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Empty Netter Assists - 04-28-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-We will be hosting a live chat for tonight's Senators-Bruins game which will determine the Penguins' opponent in the first round. Click here to join the fun.

-Dave Molinari's recap from last night's game. "Finishing 48 games with 36 wins is outstanding. The team has done an amazing job of winning hockey games ... winning different ways, with different people in the lineup." - Dan Bylsma.

-The Raleigh News & Observer's recap. "It's been an emotional ride and such a Jekyll and Hyde season for us. With all the injuries it has been a tough grind for these guys." - Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller.

-The Associated Press' recap. ''It's exciting times. We're all feeling pretty good right now.'' - Brenden Morrow.

-Highlights:

-Mike Lange's goal calls.

-Morrow > Carolina's Justin Peters:

-Peters didn't have much luck here either against former teammate Jussi Jokinen:

-Hats off for James Neal:

-Evgeni Malkin hopping over the bench:

-Craig Adams took a tumble here:

-Sidney Crosby being popular:

-One Penguins fan is ready for the postseason:

-The Staals are brothers:

-Bylsma speaks:

-Jussi Jokinen speaks:

-Marc-Andre Fleury speaks:

-Welcome back Jordan Staal.

-The Penguins assigned forward/enforcer Steve MacIntyre to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. (PG+)

-How much of this roster can the Penguins keep together after this offseason?

Two goals by Chad Kolarik, including one in overtime, gave the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins a 3-2 road win against the Binghamton Senators in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series in the Calder Cup playoffs. Trevor Smith recorded two assists for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while teammate Jeff Zatkoff made 34 saves in the victory. The Penguins led the best-of-five series, 1-0.

-"They rely on you to score. That's what I get paid for. If I'm not doing it, I'm not doing my job." - Kolarik.

-Kolarik has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in five games against Binghamton since joining the Penguins in a Jnuary trade.

-Happy 63rd birthday to former Penguins forward Jim Wiley. A free agent signing prior to the 1972-73 season, Wiley spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins.  He saw action in four games during 1972-73 and recorded one assist. In 1973-74, Wiley appeared in 22 games and recorded three assists. In the 1974 offseason, he was claimed by the Canucks in the intra-league draft. In 26 games with the Penguins, he recorded four assists.

-After the Jump: The playoff picture sorts out and a few management changes out west.

Atlantic Division

-Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves for the Rangers in a 4-0 shutout of the rival Devils. It was his 45th career shutout. Rick Nash scored two goals for New York while teammates Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan each added a goal and an assist. The win secured the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference for the Rangers. They will face the Capitals in the quartefinal round.

-Check out the passing which led to this goal by Nash:

-New York's Kris Newbury kept an eye on this puck:

-“You could tell there was one team knowing their season is going (on) and one team knowing their season is over." - Devils goaltender and former Penguin Johan Hedberg

-Steve Mason made 43 saves for the Flyers in a 2-1 win against the Senators. Ottawa, which missed a chance to move into seventh place in the Eastern Conference, has lost three out of its past four games.

-Hit of the Night: Ottawa's Eric Gryba on Philadelphia's Jakub Voracek:

-Philadelphia's Jay Rosehill and Ottawa's Chris Neil had issues:

-"What's the point? There's no difference. We are not going to make the playoffs; it doesn't matter whether you're two games below or two games above .500. It's pointless. Of course it's nice to win the games, but at the end of the day it doesn't change anything." - Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.

-“I’m not even going to comment on the [expletive] sources. …Some idiot made it up. I’m not saying a [expletive] thing….How many times do I have to tell you I haven’t even thought about firing the coach? How many times?” - Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren on speculation he would fire head coach Peter Laviolette.

-Flyers forwards Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Matt Read and defenseman Luke Schenn will play for Team Canada in next month's IIHF World Championships while defenseman Oliver Lauridsen will play for Team Denmark.

-The Rangers recalled fowards Christian Thomas, Ryan Bourque, J.T. Miller, Brandon Mashinter, Brandon Segal, defensemen Dylan McIlrath, Stu Bickel, goaltenders Cam Talbot and Jason Missiaen from Connecticut of the AHL.

Northeast Division

-Lars Eller had a goal and two assists for the Canadiens in a 4-1 defeat of the rival Maple Leafs. Brendan Gallagher and Andrei Markov each added a goal and an assist for Montreal while teammate Peter Budaj made 16 saves. The win pushed the Canadiens ahead of the Bruins for first place in the Norhteast Division.

-How in the world did Markov sneak this puck through traffic:

-Montreal's Jarred Tinordi got the drop here on Toronto's Mikhail Grabovski:

-Gallagher (5-foot-9, 178 pounds) didn't seem too intimidated by Toronto's Frazer McLaren (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) here:

-Toronto's James Reimer was focused here:

-“We want to win the division. So we’re going to play to win tomorrow. No ifs or buts.” - Bruins coach Claude Julien on his team's game today against the Senators. The Bruins (62) trail the Canadiens (63) by one point in the division race.

Southeast Division

-An overtime goal by Eric Fehr gave the Capitals a 3-2 win against the Bruins. Mike Green had a goal and an assist for Washington while teammates Alex Ovechkin and Mike Ribeiro each recorded two assists. Braden Holtby made 32 saves in the victory. Milan Lucic led Boston with a goal and an assist.

-Check out this laser of a wrister by Green:

-Fehr's goal:

-Tomas Fleischmann scored two goals for the Panthers in a 5-3 win against the rival Lightning. Rookie Jonathan Huberdeau recorded three assists for Florida while teammate Jacob Markstrom made 28 saves in the victory. Martin St. Louis led Tampa Bay with a goal and an assist.

-Bloody times for Tampa Bay captain Vincent Lecavalier:

-"I'd trade this for a chance to play in the playoffs any time." - St. Louis on becoming the oldest player in NHL history to win the Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer. St. Louis (60 points) and Steven Stamkos (57 points) are the second set of teammates from a non-playoff team to finish first and second in the scoring race since Chicago's Roy Conacher (68) and Doug Bentley (66).

-The Capitals have signed goaltender Michal Neuvirth to a two-year contract extension worth $5 million. On the final year of a contract worth $1.15 million, Neuvirth's new deal will have a salary cap hit of $2.5 million. Neuvirth, 25, has appeared in 13 games this season and has a 4-5-2 record, a 2.74 goals against average and .910 save percentage.

-EN Says: Even with Holtby establishing himself as the team's No. 1 goaltender, Neuvirth still has a world of potential. He's still a pretty valuable asset for the Capitals. Even if he's only a backup, this ai a good contract for Washington.

-Capitals forward Brooks Laich has undergone surgery for a sports hernia.

Central Division

-Two goals by Jaden Schwartz led the Blues to a 3-1 win against the rival Blackhawks. Captain David Backes and Kris Russell each recorded two assists for St. Louis while teammate Brian Elliott made 22 saves. The win secured fourth place in the Western Conference for St. Louis.

-Check out the placement on this wrister by Chicago's Ben Smith:

-Jimmy Howard made 17 save for the Red Wings in a 3-0 shutout of the Stars. Captain Henrik Zetterberg had two goals and an assist for Detroit while teammate Pavel Datsyuk recorded three assists. The win secured seventh place in the Western Conference for Detroit.

-Check out this smooth backhanded move on this breakaway goal by Zetterberg:

-A good look at Zetterberg attacking Dallas' Richard Bachman:

-"Nobody wanted to be part of that, not making the playoffs," Zetterberg said. "A lot of guys have been here a long time and we just wanted give it another run here." - Zetterberg on Detroit reaching the postseason for the 22nd consecutive season.

-Cam Atkinson and Brandon Dubinsky each had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets in a 3-1 win against the rival Predators. Sergei Bobrovsky made 19 saves in the victory.

-Check out this save by Nashville's Steve Mason against Dubinsky:

-Mason didn't get a lot of support in Columbus:

-“It’s a really disappointing, sinking feeling. In the game, it was good enough. Over the season, the 48 games, it wasn’t good enough. We were one point short.” - Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on missing the postseason.

-The Predators recalled forwards Daniel Bang and Kevin Henderson from Milwaukee of the AHL under emergency conditions.

Northwest Division

-Niklas Backstrom made 29 saves for the Wild in a 3-1 win against the Avalanche. The win secured the eighth seed in the Western Conference for Minnesota.

-Save of the Night: Check out this stick save by Colorado's Semyon Varlamov:

-Minnesota's Zach Parise ripped this shot:

-Minnesota's Matt Cullen had to fend off a stick on puck from Colorado's Erik Johnson:

-Bright times for Colorado's Milan Hejduk:

-The Wild recalled forwards Stephane Veilleux and Jason Zucker from Houston of the AHL and assigned forwards Jake Dowell and Carson McMillan to Houston.

-A hat trick by rookie Nail Yakupov helped the Oilers rout the Canucks, 7-2. Rookie Justin Schultz added a goal and three assists for Edmonton while teammate Jordan Eberle scored two goals. Devan Dubynyk made 28 saves.

-Yakupov's first career hat trick:

-Check out the move by Eberle which led to this goal:

-The Avalanche fired head coach Joe Sacco after four seasons. Colorado has missed the postseason the past three seasons.

Pacific Division

-Justin Williams had a goal and an assist for the Kings who edged the rival Sharks, 3-2. Brad Richardson recorded two assists for Los Angeles while teammate Jonathan Quick made 23 saves. T.J. Galiardi collected a goal and an assist for San Jose. The game secured fifth place for the Kings and sixth place for the Sharks.

-Check out the passing which led to Williams' goal:

-A hat trick and an assist by Radim Vrbata led the Coyotes to a 5-3 win against the Ducks. Martin Hanzal and Keith Yandle each recorded two assists for Phoenix while teammate Jason LaBarbera made 43 saves. Captain Ryan Getzlaf led Anaheim with two assists.

-Vrbata's hat trick:

-Phoenix's Jason LaBarbera swept this puck away:

-The Stars have fired general manager Joe Nieuwendy as general manager and are expected to replace him with Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill.

Norris Division

-The NHL's draft lottery will be held Monday. Here are the percentage for the 14 non-playoff teams at winning the top overall pick:

1. Florida Panthers - 25.0%
2. Colorado Avalanche - 18.8%
3. Tampa Bay Lightning - 14.2%
4. Nashville Predators - 10.7%
5. Carolina Hurricanes - 8.1%
6. Calgary Flames - 6.2%
7. Edmonton Oilers - 4.7%
8. Buffalo Sabres - 3.6%
9. Devils - 2.7%
10. Dallas Stars - 2.1%
11. Philadelphia Flyers - 1.5%
12. Phoenix Coyotes - 1.1%
13. Winnipeg Jets - 0.8%
14. Columbus Blue Jackets - 0.5%

-Hockey Night in Canada's opening montage:

IIHF World Championships

-Predators coach Barry Trotz and Coyotes coach Dave Tippett will serve as assistant coaches for Team Canada in next month's IIHF World Championships.

(Photos: Hurricanes/Penguins-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images and Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press; Devils/Rangers-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Flyers/Senators-Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images; Canadiens/Maple Leafs-Claus Andersen/Getty Images; Panthers/Lightning-Chris O'Meara/Associated Press; Red Wings/Stars-Matt Strasen/Associated Press; Predators/Blue Jackets-Kirk Irwin/Getty Images; Wild/Avalanche-Dustin Bradford/Getty Images; Coyotes/Ducks-Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

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