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Empty Netter Assists - Down time for the Penguins - 03-11-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-The Penguins are taking two off days following their West Coast trip.

-It's been a long, strange 17 years since the Penguins last won in San Jose.

-Power plays league wide are down to a historic low.

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have a big game tonight against the rival Hershey Bears.

-Happy 39th birthday to former Penguins forward Nils Ekman (right). Acquired in the 2006 offseason in a deal which sent a draft pick to the Sharks, Ekman, appeared in 34 games for the 2006-07 Penguins and recorded 15 points. In an 4-3 home loss to the Lightning, Nov. 8, 2006, he did set the franchise record for fastest hat trick when he scored three goals in a span of 4:10 (below). He played in one postseason game that spring and failed to record a point. The following offseason, he signed with Khimik Mytischi in Russia.

-Happy 30th birthday to former Penguins forward Paul Bissonnette. A fourth-round pick in 2003, Bissonnette's only season with the Penguins saw him play in 15 games while recording one assist and 22 penalty minutes in 2008-09. During the 2009 offseason, he was claimed off waivers by the Coyotes. He is currently a member of the AHL's Manchester Monarchs.

-Happy 75th birthday to former Penguins forward Bill LeCaine. A free agent signing in the 1967 offseason, Lecaine's NHL career amounted to four games with the 1968-69 Penguins. The following season, he joined the Port Huron Flags of the IHL.

-After the Jump: Barrett Jackman's fluky goal gives the Blues a win against the Jets.

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Worilds' decision bold and admirable

Written by Dan Gigler on .

 jasonworilds

The news that came just after midnight that now ex-Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds decided to forego a potentially massive free-agency payday to retire at age 27 came as a shock to observers of the game – media and fans alike – and capped off an unprecedented first day of the NFL new year that included blockbuster trades and retirements of several other players in their playing – and money-earning – prime.

But Worilds decision to leave football, along with that of perennial Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker, is one that should be admired and applauded.

Let alone what we all now know about the increased risk for brain disease for NFL players later in life, per various media reports Worilds decision stems from a spiritual awakening and that he’d like to devote his life to other pursuits.

By most estimates, Worilds left tens of millions of dollars on the table -- the proverbial ‘eff you’ money that would have him and everyone he cares about set for life. But by rough estimates, Worilds has already earned a gross income well over $10 million. In relative terms, that's more than probably 99% of the world's population (over 7 BILLION people) will ever see in an entire lifetime, and by a fantastic margin. If managed well, it will last for all his and his great-grandchildren’s days.

But even if it isn’t, who's business is it? From the outside looking in it is easy to think, 'God, I would die for that kind of money,' and not because of the material comforts it would offer but because of the lifetime of options it could give a person. Certainly the latter was my initial thought. But what is money worth if you get no joy from earning or having it? Especially if you are already secure and feel that you can give so much more to the world in another capacity.

Whatever Worilds' motives or where he goes from here he should be recognized for making an iconoclastic choice in an America that in 2015 that is, let’s face it ‘For the Dollar, By the Dollar.’ This kind of behavior is not just a rarity in pro sports, but in life in general.  

Godspeed, Jason Worilds, in this next phase of your life.

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Jim Ferry, Duquesne players preview A-10 tournament

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Before departing for New York yesterday for the Atlantic 10 tournament, Duquesne coach Jim Ferry -- as well as players Micah Mason, Jeremiah Jones and Dominique McKoy -- met with a few members of the media to discuss the tournament and take a bit of a look back at this season.

Below is a transcript of those conversations. It's lengthy.

*****

 

JIM FERRY

What are you expecting?

“I think our guys should have confidence going in. We’ve won four of our last five or three of our last I don’t know what it is [ed. note: it’s three of the last five]. We’ve won a bunch in a row. We’re absolutely playing better. When you talk about tournament play, in my experience and with the success I’ve had, you’ve got to have good guards. We have good guards. Our two guards are playing just as well as any combination in this conference right now. We have a senior that’s been playing the best basketball of his career and playing with a sense of urgency. I think guys have really fallen into their roles and accepted their roles going into tournament play. We feel good. It’s going to be a challenge.”

After going 11-18 in the regular season, is there something refreshing about the conference tournament, with it representing a clean slate?

“What I talk to the guys about is that this is the most exciting time of the year. If you’re a fan of college basketball, whether you’re a player or not, this is it. We’re on a big stage, we’re in Brooklyn, it’s a conference tournament, everyone’s there. I think it’s a big stage. It’s refreshing that the league play is over and now these are the standings. This is it. These are the slots. These are your matchups. When you get to tournament play, a lot more has to do with matchups than what records are, especially in our league. How you match up to teams in our league is vital and you can see that throughout the conference. Obviously we don’t match up well against Davidson. It played out in two games. It’s how do you match up and who do you match up well with? With us and Saint Louis, both sides think we match up pretty well. It’s a good first-round game. It’s going to be a competitive basketball game and I think our guys are excited to get out there and play. This is really about team now – the experience, everybody together around all the other teams. It’s really about creating a special opportunity and special moment for us.”

The route’s not terrible. You’ve got Saint Louis and then George Washington next, another team you split with.

“I’m worried about Saint Louis. You all can talk about that stuff. Like I said to the guys, it’s a one-day-at-a-time approach.”

When you look back, what changed in the last month? The team seemed different.

“Guys really fell into their roles, I think we played more unselfishly as a team and we played defensively more as a unit. I think it just all came together. You’ve got to understand that when you make a change like that mid-year defensively like we did…we get our guys from the summer and we established it in the summer. It just took us longer to figure out. We knew we were going to play both, but we didn’t realize that we needed to play zone. That was a big change and, from that, we had to improve and get better. Then we went from having a long bench and playing a lot of guys – and all the guys we were playing we all young, so there was a development of the youth – to shortening our bench up a little bit. That took some time. A lot of it’s on me, seeing who developed, who didn’t, what pieces fit together. I think we just came along. We’re playing with a lot of confidence, we’re playing at our tempo a lot now in all of our games instead of playing at other teams’ tempo, and that’s really important for us. I think you can see with the group that it’s really coming together.”

Are you entering the tournament with a much different team than you thought you were at the beginning of the year?

“I think so. I thought our approach at the beginning of the year was going to be playing nine guys deep and trying to wear guys out. It just didn’t play out that way. We started with Micah on the point this year because he was the most efficient player in the country and his assist-to-turnover ratio was great. And then DC started out having a great 3-point shooting…he was top five in the country in 3-point shooting. He was No. 1 in the country for a while there. And then we just felt like that wasn’t working to the best and we flipped them back over. That was a change, too. I think we’re going in differently than what I anticipated us being at the start of the season.”

As a coaching staff, is that tough? Or is that a credit to you guys for being able to make those moves?

“I think we did a lot of that. We have nine guys in our program that are either freshmen, sophomores or just new to the program. That’s challenging in and of itself. As a team develops and as a leader, you have to make the hard decisions and we did. We made very tough decisions. We sacrificed a couple of games in there this year, the Saint Francis game being one of them. I decided to make the change right before the Saint Francis game and I knew we were going to struggle in that game because we hadn’t fully committed to it yet. But I said ‘Listen, for us to make a step toward getting better, we’re going to have to make a stand to do it.’ We had to do it. That’s when we switched to zone. It wasn’t good. It was ugly. We got beat at home here pretty good. But we knew we had to build from that point on. It’s tough to make those decisions, but I think the guys have really responded. You guys have been here the whole year and you’ve seen us get better and better. As a coach, that’s what you want out of a program – to get better toward the end of the year. And then you’ve got to remember that we get all of these guys back. That’s pretty exciting for us.”

For all the struggles this team has had this season, they’ve still been able to beat teams like Dayton and GW. Do those kind of results maybe give you some reason to think this team has the potential to go on a run?

“Sure. They should. Dayton was the No. 1 team in the league and you beat them. George Washington, you turned around and beat them. How many games have we won lately? How many games did we win at home in a row? These guys should have confidence. When we’ve played well, we can play with anybody in this conference. We’ve proven that. Even against VCU, when they were playing well and before they lost Briante Weber, we were right there in that game with them, as well. The struggle and the frustrating thing that’s been well documented has been the difference of being on the road. But now we’re not on the road. It’s a neutral site.”

Does that make a difference, it being a neutral site game?

“Absolutely. It’s not one team playing at home who’s better at home statistically. Look at us. Nobody wants to play us at home, except for Davidson. Nobody wanted to play us at home, but on the road, it was different. It’s a neutral site now and that opens it up for everybody.”

How’d you address that with your guys, that it’s a neutral site? Did you discuss it?

“We discussed a lot of things today, more about our approach, focus, confidence, being a team player. This is what it’s all about, really locking in with no distractions and no egos. It’s all about the team right now and who goes into the tournament with the right mindset and right confidence. Those are the teams that can make a run. Teams that have good guards can make runs in the tournament and I think we have two of the better guards in the league.”

How big of a point of emphasis has the conference tournament been for you all late in this season, even going back a few weeks? Has it stood as this sort of ultimate goal?

“The point of emphasis always, and I send the same message every single day to these guys in every one of my programs, is to get better every single day. That’s our goal, to get better every day so that when you get to tournament time, you’re playing your best basketball. I think, as a program, we’ve gotten better and better and better. Now, take away that last game. I don’t know if anybody would have beaten that team in our last game. I think we’ve gotten significantly better. Just looking at our record, we’ve gotten significantly better. Looking at us playing teams we lost to the first time, we’ve gotten better. We send the same message and we continue to send the same message until Wednesday night. Wednesday night, we’re going to play.”

This is a program that hasn’t had much postseason success. What would a win mean?

“I think it would be a great accomplishment for our program to go in and win a tournament game. I haven’t looked up the history because that stuff doesn’t really pertain to helping us win this game, but I believe it. I think it’s also important because we’re going to have a lot of these guys back. That’s what’s going to be really important, to go in and get this tournament experience and hopefully play well in a tournament setting. We have a saying ‘Every champion was once a contender.’ We’ve got to be that guy that contends right now and try to make a run at this tournament.”

Is this program different than it was a year ago at this time? Is there a big difference? Is it in a better place?

“I think so. I think it’s in a much better place. The reason it is in a much better place is we’ve now had two legitimate recruiting classes. Now, we still need two more legitimate recruiting classes to be able to be what the program is really going to be. But I think it’s significantly different. Next year, we’re not going to have nine guys who are freshmen or sophomores or new. We’ll have very few new guys in our program. That’s where your program takes the next steps to where it goes. In a conference like this and at a school like Duquesne, that’s what needs to happen. We’re not the VCUs or the Daytons or the Richmonds of the world. We have to take that step where it takes time. Look at what La Salle and Bonaventure and those teams that had to do to establish things. That’s what you have to do. You have to establish it. With a little bit of patience…and the fans here don’t want to hear it because they’ve had patience. But I’m talking about from me getting here now and building it the right way. We won more games than we won last year in this conference, the conference is a complete bear, we’ve gotten better and we’ve got our nucleus coming back. All of that stuff is where you see a program start to build.”

When you took this over, did you have a three-year, four-year, five-year plan? Did you have an idea of what it would take?

“You never put it on wins and losses in that plan, but yeah, I’ve done it before. It takes a legit five years to establish and look at home many programs it has taken 10 years. UMass, until last year, hadn’t done it since Calipari left. La Salle, Bonnies – you look at all of these schools and the ones that have consistency are the ones that have been better. You have to have that time. It takes five years to establish ‘This is what we are.’ You have recruiting classes that come in to reestablish a program, which then allow you get the next recruiting classes that help you compete to win. That’s where the process is at right now. We have to have that grind and get better. Now, if you want to ask me more directly ‘Are you happy with the season?’ No, I’m disappointed in our season this year. I thought we could have won more games that we didn’t, but it’s still part of the process. When you have these young guys…everybody’s easy when you pick up the schedule and say ‘Okay, we should win that one, that one and that one’ and then all of a sudden these teams come in and ‘Oh.’ Some of those games that we lost, those teams were better than what people thought – the NJITs, the Maryland-Eastern Shores. But with that said, I think it took us a little longer than we were hoping it was going to take this year. But we’re not off by much. You still have these games that you lost by one point, two points that we could have had a winning record this year and everybody would have been like ‘Wow, we’re making strides.’ How close were we to having a winning record? There were free throws, a turnover against Rhode Island, a shot against NJIT. If you look at all of these close games. We’re that close to having a winning record and everybody saying ‘Wow, we’re heading in the right direction.’ As a coach, we know where we’re at and how close we are. We’re this close to having a winning record in the league. If you look at Rhode Island, VCU, Bonaventure in overtime and Saint Louis where we missed 20 free throws. We would be sitting here having a totally different conversation. But “would’ve, could’ve, shoul’ves” don’t matter in college basketball. In building a program and seeing the whole picture, we’re absolutely headed in the right direction. We know where we’re going.”

After three years now, are you convinced this program can win?

“I think we have to get better at everything. We have to make some upgrades to our facilities, we have to upgrade our recruiting and we have to have to get our players better. We have to do everything. My big thing is that if you want to be like the teams that are at the top of this league and are consistently at the top of the league – which are the VCUs, the Daytons, the Richmonds, the St. Joe’s – then you have to do the things they do. And that’s recruit like them, act like them and play like them. We have to do things like that. That’s what you have to do to compete at this level. I think we’re headed in that direction.”

Duquesne fans can expect that in the next couple of years?

“I hope so. It’s a process. We were a heartbeat away from not being in the first round this year. We just have to focus on getting better, getting the program better, getting the players better and moving this forward.”

 

MICAH MASON

What are your expectations going into it?

“We have the same expectations every time we have a game. We’re going to get as prepared as we can and have the same focus every single game that we play. That’s the main thing.”

Given some of the teams you all have beaten in conference play, do you feel like this team has the potential to go on a run and maybe win a few games?

“Of course. We go into every game thinking that we’re going to win and that’s what we’re going to try to do one game at a time.”

When you guys are on and playing your best, do you feel like you can beat any team in the conference?

“I definitely think that. We showed that. GW was playing well when we beat them and we beat Dayton next. I think if we play how we know we can play, I think we can play with anyone.”

Do you remember the feeling of leaving last year after just one game?

“Yeah, it was terrible. Just getting prepared and going up to New York for a big event and coming back with one loss and driving seven hours the next day – it’s not what anyone wants to do. It definitely wasn’t good.”

Are tournaments like this all about matchups?

“We like playing against Saint Louis. We just match up well against them. There are certain teams we don’t match up as well with, but I don’t think we really look at that. We’re going into this game with the same preparation. We try not to look too far into that.”

 

JEREMIAH JONES

How different is this team from where you all started this year?

“Just like any other team, we went through some learning experiences early in the year. We obviously adjusted our defense going from man to zone. Offensively, we were trying to figure each other out and I think we finally started to do that at the end of the year. Just like any other team, you want to be playing your best basketball in March and I think we’ve been playing pretty well. We’ve won three of our last five. Hopefully those differences that we made can help us make a run here in March.”

For a team that’s struggled this season, how big of a point of emphasis has the conference tournament been for you guys over this past month? Has it been something Coach Ferry’s talked about a whole to you guys about and stressed the importance of?

“We take every game one game at a time, so we didn’t really talk about the conference tournament until today, honestly. We knew the seeding was still planning itself out. We wanted to not have to play that play-in game, but we understand that we have to. We’re going to try to use that game to our advantage and use it as momentum. Hopefully we win that one and then going into the next one, we’ll be used to the Barclays Center and the rims. We might be a little fatigued because of that play-in game, but we feel like we can use it to our advantage.”

Does the conference tournament represent a clean slate in what has otherwise been a difficult season?

“Absolutely. When you get to the conference tournament, nothing from the past really matters anymore. Personnel is still the same, teams still play the same, but you have to play the game. Davidson beat us by 30, but if they come out and lose their first game, that’s it for them in the conference tournament. It’s the same with us. Saint Louis beat us once and we beat them once, but that doesn’t really matter. We have to go out and play them a third time. The team that prepares the best and plays the best that day is going to win and move on.”

Is it important to get a win up there and end the season on a pretty good note?

“That’s definitely our goal, to go up there and stay the whole week. I don’t know one team that’s going to go up there and tell you that their goal is not to win at least one game. We definitely want to win more than one game. We think we’re capable of it, but we just have to go up there and take one game at a time and play the way we’re supposed to play.”

Is it important for the growth of the program to win a game?

“Yes, it is. My freshman year, we didn’t even participate in the conference tournament. Last year, we ran into Richmond and Richmond’s always a tough matchup for us. This year, we’re feeling pretty optimistic going into it. Last year, we were playing some of our best basketball toward the end of the season and we just didn’t have a good game against Richmond. But this year, we’re going to try to take things a little bit more seriously and hopefully it will be different.”

Do you feel better about the Saint Louis matchup than you did the Richmond one last year?

“To be honest with you, yes. You’ve got to play every team the same, but I feel better about going into a game against Saint Louis because they’re a more inexperienced team. I think Richmond is an older team and they’ve been playing together a little bit more. Saint Louis is still a good team, don’t get me wrong, but I’d rather play them than Richmond.”

We didn’t get the chance to talk to you all after the Davidson win. Was that as good of an offensive team as you’ve seen this season and maybe even in your time here?

“Potent. That’s one word to describe them. They’re potent. They’ve got shooting all over the floor. Even the guys that aren’t shooters, they’re still effective on the floor, with the way they play inside. That’s just a good offensive team. They shot the ball well that night and we didn’t play particularly well. That’s a good team. They won the conference, they’ll make the NCAA tournament and I wouldn’t expect them to be out after the first round of the NCAA tournament. That’s where we want to eventually get to. That’s a good team.”

Given that, it’s probably hard to be too down on yourself, even with that margin of victory, right?

“You don’t have time to be down on yourself now. We didn’t talk much after that game because now the focus is on Saint Louis. There’s nothing you can do about that loss. That doesn’t really matter. It would have taken us out of the play-in game, but we should have won two more games easily in the beginning of the year. That Rhode Island game, I’ll put that on me for the 50-50 ball I didn’t get. The St. Bonaventure game, we had that won at home, but we ended up giving it away. That’s on us.”

Do you feel like you’re a better team than the record shows?

“I think so. We could easily have two more wins, at least. We played VCU pretty tough at home, we played UMass tough on the road. I do think we’re better than our record shows. We didn’t play well in the non-conference and I think we lost some games we could have won. But our record is what it is. Hopefully teams look down on us because of that record and we can come out and surprise some people.”

 

DOMO McKOY

Did you all solve some of those road problems with that Fordham win?

“We did the same thing we were doing in all of our other road games. Just going in and executing and playing the way we play and do what we do. We were just fortunate enough to win that game. That was good for us to win that game going into the tournament.”

Do you guys feel like this team is better and in a better spot than it was last year, even if its record isn’t as good?

“I think we’re a better team than we were last year. Like you said, last year our record at this point was maybe better, but overall as a team and how everybody felt by playing together, I feel like it’s way better this year. We all like playing together. Last year, I can’t really say it was like that.”

 

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

 

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Stay away from San Jose - 03-10-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

The fall of 1997 was a much different time. You still needed a memory card to save your PlayStation games, "A/S/L?" was common way to start a conversation and "I'm King of the World!" wasn't quite yet part of the lexicon of pop culture.

It was also the last time the Penguins won in the Capital of Silicon Valley.

On Oct. 22, 1997, the Penguins beat the Sharks, 5-2, in a building which has had several corporate names but is known colloquially as "The Shark Tank."

In the ensuing 16 seasons, the Penguins have made 12 trips to San Jose and have never won. After last night, they are now 0-10-2, including one tie, in road games against the Sharks. Over the course of 17 years there have been more lockouts than road wins by the Penguins in San Jose.

Here's a game-by-game recap of each of those games.

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Date: Jan. 15, 1999
Score: 3-2
Who scored for the Penguins: Right wingers Jaromir Jagr and Alexei Kovalev.
Who was in net for the Penguins: Tom Barrasso (20 saves).
Who scored for the Sharks: Left winger Dave Lowry, center Patrick Marleau and left winger Owen Nolan.
Who was in net for the Sharks: Steve Shields, 17 saves.
What happened: The Sharks recorded their first home win against the Penguins in franchise history after going 0-6-1 in the previous seven games ... After having a shot from the right circle denied by Shields, Kovalev was credited with a goal after Sharks right winger Ron Stern inadvertently deflected the rebound into his own net ... Nolan scored the game-winning goal with 2:13 remaining in regulation against Barrasso.
Also in the news that day: The Steelers made wide receiver Jahine Arnold, tight end Harold Bishop, defensive end Rod Manuel, cornerback Jason Simmons and guard Will Wolford available in the expansion draft for the Cleveland Browns.

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Date: Oct. 30, 1999
Score: 1-1
Who scored for the Penguins: Center Robert Lang.
Who was in net for the Penguins: Peter Skudra (30 saves).
Who scored for the Sharks: Center Vincent Damphousse..
Who was in net for the Sharks: Shields (27 saves).
What happened: This was the "high" point of the streak as it was the only time the Penguins did not lose ... Jagr recorded an assist on Lang's goal and maintained a scoring streak which saw him record at least a point in the Penguins' first nine games of the season. ... Skudra (right) stopped 15 shots in the third and overtime periods combined. ... Jagr told the Associated Press, "[Skudra] played great. They played better than us. They were in our zone most of the game."
Also in the news that day: Quarterback David Priestlay threw for 407 yards and one touchdown for Pitt which lost to Virginia Tech, 30-17, at Pitt Stadium.

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Date: Nov. 1, 2000
Score: 3-2
Who scored for the Penguins: Kovalev and center Roman Simicek (right).
Who was in net for the Penguins: Jean-Sebastien Aubin (30 saves).
Who scored for the Sharks: Marleau, left winger Jeff Friesen and right winger Alexander Korolyuk.
Who was in net for the Sharks: Evgeni Nabokov (24 saves).
What happened: Penguins left winger Martin Straka was denied on a penalty shot by Nabokov 40 seconds in to the game ... Friesen scored the eventual game-winning goal on a bad-angle wrist shot from the left circle with 42.1 seconds remaining in regulation. ... Discussing the Sharks, Jagr told the Post-Gazette, "They have speed, and they're aggressive. Those are both things we don't like. I don't think it's good for us."
Also in the news that day: Longtime Bruins general manager Harry Sinden resigned after 28 seasons.

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Date: Nov. 29, 2001
Score: 5-0
Who scored for the Penguins: No one.
Who was in net for the Penguins: Johan Hedberg (16 saves) and Aubin (three saves).
Who scored for the Sharks: Damphousse, left wingers Adam Graves, Scott Thornton, center Mike Ricci and right winger Teemu Selanne.
Who was in net for the Sharks: Nabokov, 38 saves.
What happened: It was the Sharks' first shutout in franchise history against the Penguins ... The Penguins were shutout for the fifth time on the road during the season ... Hedberg (right) was replaced by Aubin at the start of the third period ... Penguins center Mario Lemieux did not accompany the team on the trip and missed his sixth consecutive game due to a hip ailment.
Also in the news that day: Attorneys for former Penguins coach Ivan Hlinka accused the team of failing to make any salary payments since he was fired Oct. 15.

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Date: Dec. 12, 2002
Score: 5-2
Who scored for the Penguins: Lemieux (twice).
Who was in net for the Penguins: Aubin (29 saves).
Who scored for the Sharks: Marleau (twice), Graves, Nolan and Ricci.
Who was in net for the Sharks: Nabokov (22 saves).
What happened: Lemieux's two goals gave him 49 points in only 14 career games against the Sharks ... Lemieux (right) told the Associated Press ... "I had big games against them the first couple of years they were in the league. It's a different story now. They're a better team, with great goalies.'' ... Lemieux played in his first regular season game in San Jose since 1996. His previous game of any type in San Jose was the 1997 All-Star Game. ... The Penguins recalled center Milan Kraft from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Also in the news that day: Penn State running back Larry Johnson was awarded the Doak Walker and Maxwell Awards. .

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Date: Feb. 27, 2004
Score: 4-2
Who scored for the Penguins: Kraft and right winger Konstantin Koltsov (right).
Who was in net for the Penguins: Andy Chiodo (26 saves).
Who scored for the Sharks: Marleau, Korolyuk, defensemen Tom Preissing and Brad Stuart.
Who was in net for the Sharks: Nabokov (31 saves).
What happened: The Penguins lost for the 18th time in their previous 20 games and were the first team officially eliminated from postseason contention. ... Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik told the Associated Press, "Officially, I think we were eliminated a long time ago." ... Chiodo, a rookie, made his fourth career start. ... This loss came two nights after the Penguins snapped their franchise record 18-game winless streak with a 4-3 overtime road win against the Coyotes.
Also in the news that day: The Steelers cut tight end Mark Bruener and cornerback Dewayne Washington.

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Date: Nov. 4, 2006
Score: 3-2
Who scored for the Penguins: Center Dominic Moore and right winger Michel Ouellet.
Who was in net for the Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury (31 saves).
Who scored for the Sharks: Defensemen Matt Carle, Kyle McLaren and right winger Mike Grier.
Who was in net for the Sharks: Vesa Toskala (25 saves).
What happened: Penguins rookie center Evgeni Malkin (right) failed to score after setting an NHL record by scoring goals in the first six games of his career. ... Through a translator, Malkin told the Associated Press, ""The Sharks just stopped my scoring streak. It was hard to play against San Jose because they're a really tough team. It was hard for me to take a shot." ... Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton suffered a wrist injury when he was boarded by Sharks right winger Jonathan Cheechoo in the first period.
Also in the news that day: Quarterback Tyler Palko threw for 159 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions for Pitt in a 22-12 loss to South Florida at Heinz Field.

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Date: Oct. 28, 2008
Score: 2-1
Who scored for the Penguins: Left winger Ruslan Fedotenko (right).
Who was in net for the Penguins: Dany Sabourin (32 saves).
Who scored for the Sharks: Grier and center Joe Pavelski.
Who was in net for the Sharks: Nabokov (11 saves).
What happened: Grier scored the eventual game-winning goal on a backhander from the slot with 7:08 remaining in regulation ... The Penguins tied a franchise record for fewest shots in a game while the Sharks set a franchise record for fewest shots allowed. ... Sabourin made his second start of the season.
Also in the news that day: Game 5 of the World Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies at Philadelphia's Citizen's Bank Park had been suspended in the top of the sixth inning due to inclement weather the night before. Attempts to resume it Oct. 28 were not possible due to storms.

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Date: Nov. 7, 2009
Score: 5-0
Who scored for the Penguins: No one.
Who was in net for the Penguins: Brent Johnson (19 saves) and Fleury (11 saves).
Who scored for the Sharks: Pavelski, defenseman Dan Boyle, right winger Dany Heatley, center Manny Malhotra and left winger Jamie McGinn.
Who was in net for the Sharks: Nabokov 27 saves.
What happened: Fleury (right) recorded the loss. He was pulled after allowing San Jose's third goal to Boyle 1:01 into the second period ... Pavelski returned to the lineup after being sidelined five weeks due to a broken foot ... Nabokov recorded his 49th career shutout. ... Sharks left winger Jody Shelley got into fights with defenseman Jay McKee and right winger Eric Godard during the third period.
Also in the news that day: Running back Dion Lewis ran for 110 yards and a touchdown for Pitt which beat Syrcuse, 37-10, at Heinz Field.

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Date: Nov. 3, 2011
Score: 4-3, shootout
Who scored for the Penguins: Malkin (twice) and defenseman Deryk Engelland (right).
Who was in net for the Penguins: Fleury (34 saves).
Who scored for the Sharks: Marleau, McGinn and left winger Ryane Clowe.
Who was in net for the Sharks: Thomas Greiss (29 saves) and Antti Niemi (four saves).
What happened: Niemi was pulled after allowing two goals within the first 2:04 of regulation ... McGinn scored a game-tying goal with 4:54 left in regulation ... Clowe scored the only shootout goal. ... Sharks coach Todd McLellan told the Associated Press, "We had no business winning that game after the first period. But we found a way to get back into it." ... Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy left the game in the second period due to a broken wrist
Also in the news that day: Former Pirates all-star outfielder Matty Alou died. He was 72.

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Date: March 6, 2014
Score: 5-3
Who scored for the Penguins: Left winger Chris Kunitz and defenseman Olli Maatta (twice).
Who was in net for the Penguins: Jeff Zatkoff (42 saves).
Who scored for the Sharks: Marleau, defensemen Justin Braun, Brent Burns (twice) and center Joe Thornton.
Who was in net for the Sharks: Niemi (19 saves).
What happened: The Sharks came back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to win ... Zatkoff made his first start since Jan. 30 ... One day after being acquired in trade deadline deals, center Marcel Goc and right winger Lee Stempniak made their debuts with the Penguins. Goc earned an assist on Maatta's (right) first goal. ... Penguins defenseman Robert Bortuzzo left the game in the first period after sustaining an "upper-body" injury.
Also in the news that day: The Lightning named center Steven Stamkos the 10th captain in franchise history.

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Date: March 9, 2015
Score: 2-1, shootout
Who scored for the Penguins: Center Sidney Crosby (right).
Who was in net for the Penguins: Fleury (29 saves).
Who scored for the Sharks: Left winger Matt Nieto.
Who was in net for the Sharks: Niemi (39 saves).
What happened: The Penguins extended their winless streak in San Jose to 12 games. ... Crosby scored his first career goal against the Sharks in seven games. ... Penguins defenseman Derrick Pouliot fired a shot from the right circle off the far post with approximately six seconds remaining in overtime.
Also in the news that day: The Steelers released defensive end Brett Keisel.

(Photos: Claus Andersen/Getty Images, Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press, Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images, Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images, Matt Freed/Post-Gazette, Harry How/Getty Images, Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images, Christian Petersen/Getty Images, Rick Stewart/Allsport/Getty Images and Ian Tomlinson/Allsport/Getty Images)

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Empty Netter Assists - Recapping Sharks-Penguins - 03-10-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-The Post-Gazette's recap from last night's game. “To end in a shootout kind of leaves a sour taste in your mouth, but we’re proud of the way we played." - Brandon Sutter.

-The San Jose Mercury News' recap. "I thought 'Nemo' was terrific tonight, maybe his best game this season. First save, second saves, those are some very gifted and skilled players that are getting some good looks. Shootout-wise, he was tremendous as well. So if he wasn't the first star, somebody probably erred." - Sharks coach Todd McLellan on goaltender Antti Niemi.

-The Associated Press' recap. ''We played a pretty game and we deserved better." - Sidney Crosby.

-Highlights:

-Happy times for Niemi and forward Joe Thornton:

-Derrick Pouliot speaks:

-Mike Johnston speaks:

-Sutter spreaks:

-“Beau’s been coming along overall. I’m looking at his overall game. I’m sure sometimes people focus on points a little bit too much. But his overall game, how he competes on loose pucks, for me both offensively and defensively, I thought it’s really come up in his game.” - Mike Johnston on Beau Bennett.

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins signed former Flyers/Oilers defenseman Danny Syvret to a professional tryout contract.

-Happy 54th birthday to former Penguins all-star forward and captain Mike Bullard (right). A first round pick in 1980 (No. 9 overall), Bullard spent parts of seven seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1980-81, Bullard appeared in 15 games and netted three points. In four postseason games that spring, he contributed six points. Bullard's first full season in the NHL was 1981-82. He saw action in 75 games and scored 63 points including a team-leading 36 goals. During the 1982 postseason, he played in five games and scored two points. In 1982-83, Bullard was limited to 55 games and 44 points. He rebounded in 1983-84 by playing in 76 games and setting career highs in goals (51) and points (92). He was also selected to the only all-star game in his career. In 1984-85, Bullard appeared in 68 games and scored 63 points. During 1985-86, Bullard saw action in 77 games and contributed 83 points. After 14 games and 12 points in 1986-87, Bullard was traded to the Flames in exchange for Dan Quinn. In 382 regular season games with the Penguins, Bullard scored 185 goals and 360 points, 15th-most in franchise history. In nine postseason games, he had eight points.

-Happy 42nd birthday to former Penguins goaltender Martin Brochu. A free agent signing in the 2003 offseason, Brochu's Penguins' career amounted to 33 minutes of mop-up duty in 2003-04. Overall, he had a 0-0-0 record with a 1.82 goals against average and .947 save percentage. Following the season, Brochu joined the Verdun Dragon of the Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey, a semi-pro league in Quebec.

-Happy 22nd birthday to current Penguins defensive prospect Scott Harrington. A second-round pick in 2011, Harrington made his NHL debut this season by appearing in 10 games and has not scored any points. He is currently assigned to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

-Happy 31st birthday to former Penguins forward Tim Brent (right). Acquired in a 2007 offseason trade which sent prospect Stephen Dixon to the Ducks, Brent's Penguins career amounted to one game in the 2007-08 season. The following offseason, he was dealt to the Blackhawks for Danny Richmond. He currently plays for Metallurg Magnitogorsk of Russia's KHL.

-Happy 57th birthday to former Penguins forward Doug Lecuyer. Claimed off waivers from the Jets prior to the 1982-83 season, Lecuyer appeared in 12 games for the Penguins that season and recorded five points. After spending the bulk of the season with the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Baltimore, Lecuyer retired.

-Happy 40th birthday to former Penguins defeneman Stefan Bergkvist. A first round pick in 1993, Bergkvist spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1995-96, he appeared in two games and failed to record a point. He followed that up in 1996-97, by playing in five games and failing to score a point once again. After spending the entire 1997-98 season in the Penguins' IHL affiliate in Cleveland, Begkvist returned to his native Sweden and signed with Leksands IF of the Elitserien.

-After the Jump: John Tavares and Tyler Kennedy lead a comeback win for the Islanders.

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