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Empty Netter Assists - 04-25-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Sidney Crosby's (above) return is close.

-"If they go, ‘Okay, Jokinen has done that [move] five in a row. So he can’t do it any more.’ Should I do it still or should I change it up? It’s so much fun, that mental battle." - Jussi Jokinen on shootouts.

-With two mostly meaningless games remaining on the schedule, could the Penguins develop bad habits?

-Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray are each wary of the Blues.

-The Penguins signed forward Anton Zlobin, a sixth-round pick in 2012, to a three-year entry-level contract. (PG+) Zlobin, 20, appeared in 61 game this season for Val-d'Or Foreurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and scored 91 points (29 goals, 62 assists). The 5-foot-11, 189-pound right winger finished ninth in the QMJHL's scoring race.

-Happy 30th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Andy Chiodo. A seventh-round pick in 2003, Chiodo's only NHL season saw him spend eight games with the 2003-04 Penguins. He had a record of 3-4-1 during that span and sported a 3.64 goals against average and .892 save percentage. Chiodo's biggest claim to Penguins fame was the fact he was the winning goaltender in a 4-3 overtime win at Phoenix, Feb. 25, 2004 (below). That win snapped a franchise record 18-game winless streak. After spending the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Wheeling, Chiodo signed with Jokerit Helsinki in Finland during the 2006 offseason. He is currently a member of Klagenfurter AC in the EBHL in Austria.

-Happy 40th birthday to former Penguins forward Alek Stojanov. Acquired at the 1996 trade deadline in an imfamous deal which sent future all-star Markus Naslund to the Canucks, Stojanov spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. He finished the 1995-96 season by appearing in 10 games for the Penguins and scored one goal. In nine postseason games that spring, he failed to record a point. The 1996-97 season saw him play in 35 games and score five points. After a serious car accident, he he spent the 1997-98 season with Syracuse of the AHL. Following that season, the Penguins released him. Stojanov appeared in 45 regular season games for the Penguins and scored six points. The trade with Vancouver is considered one of the worst in franchise history.

-Happy 60th birthday to former Penguins forward Bob Stumpf. Acquired midway through the 1974-75 season in a deal which sent Bernie Lukowich to the Blues, Stumpf finished his only NHL season by appearing in three games for the Penguins and failed to record a point.. He retired from professioinal hockey after spending the following season with Hershey of the AHL.

-After the Jump: Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis surpasses Crosby in the scoring race and the Blackhawks' season is doomed claim the President's Trophy.

Atlantic Division

-Former Penguins goaltender Johan Hedberg will start in net for the Devils tonight.

-The Flyers are currently missing $30 million of payroll out of their lineup due to injuries.

Northeast Division

-Could Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson return to the lineup tonight against the Capitals?

-The Canadiens recalled defenseman Jarred Tinordi from Hamilton against the AHL.

Southeast Division

-A hat trick by Martin St. Louis led the Lightning to a 5-2 win against the Maple Leafs. Steven Stamkos added a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay while teammate Nate Thompson recorded two assists. Ben Bishop made 26 saves in the victory.

-Goal of the Night: Check out this determined backhanded effort by Stamkos:

-St. Louis' hat trick:

-St. Louis (58 points) surpassed Crosby (56 points) for the league lead in scoring.

-Thompson tried to go stick on puck here against Toronto's Joffrey Lupul:

-The Hurricanes recalled forwards Jared Staal and Tim Wallace, a former Penguin, from Charlotte of the AHL and assigned forward Riley Nash to Charlotte.

-"It's very exciting. Jared's been working hard. Now for him to get the opportunity is very exciting and hopefully he plays well and has some fun." - Hurricanes foward Jordan Staal on joining him and brother Eric in Carolina.

-The Capitals signed forwards Eric Fehr and Aaron Volpatti to two-year contract extensions. Fehr's deal is for a total of $3 million. Currently on a one-year deal worth $600,000, his new deal will have a salary cap hit of $1.5 million. Fehr, 27, has appeared in 39 games this season and has 18 points (eight goals, eight assists). Volpatti 's new deal will be worth $1.15 million. Currently on a one-year two-way deal, Volpatti's new deal will have a salary cap hit of $575,000. Volpatti, 27, has appeared in 31 games this season and has two points as well as 35 penalty minutes.

-EN Says: Fehr has reinvigorated his career this season after a dreadful 2011-12 campaign in Winnipeg. He's still somewhat inconsistent but he provides a fair amount of offense for the Capitals. Volpatti is a fourth-line energy player who is a banger and crasher. Both contracts are fair.

Central Division

-Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists for the Blackhawks in a 4-1 win against the Oilers. Michal Handzus recorded three assists for Chicago while teammate Ray Emery, who left the game in the first period due to an "upper body" injury, recorded the win with seven saves. The victory secured the President's Trophy for the Blackhawks.

-Check out this save by Chicago's Corey Crawford against Edmonton's Jordan Eberle:

-Check out this poke check by Edmonton goaltender Devan Dubnyk against Chicago forward Brandon Saad:

-Edmonton's Anton Lander had a nice screen here against Crawford:

-"It's a pretty cool accomplishment. To start out … the season 40-some games ago and have the start we had and to keep playing that way consistently is an amazing thing for our team." - Blackhawks captain/forward Jonathan Toews on the President's Trophy.

-Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp returned to the lineup after missing five games due to a shoulder injury.

-Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings in a 3-1 win against the Kings. Captain Henrik Zetterberg recorded two assists for Detroit while teammate Jimmy Howard made 23 saves. The win moved Detroit (52 points) ahead of Columbus (51) for eighth place in the Western Conference.

-Check out this deflection goal by Detroit's Jordin Tootoo:

-Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi is expected to return to the lineup tonight against the Predators after being sidelined 11 weeks due to back and leg ailments.

-The Predators signed forward Miikka Salomäki, a second-round pick in 2011, to a three-year entry-level contract.

Northwest Division

-The Wild assigned forward Stephane Veilleux to Houston of the AHL.

-With goaltender Cory Schneider dealing with an undisclosed injury, the Canucks recalled goaltender Joe Cannata from Chicago of the AHL.

Pacific Division

-Mike Smith made 33 saves for the Coyotes in a 2-1 win against the Sharks. Captain Shane Doan recorded two assists for Phoenix.

-Ugly Goal of the Night: San Jose's Brent Burns scored off this brutal turnover by Phoenix's Oliver Ekman-Larsson:

-The Sharks rested started goaltender Antti Niemi after 25 consecutive starts.

-Kings captain/forward Dustin Brown was suspended two games by the NHL for striking Wild forward Jason Pominville in the head with an elbow Tuesday. The NHL's explanation:

-EN Says: Brown has a pretty lengthy history of questionable and sneaky hits but this is the first time he's been suspended in his career. Two games seems light but given Brown's clean history in terms of formal discipline, this seems somewhat consistent with how the NHL operates.

-The Kings recalled forward Tyler Toffoli from Manchester of the AHL.

-Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano was named Anaheim's nominee for the Masterton Trophy.

-The Ducks recalled forwards Patrick Maroon, Devante Smith-Pelly and goaltender Frederik Andersen from Norfolk of the AHL and assigned goaltender Igor Bobkov to Norfolk.

Patrick Division

-A postseason game between Blainville-Boisbriand vs. Baie-Comeau of the QMJHL featured a bench-clearing brawl at the end of the contest:

-"When they come to Canada and play the way they do, there’s a reason for it. Things sometimes get said about them, like they’re not tough, but I can tell you there are tough players over there. They just play the game so differently. We expect them to make adjustments in a couple of weeks when they get here, you want them to tip the puck in and chase it, and you want them to do this and go there, and then you think they don’t want to play your game. It’s not like that at all, and you’d have to be there to see where they come from and the culture and the hockey. So a blanket apology … I have a better understanding of their world, how they train, how they play, and why they play the way they do." - Former Maple Leafs/Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice on Russian players. Maurice spent this season coaching Magnitogorsk Mettalurg of Russia's KHL.

-Former Mighty Ducks/Hurricanes/Senators/Maple Leafs/Oilers goaltender Martin Gerber has joined Kloten of Switzerland's NLA.

-Former Maple Leafs goaltender Justin Pogge has joined BIK Karlskoga of Sweden's Allsvenskan.

-Former Mighty Ducks/Thrashers/Devils defenseman Niclas Havelid has announced his retirement.

(Photos: Crosby-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Maple Leafs/Lightning-Chris O'Meara/Associated Press; Blackhawks/Oilers-Perry Nelson/Getty Images)

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