No. 1 star: Jonas Hiller, Anaheim Ducks
Brilliant when the Ducks needed him, Hiller made 42 saves in back-stopping Anaheim to a 3-2 victory and a 2-0 series lead over the San Jose Sharks. Hiller and the defense held San Jose to 0-for-6 on the power play, and the Sharks are now 0-for-12 for the series. Andrew Ebbett, Drew Miller and Bobby Ryan had the goals for the Ducks; all three players were Iowa Chops at the start of the season. Strange ... the Sharks usually wait until the semifinals before their humbling, disastrous postseason implosion.
After losing in OT to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 2, the Devils seized home ice again on Zajac's goal at 4:58 of overtime to earn a 3-2 win on the road. The center's wrist shot deflected off of goalie Cam Ward (32 saves); the rebound came right to Zajac, who buried his second chance for the winner. He earlier added an assist on Zach Parise's first-period goal; their linemate, captain Jamie Langenbrunner, is out at least until Game 5.
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After the Pittsburgh Penguins tied Game 3 of their series against the Flyers, it was rookie Giroux who propelled Philly to a critical 6-3 victory. He converted a nifty pass from Danny Briere for his first career playoff goal at 4:32 of the second; just over four minutes later, he was the one making the superb pass, this time to Simon Gagne for a short-handed goal. The Flyers survive a feisty game, and two more goals from Evgeni Malkin (four for the playoffs).
Major Penalty: The St. Louis Blues will be playing for pride in Game 4 of their 0-3 series against the Vancouver Canucks for one primary reason: a power play that's gone 1-for-16 and failed at critical junctures throughout the series. Again in their 3-2 Game 3 loss to a Mats Sundin-less Canucks club, the Blues squandered another 5-on-3 power play. Coach Andy Murray said his players are "tight and nervous on the power play." They'll have a long off-season to relieve that stress.
Minor Penalty: The NHL's Colin Campbell said that it didn't matter if Boston's Milan Lucic hit Maxim Lapierre with a glove or a stick because it was "a reckless and forceful blow to the head of his opponent" and deserved a one-game suspension. So what, exactly, was Mike Cammalleri's shot on Martin Havlat in the Calgary/Chicago series, that went unpunished by the league?
Conn Smythe Watch: (The Top 10) 1. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers; 2. Jonas Hiller, Ducks; 3. Roberto Luongo, Canucks; 4. Evgeni Malkin, Penguins; 5. Chris Osgood, Detroit Red Wings; 6. Daniel Sedin, Canucks; 7. Zach Parise, Devils; 8. Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins; 9. Sidney Crosby, Penguins; 10. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks.