NHL Three Stars: Capitals, Sharks, Stars take 2-0 series lead

No. 1 Star: Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals

As he has done much of the season, Holtby stood on his head to keep the Capitals in the game while the offense did their thing. The Philadelphia Flyers sent 42 shots on net Holtby’s way and he stopped all but one of them.

No. 2 Star: Derick Brassard, New York Rangers

Huge game for Brassard all over the ice. He had a goal and 2 assists, was a plus-4, and delivered 7 hits out of the 57 recorded for the Rangers.

 No. 3 Star: Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks

Pavelski opened the scoring 3:37 into the first period. He assisted on Logan Couture’s power play goal in the second. After beating the Los Angeles Kings, the Sharks take a 2-0 series lead back to San Jose.

Honorable Mention: Nicklas Backstrom assisted on both John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin’s power play goal, and scored in the final 2:13 of the third to ice the game for the Capitals, 4-1 … J.T. Miller assisted on three straight goals by the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist recovered from his Game 1 eye injury, and made 29 saves in New York’s 4-2 victory. Evgeni Malkin returned for Pittsburgh playing 19:29 and registering 1 assist. Angry looking hamster, Phil Kessel, scored both goals for the Penguins on the power play:

… Tyler Seguin returned to the Dallas Stars lineup; he had 1 shot on goal and 4 hits in 15:40. Antoine Roussel scored the wackiest goal of the playoffs. Good luck understanding the NHL’s explanation of why it counted. Jamie Benn mugged for a photographer after drawing a penalty. Benn also scored on a breakaway to give the Stars the 2-0 win.

… Martin Jones made 26 of 27 saves in the win. Marian Gaborik returned to the Kings lineup; he played 14:32 and registered 4 shots on goal. Vincent Lecavalier scored the lone goal for LA with 5:01 to go in the third. Luke Schenn came up with the biggest save of the game in place of Jonathan Quick:


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Dishonorable Mention: Steve Mason allowed a goal that was deflected at the center ice red line … Bryan Rust played a game low 6:19. Trevor Daley was a minus-4 against the Rangers … Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Carter was given a game misconduct after his interaction with Stars netminder Kari Lehtonen:


…  Always follow through on your checks, right? Unfortunately for Joonas Donskoi, Luke Schenn is very aware of that rule.