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Monday’s Three Stars: Coyotes advance to third round; Richards, Staal’s late-game heroics

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Goodbye, Carrie Underwood. We'll miss you. The guys behind you with the awful, awful hair and safety goggles? Not so much.

No. 1 Star: Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes

Smith made 32 saves and gave the Coyotes 54 minutes of shutout hockey before Colin Wilson put one past him. It was the only one Smith allowed, however, backstopping the Coyotes to a 2-1 Game 5 win and a 4-1 Western Conference semifinal win. The Coyotes will now meet the Los Angeles Kings in Round 3. Also: Smith totally almost scored an empty-net goal, which would have broken the Internet.

No. 2 Star: Marc Staal, New York Rangers

When the Rangers and the Capitals headed to overtime, there was, of course, some concern that deciding the game might take awhile. But this time, Staal put a swift end to things, scoring the winner just a minute and a half into the extra frame. He added an assist on Anton Stralman's first period goal and played 24:05 in the Rangers' 3-2 Game 5 win over the Washington Capitals.

No. 3 Star: Brad Richards, New York Rangers

The Rangers center didn't just score the game-tying goal with six seconds to go in regulation. He also added 8 shot attempts, and won 12 of 18 faceoffs, including 4 in the final 2 minutes. It was one of Richards' best games of the postseason.

Honourable mention: Shea Weber had 7 of the Predators 32 shots. He really wanted this one ... Martin Hanzal scored the game-winning goal in Phoenix, and Boyd Gordon and Antoine Vermette both went 12-for-16 in the faceoff circle and a combined 15-for-17 in the defensive zone. That's nuts ... And finally, here's your Predators/Coyotes handshake line:

Conn Smythe Watch: 1. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings; 2. Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes; 3. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers; 4. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers; 5. Danny Briere, Philadelphia Flyers; 6. Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals; 7. Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils; 8. Travis Zajac, New Jersey Devils; 9. Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings; 10. Brad Richards, New York Rangers

Dishonourable mention: Joel Ward's high-sticking penalty was like a classic WWE heel turn.

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