NHL Three Stars: Vokoun blanks Isles; Hossa, Conacher help clubs advance

Harrison Mooney

Simon Despres relaxes in his invisible recliner.

No. 1 Star: Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks

Hossa contributed 2 goals and an assist in the Blackhawks 5-1 win over the Minnesota Wild, leading the Presidents' Trophy winners into round 2.

No. 2 Star: Tomas Vokoun, Pittsburgh Penguins

Brought in to settle the Penguins' situation in goal, Vokoun did exactly that, stopping all 31 shots he faced in a 4-0 shutout victory. Granted, the Penguins were dominant enough that he probably didn't need to stand on his head, but it was nice of him to do it anyway.

No. 3 Star: Cory Conacher, Ottawa Senators

Two routs, two eliminations Thursday night. Conacher led the way as the Senators dispatched the Montreal Canadiens with a 6-1 win, scoring at about the same time in the first (12:26) and third (12:27). His first goal stood up as the game-winner.

Honourable mention: Sidney Crosby had an assist and scored an amazing goal. Here it is again, mirrored with Mario Lemieux's goal versus the Minnesota North Stars for maximum coolness:

...Craig Anderson was nigh unbeatable, stopping 33 of 34 shots... It didn't amount to anything, but this stickhandling by John Tavares was pretty great:

Did You Know? By eliminating Minnesota, Corey Crawford won his first playoff series.

Conn Smythe Watch: 1. David Krejci, Boston Bruins; 2. Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; 3. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks; 4. Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; 5. Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks; 6. Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks 7. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators; 7. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals 8. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins 9. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings; 10. Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks.

Dishonourable mention: No shots for Zach Parise, which hasn't happened in 244 games... Peter Budaj really wasn't very good at all.