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NHL Three Stars: Howard’s 39 saves help Red Wings take series lead over Blackhawks

Sean Leahy
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No. 1 Star: Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings

For the second straight game, Howard was able to withstand the Chicago Blackhawks' attack, though he was a little busier in Game 3. Making 39 saves, Howard backstopped the Red Wings to a 3-1 victory to take a 2-1 series lead. One of his biggest saves was early in the third period when Patrick Sharp came in on a breakaway:

No. 2 Star: Drew Miller, Detroit Red Wings

Miller was part of the 1-2 punch Detroit gave Chicago in the second period as his goal put the Red Wings up 2-0 and came 31 second after Gustav Nyquist opened the scoring. Miller was also credited with four blocked shots.

No. 3 Star: Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings

Datsyuk's goal gave Detroit a 3-1 lead and came two minutes after Patrick Kane cut the lead to one and a minute after Andrew Shaw's goal was waived off.

Detroit has won nine straight games in which Datsyuk has scored a goal.

Honorable mention: The Blackhawks killed off all five Detroit power plays. They've yet to allow a power play goal through their first eight playoff games ... Detroit won 37 of 66 faceoffs.

Did You Know? "Mike Babcock won his 77th postseason game, matching Quenneville for the most among active coaches and trailing Pat Burns by one victory for 8th place on the NHL's all-time list." (AP)

Conn Smythe Watch: 1. Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; 2. David Krejci, Boston Bruins; 3. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings; 4. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins; 5. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; 6. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators. 7. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks; 8. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers; 9. Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings; 10. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings.

Dishonorable mention: Corey Crawford has allowed seven goals his last two starts. He'd allowed eight total in his last six starts entering Game 3 ... Should Andrew Shaw's goal have counted?

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