Conn Smythe Watch: Anze Kopitar’s OT goal propels him into MVP spotlight

Greg Wyshynski

The morning after each Stanley Cup Final game, Puck Daddy will break down the field for the 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP.

1. Jon Quick, Los Angeles Kings

Quick wasn't at his best in the Kings' Game 1 win, but still ended up making 16 saves to bring his playoff GAA to a League-leading 1.49 and his save percentage to .946. He made some solid saves in the third period, and recovered from a few puck-handling gaffes to keep the game tied.

2. Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils

Kovalchuk had a quiet Game 1, with one shot on goal, three shots attempted and ill-advised passing where shooting would have been optimum. He still leads the playoffs with 18 points, but has skated to a minus-4.

3. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings

The Kings center scored in overtime on a breakaway against Marty Brodeur, his first game-winning goal in the 2012 postseason. Kopitar now has 16 points to tie teammate Dustin Brown for the team lead, two off of Kovalchuk's pace. A few more moments of heroism, and he could challenge Quick for MVP.

4. Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils

While he was beaten cleanly on both Kings goals, Brodeur was also brilliant at times during Game 1, including a few multi-save sequences against marauding Kings forecheckers. He has a 2.02 GAA and a .923 save percentage in 19 games.

5. Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings

The captain was a plus-1 with three shots and three hits in Game 1, improving to plus-14 for the playoffs. He has three points in his last five games, but hasn't scored a goal since Game 1 vs. Phoenix.

6. Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils

Parise was a minus-2 in Game 1 and had three shots on goal. He's second on the Devils in playoff scoring with 14 points in 19 games.

7. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings

Doughty skated a team high 28:15 in Game 1, finishing with an assist and a plus-2. He has 11 points in the playoffs, which is one point away from Dan Girardi for the lead for defensemen. On the other end of the ice, he managed to help keep the Devils forecheck from getting established by any means necessary.

8. Mike Richards, Los Angeles Kings

Richards was a minus-1 with four shots attempted in Game 1, finishing at 5-for-15 on faceoffs. He has 11 points in 15 games during the postseason.

9. Bryce Salvador, New Jersey Devils

Salvador was a minus-1 with one shot attempted in 24:05 for the Devils, but nearly set up David Clarkson for a goal early in the contest. He has 11 points and is a plus-9 for the postseason.

10. Adam Henrique, New Jersey Devils

A quiet night for the rookie, with two shots on goal. But any player that has two series-clinching goals needs to be in the Conn Smythe conversation.