of two separate stints with the Penguins, Paradise, a member of the 1968 United States Olympic hockey team, initally came to the club midway through the 1973-74 season along with Chuck Arnason in a deal which sent Al McDonough to the Atlanta Flames. He finished that season by appearing in 38 games for the Penguins and scoring nine points. In 1974-75, Paradise set career highs in games (78) and points (18). During the 1975 postseason, he saw action in six games and recorded one assists. After nine games and no points in 1975-76, Paradise was traded to the Capitals in exchange for a draft pick. Prior to 1977-78, Paradise was re-acquired by the Penguins in a deal which sent Don Awrey to Washington. That season saw him play in 64 games and score 12 points. In 1978-79, he was limited to 14 regular season games and one assist. He saw action in two postseason games that spring and failed to record a point. He was released in the 1979 offseason. In 203 regular games for the Penguins, Paradise scored scored 40 points. In eight postseason games, he had one assist.

-Happy 45th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Zarley Zalapski (right). The team's first-round pick in 1986, Zalapski spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. After spending most of the 1987-88 season with Canada's Olympic team, Zalapski made his NHL debut late in that campaign by appearing in 15 games for the Penguins and recording 11 points. The following season in 1988-89, Zalapski appeared in 58 games, recorded 45 points (a mark which stands as a franchise record for rookie defensemen) and helped the team reach the postseason for the first time in seven seasons. In the playoffs, he recorded a solid nine point in 11 games. During 1989-90, Zalapski was limited to 51 games and 31 points. After 66 games and 48 points in 1990-91, Zalapski was traded to the Hartford Whalers along with John Cullen and Jeff Parker in exachange for Ron Francis, Grand Jennings and Ulf Samuelsson in one of the biggest trade deadline deals in NHL history. In 190 regular season games with the Penguins, Zalapski recorded 135 points, 62nd-most in franchise history.

-After the Jump: The Devils' playoff hopes bite the dust and former Penguins forward Martin Straka scored in overtime to win the Czech Extraliga title.

Atlantic Division

-Two goals by captain Ryan Callahan led the Rangers to a 4-1 win against the Devils. Brad Richards recorded two assists for New York while teammate Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves. New Jersey was officially eliminated from postseason contention.

-Callahan took all of 34 seconds to score the game's opening goal:

-"It hasn’t sunk in. I think you don’t want to think about it until it’s actually a reality. No other word but disappointment. There’s frustration. It’s not the way you want to go out." - Devils coach Peter DeBoer on missing the postseason after advancing to the Stanley Cup Final last season.

-Devils forward Anton Volchecnkov returned to the lineup after serving a four-game suspension for hitting Bruins forward Brad Marchand in the head.

Northeast Division

-Tuukka Rask made 28 saves for the Bruins in a 3-0 shutout of the Panthers. It was his 15th career shutout. Boston snapped a four-game losing streak.

-Bruins forward and former Penguins captain Jaromir Jagr scored on a classic wrister from the slot:

-The goal proved to be the game-winner and tied Hockey Hall of Famer Phil Esposito's record for game-winning goals with 118.

-Hit of the Day: Florida's Alexander Petrovic took out two Bruins, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton, with one hit behind the Panthers' net:

-Bruins forward Nathan Horton and defenseman Adam McQuaid each missed the game after suffering "upper-body" injuries against the Penguins Saturday. The presentations:

-Following the game, the Bruins presented their game jerseys to a slew of first responders in the Boston area:

-The Panthers wore hats during warms up in tribute to Boston-area first responders.

Southeast Division

-Jiri Tlusty scored two goals for the Hurricanes in a 3-2 win against the Lightning. Alexander Semin added a goal and two assists for Carolina while teammate Eric Staal recorded two assists. Dan Ellis made 35 saves in the victory. Martin St. Louis led Tampa Bay with a goal and an assist.

-Check out this steal by Staal against Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos which led to a setup on a goal by Semin:

-Pass of the Day: Check out this quick set-up by Tampa Bay captain Vincent Lecavalier off a faceoff which led to St. Louis' goal:

-Painful times for Carolina's Tim Gleason:

-Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback returned to the lineup after missing 13 games due to a high ankle sprain.

-St. Louis will not play for Team Canada in next month's IIHF World Championships.

-The Panthers recalled forward Scott Timmins from San Antonio of the AHL.

-Jets forward Olli Jokinen will be sidelined six to eight weeks due to an ankle sprain.

Central Division

-Two goals and an assist by former Penguin Mark Letestu led the Blue Jackets to a 4-3 win against the Sharks. Vaclav Prospal added a goal and an assist for Columbus while teammate Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves. Matt Irwin recorded two assists for San Jose.

-Goal of the Night: Check out this individual effort by San Jose's Andrew Desjardins:

-Defensive Play of the Night: Check out this steal which led to the eventual game-winning goal by Columbus' Ryan Johansen with 1:37 remaining in regulation:

-“We’re a very confident team. Everyone in here believes. We feel like it’s our destiny to make the playoffs.” - Blue Jackets forward and Plum native (No, really!) R.J. Umberger.

-“It's been a long time since we missed the playoffs and you don't want to be part of that team. Definitely, I take big responsibility in that.'' - Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg on the team's streak of 21 consecutive postseason appearances potentially coming to an end.

Northwest Division

-Mike Cammalleri and Mark Cundari each had a goal and an assist for the Flames in a 4-1 win against the Wild. T.J. Brodie recorded two assists for Calgary while teammate Joey MacDonald made 34 saves.

-Check out this laser of a wrister Cundari scored his first career NHL goal with:

-Check out this move in tight on a goal by Minnesota's Zach Parise:

-Calgary's Cory Sarich and Minnesota's Clayton Stoner had issues:

-Jamie McGinn had two goals and an assist for the Avalanche in a 5-3 win against the Blues. Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 29 saves in the victory. Captain David Backes led St. Louis with a goal and an assist.

-The Flames recalled Akim Aliu, Blair Jones, Ben Street, Carter Bancks, Paul Byron, defenseman Mark Cundari and goaltender Leland Irving from Abbottsford of the AHL.

-Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery.

Pacific Division

-Jonas Hiller made 27 saves for the Ducks in a 3-1 win against the Oilers. Nick Bonino recorded two assists for Anaheim. The loss officially eliminated the Oilers from postseason contention.

-Bonino returned to the lineup after missing 21 games due to a "lower-body" injury.

-An overtime goal and two assists by Jeff Carter gave the Kings a 4-3 win against the Stars. Captain Dustin Brown scored two goals for Los Angeles while teammate Anze Kopitar recorded two assists. Jonathan Quick made 24 saves in the victory. Former Penguin Alex Goligoski led Dallas with a goal and an assist. Fire Ray Shero.

-Brown stuck Stars forward Antoine Roussel in the head with a check during the third period:

-Carter's goal:

-Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris is dealing with a "lower-body" injury.

Adams Division

-Former Penguins forward Martin Straka's overtime goal gave HC Plzen a 4-3 win against HC Ziln in Game 7 of the Czech Extraliga championship series:

-Former Flyers/Oilers forward Jiri Dopita announced his retirement.

(Photos: Paradise-Penguins Hockey Cards; Panthers/Bruins-Steven Senne/Associated Press; Lightning/Hurricanes-Mike Carlson/Associated Press; Flames/Wild-Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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