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Empty Netter Assists - 04-24-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Shelly Anderson's recap from last night's game. Brooks Orpik left the game in the first period due to a "lower-body" injury.

-The Olean (N.Y.) Times Herald. "It was nice to definitely get a break. I thought we didn’t get a break all game from the way we were playing. … I looked on the replay and it was close. It could’ve gone either way.” - Sabres forward Steve Ott on his game-winning goal which was reviewed for a potential high stick.

-The Buffalo News' recap. “It’s always nice to win. It does feel a little bit empty, but it’s nice to win.” - Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller (above, stopping Beau Bennett).

-The Associated Press' recap. ''We gave up a few too many chances but at the same time we could have still found a way to get a better result.'' - Jarome Iginla.

-Highlights:

-Mike Lange's goal calls.

-Brenden Morrow didn't have much luck here defending Buffalo's Thomas Vanek:

-Morrow didn't have much luck in the Buffalo crease either:

-Welcome back Evgeni Malkin:

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-Matt Niskanen speaks:

-Jarome Iginla speaks:

-Sidney Crosby ... Still has a broken jaw.

-"I think the rivalry with the fans is bigger with Hershey it seems like, but within our room, there's a big rivalry here. A lot of pride. I'm sure they feel the same way." - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defenseman Alex Grant on facing the Binghamton Senators in the first round of the AHL playoffs.

-Happy 40th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Peter Skudra (right). A free agent signing prior to the 1997-98 season, Skudra spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1997-98, Skudra appeared in 17 games, went 6-4-3 with a 1.83 goal against average and .924 save percentage. The 1998-99 campaign was by far his best in the NHL as he set career highs in games played (37), wins (15-11-5) and shutouts (3) while sporting a 2.79 goals against average and .892 save percentage. During 1999-2000, Skudra was limited to 20 games, a 5-7-3 record at 3.12 goals against average, an .872 save percentage and one shutout. He appeared in one postseason game that spring and had a 3.00 goals against average and .909 save percentage. In the 2000 offseason, he joined the Bruins as a free agent. In 74 regular season games with the Penguins, he had a 26-22-11 record with a 2.65 goals against average, .894 save percentage and four shutouts.

-Happy 26th birthday to current Penguins all-star defenseman Kris Letang (right). A third-round pick in 2005, Letang has spent parts of the last six seasons with the Penguins. After scoring two goals in a seven-game "tryout" with the Penguins in 2006-07, Letang broke through to the NHL full-time in 2007-08 and recorded 17 points in 63 games. In 16 postseason games that spring, Letang recorded two assists and helped the club reach the Stanley Cup final. He followed that up in 2008-09 by playing in 74 games and scoring 23 points. In 23 postseason games that spring, he scored 13 points and earned a Stanley Cup ring. During 2009-10, Letang saw action in 73 games and recorded 27 points. He appeared in 13 postseason games that spring and recorded seven points. In 2010-11, Letang played in all 82 games and scored a career-high 50 points while being selected to an all-star game for the first time in his career. In seven postseason games that spring, he had four assists. Injuries limited Letang to 51 points in 2011-12 but he managed to record 42 points. In six postseason games last spring, he recorded five points. This season, Letang has appeared in 33 games and has 35 points. Letang has appeared in 383 career regular season games for the Penguins and has scored 206 points, 38th-most in franchise history. In 65 postseason games, he has scored 31 points 16th-most in franchise history.

-Happy 29th birthday to former Penguins minor league forward Brett Sterling. A free agent signing in 2010, Sterling's Penguins career amounted to seven games  and five points. He joined the Blues as a free agent this past summer.

-After the Jump: The Islanders, Capitals, Blues and Sharks clinch playoff berths.

Atlantic Division

-Steve Mason made 39 saves for the Flyers in a 5-3 win against the Bruins. Captain Claude Giroux recorded two assists for Philadelphia.

-Ugly Goal of the Night: Flyers rookie Oliver Lauridsen was given credit for a goal after Boston captain Zdeno Chara played a puck into his own net:

-Check out this pass off a blocked shot by Giroux to set up Jakub Voracek for a breakaway goal:

-Check out this tricky little move in tight which led to a goal by Boston's David Krejci:

-Mason and the Flyers wore #BostonStrong ribbons on their jerseys:

-Former Penguin Steve Sullivan had a goal and an assist for the Devils in a 3-2 win against the Canadiens. Fire Ray Shero. Marek Zidlicky recorded two assists for New Jersey while teammate Martin Brodeur made 19 saves.

-Check out this little pass by New Jersey's Travis Zajac to set up Patrik Elias in the slot for a goal:

-Check out this deflection goal by Sullivan:

-Fire Ray Shero.

-Brodeur lost this puck:

-Montreal's Carey Price had a little more luck here:

-A good look at Price's lid:

-Montreal's David Desharnais > New Jersey's Ryan Carter:

-The Giontas - New Jersey's Stephen and Montreal's Brian - are brothers, short:

-Elias will not play for the Czech Republic in next month's IIHF World Championships.

-Despite losing to the Hurricanes last night, the Islanders clinched their first playoff berth since 2007.

-Thinking Out Loud: Having Islanders star John Tavares in the postseason is nothing but a good thing for the NHL overall.

-Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen is sidelined due to a compression fracture in his right foot.

-The Flyers recalled forwards Jason Akeson, Scott Laughton, Tye McGinn, defensemen Matt Konan and Andreas Lilja from Adirondack of the AHL.

Northeast Division

-"Everything in his life revolves around hockey." - Bruins coach Claude Julien on former Penguins captain/forward Jaromir Jagr.

-The "Jags," a Jagr fan club from Calgary, adopted a Boston incarnation of their hero into their group:

-Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid returned to the lineup after missing one game due to a "lower-body" injury. He was injured on a low check by Matt Cooke Saturday.

-Canadiens forward and former Penguin Colby Armstrong returned to the lineup after being sidelined since April 1 due to a knee injury.

-The Canadiens recalled goaltenders Robert Mayer, Dustin Tokarski, defensemen Nathan Beaulieu, Greg Pateryn,  Jarred Tinordi and forwards Michaël Bournival, Louis Leblanc and Petteri Nokelainen from Hamilton of the AHL.

-Sabres forward Jochen Hecht was named Buffalo's nominee for the Masterton Trophy.

-Who is Sabres goaltending coach Jim Corsi and how has he changed statistics in the NHL?

-Senators defenseman Andre Benoit was named Ottawa's nominee for the Masterton Trophy.

Southeast Division

-Nicklas Backstrom, Jason Chimera, captain Alex Ovechkin and captain Mathieu Perreault each had a goal and an assist for the Capitals in a 5-3 win against the Jets. Braden Holtby made 24 saves in the victory which secured the Southeast Division and the third seed in the Eastern Conference. Nik Antropov led Winnipeg with a goal and an assist.

-Check out this "save" by Washington defenseman John Erskine:

-“The way we started there were a lot of doubters. Our fans were against us a little bit, the media was hard on us a little bit. But we came and did what we set out to do and it’s a great feeling.” - Capitals forward Matt Hendricks.

-Shootout goals by Riley Nash and Jeff Skinner gave the Hurricanes a 4-3 win against the Islanders. Former Penguin Jordan Staal had a goal and an assist for Carolina while teammate Dan Ellis made 36 saves. Fire Ray Shero. Former Penguins prospect Matt Moulson and Kyle Okposo each recorded two assists for New York. Fire Ray Shero, again.

-A goal by New York's John Tavares with 1:01 remaining in regulation forced overtime:

-Nash > New York's Evgeni Nabokov:

-Tomas Fleischmann had a goal and an assist for the Rangers in a 3-2 win against the Panthers. Jacob Markstrom made 36 saves in the victory.

-Rangers forward and former Penguin fought a much larger man in Panthers forward George Parros:

Central Division

-Andy McDonald and Penguins athletic trainer Chris Stewart each had a goal and an assist for the Blues in a 3-1 win against the Avalanche. Former Penguin Jordan Leopold recorded two assists for St. Louis while teammate Brian Elliott made 17 saves. Fire Ray Shero. St. Louis clinched a playoff berth.

-Check out this deflection goal by Stewart:

-Check out this re-direction goal by St. Louis' Patrik Berglund:

-Stewart being popular:

-“It’s good I guess. It’ll be fun to play the games.” - Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester on finally reaching the postseason after 762 career regular season games.

-Pekka Rinne made 15 saves for the Predators in a 4-3 win against the Flames. Captain Shea Weber recorded two assists for Nashville. Roman Cervenka had two goals for Calgary.

-With forwards Mike Fisher (hand), Patric Hornqvist ("lower body"),Taylor Beck ("lower body") and Brandon Yip ("lower body") all injured, the Predators recalled forwards Daniel Bang, Kevin Henderson and Austin Watson from Milwaukee of the AHL under emergency conditions.

-The Blue Jackets signed forward Matt Calvert to a two-year contract extension worth a total of $1.975 million. In the final year of an entry-level contract, Calvert's new deal will have a salary cap hit of $987,500.

-EN Says: Calvert has found a role in Columbus as an energy player. Despite a lack of size (5-foot-11, 188 pounds), he's not afraid to to the cage and get dirty. He's contributed a little offense this season (16 points) and can kill some penalties. This is a fair contract.

-“I haven’t been around that long, but he’s the best coach I’ve had in the NHL. He’s demanding. He sets the bar, and you have to reach it, exceed it. If you’re a checker, you better check. If you’re a goal-scorer, you better score goals. But there’s a lot of what he does that makes it feel like a family in here, like we’re all in this together. And that carries out onto the ice.” - Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson on head coach Todd Richards (right). Richards is a former head coach with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-St. Louis recalled defenseman Jani Hakanpaa from Peoria of the AHL.

-The Blues agreed to a three-year affiliation deal with the AHL's Chicago Wolves.

-‘‘Winning it was an amazing experience; it lived up to what you dream of when you’re a kid playing in Canada. But my name’s not on it. I think that drives me more — to get the name on there.’’ - Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell. Despite being a member of the Blackhawk's Stanley Cup championship team in 2010, Bickell did not mett qualifications to have his name engraved on the Cup.

Northwest Division

-Niklas Backstrom made 22 saves for the Wild in a 2-1 win against the Kings. Minnesota snapped a two-game losing skid.

-Wild forward Jason Pominville left the game in the second period after being struck in the head by Kings captain/forward Dustin Brown:

-Defensive Play of the Night: Check out this forecheck by Los Angeles' Anze Koitar and Brad Richardson which led to a buzzer-beating goal by Jeff Carter at the end of hte second period:

-Save of the Night: Backstrom came up with this clutch save against Los Angeles' Slava Voynov with 11 seconds left in regulation:

-Happy times for Minnesota's Matt Cullen and Backstrom:

-Wild goaltender Josh Harding was named Minnesota's nominee for the Masterton Trophy.

-Flames forward Steve Begin was named Calgary's nominee for the Masterton Trophy.

Pacific Division

-Antti Niemi made 24 saves for the Sharks in a 3-2 comeback win against the Stars. The win secured a ninth consecutive playoff berth for San Jose, the second longest such streak in the NHL.

-Pass of the Night: Check out this feed from San Jose's Scott Gomez to set up Raffi Torres in front:

-Sharks forward James Sheppard was named San Jose's nominee for the Masterton Trophy.

-Coyotes captain Shane Doan was named Phoenix's nominee for the Masterton Trophy.

(Photos: Sabres/Penguins-Gene Puskar/Associated Press; Skudra-Ian Tomlinson/Allsport/Getty Images; Letang-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Flyers/Bruins-Drew Hallowell/Getty Images; Canadiens/Devils-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images and Rich Schultz/Associaed Press; Islanders/Hurricanes-Gerry Broome/Associated Press; Avalanche/Blues-Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Associated Press; Richards-Christian Petersen/Getty Images; Kings/Wild-Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press)

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