Empty Netter Assists - 05-05-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Playoff Stuff
Penguins - Islanders

-"You have to have that attitude. If you lose one, be [ticked] about it for an hour, and then regroup." - Matt Niskanen.

-Welcome back James Neal to practice ... for 10 minutes.

-"Our players have not seen this building like the way it's going to be tomorrow. It's going to be loud and it's going to be a pretty crazy building, one we don't necessarily see all the time during the regular season. During the regular season, we have a spattering of Penguins fans as well, so it's going to be different than how we normally see it." - Dan Bylsma on Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (above).

-“I missed two wide-open nets. I don’t know if we were shut down. I didn’t feel like we were shut down, but at the end of the day we didn’t put the puck in the net. We’ve got to find a way to do that if we want to win.” - Sidney Crosby on Game 2.

-Tickets for Game 5 go on sale Monday.

-Bylsma speaks:

-Crosby speaks:

-Marc-Andre Fleury speaks:

-"The last two months we've been playing pretty darned well. We're here for a reason." - Islanders forward Colin McDonald.

-Islanders defenseman and former Penguin Brian Strait doesn't mind being a target.

-"I don't know if it's the acoustics or what, but it is deafening in there." - former Islanders captain/forward Patrick Flatley on Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

-After the Jump: The Capitals take a 2-0 series lead on the Rangers and another dangerous hit, this time between the Ducks and Red Wings.

Canadiens - Senators

-“Bug-eyed, I’ve never been called that before. That’s a new one. Walrus? That’s too easy. But I’ll tell you one thing: I’m not fat. I might be husky, but I’m not fat. I took offence to that.” - Senators coach Paul MacLean reacting to Canadiens forward Brandon Prust calling him a "fat bug-eyed walrus."

-“I feel terrible about it for his sake and hope he recovers, but it’s a hockey play, and if they take hitting out of the game, they’re taking integrity out of hockey.” - Senators defenseman Eric Gryba on his two-game suspension which injured Canadiens forward Lars Eller in Game 1.

Capitals - Rangers

-An overtime power-play goal by Mike Green gave the Capitals a 1-0 win against the Rangers in Game 2. Braden Holtby made 24 saves in the shutout. Washington has a 2-0 series lead.

-Green's goal:

-Happy times for the Capitals. Not so much for the Rangers:

-Holtby snagged this puck:

-"We kind of get a little bit giddy, like a kid, when we get the power play." - Green on his team's power play which led the league at 26.8 percent.

-"We're just too stagnant. We're just almost paralyzed." - Rangers coach John Tortorella on his team's power play which is 0 for 7 in the series.

-Forward Derek Dorsett made his debut with the Rangers. He had been sidelined since being acquired from the Blue Jackets at last month's trade deadline due to a shoulder injury.

-Rangers forward Brian Boyle returned to the lineup after missing six games due to a knee injury.

Bruins - Maple Leafs

-Two goals by Joffrey Lupul led the Maple Leafs to a 4-1 win against the Bruins in Game 2. James Reimer made 39 saves in the victory. The series is tied, 1-1.

-Prior to the game, Jeff Bauman, a victim of last month's bombings at the Boston Marathon, served as the Bruins' honorary banner captain:

-Check out this pass by Toronto's Matt Frattin to set up Lupul:

-Check out this breakout pass by Toronto's Nazem Kadri to spring Kessel on a breakaway:

-Phaneuf appeared to make contact with the head of Boston's Daniel Paille here:

-Goal of the Night: Check out this determined effort by Toronto's James van Riemsdyk:

-Happy times for the Maple Leafs:

-Reflective times for Phaneuf:

-Even if it got behind him, Reimer kept track of this puck:

-Boston's Shawn Thornton and Toronto's Mark Fraser had issues:

-“It’s one game. It’s just like their first game. They got a win. We’ve got a win. Now it’s a best of five – we’ve just got to take it like that.” - Frattin.

Blackhawks - Wild

-When will Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom return from his "lower-body" injury?

Ducks - Red Wings

-Jonas Hiller made 23 saves for the Ducks in a 4-0 shutout of the Red Wings in Game 2. Captain Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist for Anaheim which leads the series, 2-1.

-Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman was injured in the second period after being struck in the head by this hit from Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader:

-Abdelkader was given a major for charging as well as a game misconduct.

-“It was a no-call from the beginning, both refs didn't do anything, and then when they saw the guy was down all the sudden it was five. If they think it's not a penalty right away it's tough to make it out to a five. I didn't see he deserved to get kicked out of the game. Maybe two (minutes).'' - Red Wings captain/forward Henrik Zetterberg on Abdelkader's penalties.

-EN Says: It appears Abdelkader left his feet made Lydman's head the principal point of contact. This should be an easy suspension.

-A good look at the hit:

-Defensive Play of the Night: Check out this steal which led to a goal for Getzlaf:

-Check out this feed by Anaheim's Teemu Selanne to set up Emerson Etem for a goal:

-Pass of the Night: Check out this dish by Anaheim's Saku Koivu to set up Matt Beleskey for a goal:

-Getzlaf being popular:

-Detoit's Jonathan Ericsson got the drop here on Getlaf:

-Red Wings forward and former Penguin Mikael Samuelsson returned to the lineup after being sidelined since March 31 due to various injuries.

Canucks - Kings

-“No one is believing in us, apart from us." - Canucks captain Henrik Sedin on his team trailing in the series, 2-0.

-Sharks forward Scott Gomez could return to the lineup for Game 3 after being sidelined since April 23 due to an undisclosed injury.

Blues - Kings

-Jonathan Quick made 30 saves for the Kings in a 1-0 shutout of the Blues in Game 3. St. Louis leads the series, 2-1.

-Hit of the Night: Los Angeles' Trevor Lewis on St. Louis' Alexander Steen:

-Quick stretched out here to deny St. Louis captain David Backes:

-Quick was a bit off his angle here:

-Quick kept an eye on this puck:

-Los Angeles' Justin Williams stretched out here to deny St. Louis' Jordan Leopold of a goal:

-St. Louis' Roman Polak put something on this shot:

-Kings mascot Bailey taunted Blues goaltender Brian Elliott with an E.T. cutout:

Non-Playoff Stuff
IIHF World Championships

-Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson scored two goals for the United States in a 5-2 win against Austria.

-The United States' Tim Stapleton was denied here by Austria's Bernhard Starkbaum:

-Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 15 saves for Russia in a 6-0 shutout of Latvia.

-Avalanche forward Matt Duchene scored two goals for Canada in a 3-1 win against Denmark.

-Canada's Steven Stamkos went all out for this goal:

-Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth made 17 saves for Sweden which defeated the Czech Republic, 2-1.

-Happy times for Sweden. Not so much for the Czech Republic's Radim Vrbata:

-Goaltender Antti Raanta made 36 saves for Finland in a 2-0 shutout of Slovakia.

-Slovakia's Vladimir Mihalik had a slight size advantage here over Finland's Antii Pihlstrom:

-Slovakia's Rastislav Stana was all over this puck:

-Forward Anders Bastiansen scored two goals for Norway in a 3-1 win against Slovenia.

-Everyone had issues here:


-Happy 40th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Johan Hedberg. Acquired at the 2001 trade deadline along with Bobby Dollas in exchange for Jeff Norton, "The Moose" spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. After finishing the 2000-01 season with a 7-1-1 record, 2.64 goals against average and .905 save percentage in nine games, Hedberg emerged as a suprise playoff starter for the Penguins. In 18 postseason games that spring, Hedberg was 9-9 with a 2.30 goals against average, .911 save percentage and two shutouts. In 2001-02, Hedberg appeared in 66 games and had a 25-34-7 record with a 2.75 goals against average, a .904 save percentage and six shutouts. His loss total led the NHL and remains a franchise record. During 2002-03, he saw action in 41 games and went 14-22-4 with a 3.14 goals against average .895 save percentage and one shutout. The following offseason, Hedberg was traded to the Canucks for a draft pick. In 116 games with the Penguins, Hedberg went 46-57-12 with a 2.88 goals against average, .901 save percentage and seven shutouts. His win (eighth) and shutout (fourth) totals are among the 10 best totals in franchise history. He is currently a member of the Devils.

-Happy 47th birthday to former Penguins forward Mike Stapleton. A free agent signing in the 1992 offseason, Stapleton spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. In 78 games in the 1992-93 campaign, Stapleton recorded 13 points and helped the Penguins win their first Presidents' Trophy. He appeared in four postseason game that spring and did not record a point. The following seasons saw him appear in 58 games and record 11 points. Midway through that season, he was claimed off waivers by the Oilers. In 136 games with the Penguins, Stapleton recorded 24 points.

-Happy 48th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Grant Jennings (right). The least celebrated player acquired in the Penguins' legendary 1991 trade deadline deal which brought him to Pittsburgh along with Ron Francis and Ulf Samuelsson in exchange for John Cullen, Jeff Parker and Zarley Zalapski, Jennings spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins. Hardly an offensive dynamo, Jennings recorded four points in 13 games for the Penguins down the stretch of the 1990-91 season and recorded two points in 13 postseason games that spring as the Penguins won their first Stanley Cup title. Jennings' first full season in Pittsburgh was 1991-92 and he appeared in 53 games while scoring nine points. He appeared in 10 postseason games that spring and failed to record a point but helped the team defend successfully defend the Cup. In 1992-93, Jennings saw action in 58 games and recorded five assists. He played in 12 postseason games that spring and did not record a point. During 1993-94, Jennings played in 61 games and scored six points. He was limited to three postseason games that season and failed to record a point. After 25 games and four assists in 1994-95, Jennings was dealt to the Maple Leafs in exchange for Drake Berehowsky at the trade deadline. In 210 regular season games with the Penguins, Jennings recorded 28 points. In 38 postseason games, he scored two points.

-Happy 62nd birthday to former Penguins forward Willy Lindstrom. Claimed off waivers from the Oilers prior to the start of the 1985-86 season, "The Wisp" spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins and was the first player in NHL history to play with both Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. His first season in Pittsburgh saw him play in 71 games and record 31 points. He spent one more campaign in the NHL with the Penguins and recorded 23 points in 60 games. After leaving the sport for one season entirely, Lindstrom joined Brynas IF Gavle in Sweden for the 1988-89 season. In 131 regular season games with the Penguins, Lindstrom scored 54 points.

Happy 41st birthday to former Penguins forward Zigmund Palffy. A free agent signing in the 2005 offseason, Palffy spent part of one season with the Penguins and recorded 42 points in 42 games in 2005-06. Midway through that campaign, Palffy announced his retirement and left the NHL. His biggest claim to fame with the Penguins was that he scored the 10,000th goal in franchise history in the second period of a 6-3 home loss to the Flyers, Nov. 19.

Patrick Division

-Former Blue Jackets/Wild defenseman Petteri Nummelin has joined Lukko of Finland's SM-liiga.

(Photos: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Rangers/Capitals-Greg Fiume/Getty Images and Evan Vucci/Associated Press; Maple Leafs/Bruins-Jim Rogash/Getty Images; Ducks/Red Wings-Kirk Irwin/Getty Images; Blues/Kings-Jae C. Hong/Associated Press and Harry How/Getty Images; IIHF World Championships-Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images and Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images; Jennings-Penguins Hockey Cards)

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