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Monday’s Three Stars: Thomas backstops Bruins to Game 5 win

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No. 1 Star: Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins

The Bruins keeper made 33 saves, including a stellar third-period paddle stop on Steve Downie, in Boston's 3-1 victory in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Said Thomas on that stop: "It was just a reaction and a desperation. And I'll admit I got a little bit lucky there." The Bruins took a 3-2 series lead with the win.

No. 2 Star: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

The center's pinpoint pass at 15:56 of the second period led to Brad Marchand's eventual game-winning goal. Bergeron now has 4 goals and 11 assists in the playoffs, playing to a plus-10.

No. 3 Star: Simon Gagne, Tampa Bay Lightning

Gagne's well-placed deflection on a Steven Stamkos pass completed a 2-on-1 break and gave the Bolts a 1-0 lead just 1:09 into Game 5. It was Gagne's fifth of the postseason and fifth point of the conference finals.

Honorable mention: Nathan Horton tied the game for the B's in the second period with a one-timer blast off a Milan Lucic pass. … Rich Peverley scored an empty-netter. … Zdeno Chara skated 26:21 and was a plus-2, picking up an assist on Marchand's goal. … Mike Smith made 17 saves in a surprise start for the Lightning, playing well enough to create some debate for Game 6's starter.

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Did you know? Bruins fans are pretty damn funny, as evidenced by this guy captured by CJ Stevenson.

Dishonorable mention: Steve Downie received a boarding minor for a hit that knocked Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk out of the game in the third. Coach Claude Julien said Boychuk is "fine." … Tampa's Sean Bergenheim appeared to suffer a groin injury in the first period and did not return. … Marty St. Louis was a minus-2 with two shots on goal. … The Lightning have gone three straight games without a power-play goal.

Conn Smythe Watch: 1. Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins; 2. Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks; 3. Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks; 4. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins; 5. Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks; 6. Marty St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning; 7. Sean Bergenheim, Tampa Bay Lightning; 8. Ryane Clowe, San Jose Sharks; 9. Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks; 10. Dwayne Roloson, Tampa Bay Lightning.

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