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Empty Netter Assists - 05-23-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Playoff Stuff
Penguins - Senators

-Dave Molinari's recap from last night's game. James Neal and Jarome Iginla found ways to score.

-The Ottawa Citizen's recap. “Probably not. I mean, with their depth and power play right now, it doesn’t look too good for us.” - Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson's response when asked if his team still has a chance to win the series.

-The Associated Press' recap. ''It was a matter of, 'We are going to have to fire anything and everything we can at this guy to get one by him.''' - Dan Bylsma on Senators goaltender Craig Anderson.

-Highlights:

-Sidney Crosby and Tomas Vokoun having a moment:

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-Neal being popular:

-Chris Kunitz > Ottawa's Craig Anderson:

-Down times for Anderson:

-Dan Bylsma speaks:

-Sidney Crosby speaks:

-Iginla speaks:

-Neal speaks:

-Tomas Vokoun speaks:

-"It felt good to get a few tonight and help the team win. Yeah, definitely a little relief." - James Neal.

-Brandon Sutter wants to improve in the faceoff circle.

-Crosby has trouble with mozzarella sticks.

-Senators coach Paul MacLean was... brief in his postgame remarks:

-Hockey Night in Canada's opening montage:

Calder Cup playoffs

-Brad Thiessen made 34 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a series-clinching 5-0 win against the Providence Bruins in Game 7 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series in the Calder Cup playoffs. Chad Kolarik and Trevor Smith each had a goal and an assist for the Penguins while teammate Chris Collins recorded two assists. The Penguins came back from a 3-0 series deficit to win, 4-3.

-“What we accomplished is really difficult to do. It speaks volumes about the character of the group and it is special. Anytime you can be in sports and make history, it’s something teams are going to look at down the road and this team did it. That’s special. That’s part of leaving a legacy.” - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins coach John Hynes.

-The Penguins became the third team in the AHL's 77 year history to come back and win from a 3-0 series deficit. The joined the 1960 Rochester Americans and 1989 Adirondack Red Wings in doing so.

-The Penguins will face the Syracuse Crunch in the Eastern Conference final. The schedule:

Game 1 – Saturday, May 25 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Syracuse, 7 p.m.
Game 2 – Sunday, May 26 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Syracuse, 7 p.m.
Game 3 – Wednesda, May 29 – Syracuse at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
Game 4 – Friday, May 31 – Syracuse at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
*-Game 5 – Saturday, June 1 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Syracuse, 7 p.m.
*-Game 6 – Monday, June 3 – Syracuse at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 7:05 p.m.
*-Game 7 – Wednesday, June 5 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Syracuse, 7 p.m.

*-If necessary.

Bruins - Rangers

-Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman is expected to miss Game 4 due to a suspeced head injury.

-As a member of the 2010 Flyers team which did it against the Bruins, Rangers forward Darroll Powe knows what it takes to come back from a 3-0 series deficit.

Blackhawks - Red Wings

-There is one thing Penguins and Red Wings fans have in common. Booing Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa (right).

-The Red Wings have controlled faceoffs in this series.

-Red Wings forward Darren Helm has suffered a set back in his recovery from a back injury.

Kings - Sharks

-"What kind of bugs me about him, I don't know if I should say it, but a little embellishment every now and then. You skate by and you don't even touch him or you barely even touch him and he's throwing his hands in the air. So that's one of those things. It's the playoffs. Everyone's trying to draw a penalty. Whatever." - Sharks forward T.J. Galiardi on Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.

-After losing Games 3 and 4, the Kings have shaken up their lines.

Non-Playoff Stuff
Penguins

-Former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Kurtis McLean has joined HIFK of Finland's SM-liiga.

-Happy 72nd birthday to former Penguins forward Bryan Hextall, Jr. (right) Acquired in the 1969 offseason in a trade which sent Paul Andrea, John Arbour and Andy Bathgate to Vancouver of the WHL, Hextall, a member of one of hockey's great families, spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins. His first full season in Pittsburgh saw him help the Penguins reach the postseason for the first time in franchise history as he appeared in 66 games and recorded 31 points. During those playoffs, he appeared in 10 games and recorded one assist. In 1970-71, Hextall's saw action in 76 games and recorded 48 points. Hextall appeared in 78 games during 1971-72 and contributed 20 goals and 44 points while leading the team with five game-winning goals. He appeared in four postseason games that spring and recorded two assists. During 1972-73, Hextall played in 78 games and scored a career-high 54 points. After 37 games and nine points in 1973-74, Hextall was claimed off waivers by the Atlanta Flames. The son of Rangers hall-of-Famer Bryan Hextall, Sr. and father of a future Penguins rival, Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall, Bryan Hextall, Jr. appeared in 335 games for the Penguins and scored 186 points, 38th most in franchise history. In 14 postseason games, Hextall recorded three assists.

-Happy 47th birthday to former Penguins forward Gary Roberts. Acquired at the 2007 trade deadline in a deal which sent Noah Welch to the Panthers, Roberts spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. After scoring 13 points in 19 regular season games to finish the 2006-07 season, Roberts recorded four points in five postseason games. In 2007-08, Roberts appeared in only 38 games and scored 15 points due to various injuries. He recovered in time to appear in 11 postseason games and recorded four points as the Penguins advanced to the Stanely Cup final for the first time in 16 years. In the 2008 offseason, the rights to Roberts and Ryan Malone were traded to the Lightning in exchange for a draft pick. One of the most popular players in recent team history, Roberts appeared in 57 games for the Penguins and recorded 28 points. In 16 postseason games, Roberts recorded eight points.

Northwest Division

-The Canucks fired head coach Alain Vigneault as well as his assistants Rick Bowness and Newell Brown. In seven seasons, Vignuealt led the Canucks to a regular season record of 313-170-57, six Northwest Division titles, two President's Trophy titles and one Stanley Cup final appearance.

Central Division

-The Red Wings signed defenseman Mattias Backman a fifth-round pick in 2011, to a three-year entry-level contract.

Patrick Division

-Former Sharks/Wild/Thrashers/Islanders/Senators/Ducks/Oilers defenseman Andy "The Expert" Sutton officially announced his retirement. In 15 seasons, Sutton appeared in 676 games and scored 150 points. Penguins fans might remember him best for a run-in with a Pittsburgh reporter during the 2010 postseason after he delivered a hit which injured Penguins defenseman Jordan Leopold:

-Former Panthers defenseman Hugh Jessiman, the No. 12 overall pick of the 2003 draft by the Rangers, has joined Medvescak Zagreb of Russia's KHL.

-Former Sabres/Canucks/Hurricanes defenseman Marc-André Gragnani has joined HC Lev Praha of Russia's KHL.

-Former Sharks/Islanders forward Mike Iggulden has joined Vityaz Chekhov of Russia's KHL.

(Photos: Penguins/Senators-Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press, Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images and Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press; Hossa-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Hextall-Penguins Hockey Cards)

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