No. 1 Star: Paul Stastny, Colorado Avalanche
Stastny is one of the few Avs players that actually has playoff experience. The vet tied the score with 14-seconds left, and won the game just 7:27 into overtime. Both of Stastny’s goals and a Ryan O’Reilly goal, were all setup by Nathan MacKinnon playing in his first NHL playoff game. Impressive 5-4 (OT) come from behind victory for the Colorado kids.
No. 2 Star: Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues
Jaden Schwartz tied the game at 3-3 with 1:45 remaining. Unlike the Colorado game, the winning goal would come much, much later. 24-seconds in to the THIRD overtime, Steen sent the game winner past Corey Crawford. Blues beat the ‘Hawks 4-3 (3OT)
No. 3 Star: Brad Richards, New York Rangers
What kind of idiot would healthy-scratch Richards during the playoffs? (Hint: that idiot is in Vancouver, for now.) Capitalizing on a high-sticking double-minor by Philadelphia’s Jason Akenson, Richards scored what would go down as the game-winning goal on the on the first half of the power play. Derek Stepan’s power play goal ended the second half of the penalty soon after. Both PPGs were set up by Martin St. Louis. Rangers went on to win, 4-1.
Honorable mention: Rick Nash was credited with a team high seven shots-on-goal. There is a guy with an awesome name on the Rangers – Jesper Fast … Jay Bouwmeester missed the entire second overtime with a stinger (?) from blocking a shot; he returned for the third OT … Corey Crawford made 48 saves in the loss … Nate Guenin credited with eight hits for Colorado. In addition to his goal and assist, Ryan O’Reilly had four takeaways … San Jose Sharks were up 5-0 on the Kings after two periods; LA scored three in the third before SJ iced it with an empty-netter, 6-3 … Anze Kopitar was credited with the team-high nine (9!! Kopi!!) hits, Dustin Brown and Robyn Regehr tied for second with eight.
Did you know? Hitting the three overtime mark set a new Blues franchise record for longest game.
Dishonorable mention: Philly had only 15 shots-on-goal. New York figured out the best way to beat Ray Emery is to get him moving laterally (see: Nashville/Ducks playoff series) … Ryan Miller not goaltending when he should be … Minnesota was up 4-2 after two periods before Colorado scored three-straight; Ilya Bryzgalov looked to be having a good night in net and then it all fell apart … Jonathan Quick was pulled after two periods where he gave up five goals on 28 shots … Finally, Joel Quenneville has great balls of fire over an incident in the Blues/Blackhawks game.