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Saturday’s Three Stars: OT thrillers for Caps, Sens and Blackhawks; brawl punctuates Sharks/Blues

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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(Lance Crabtree, Chris Ferara, Vince Ferara and Ryan Thomas pose together before Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on April 14, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. They later wept simultaneously when someone dropped a supreme nachos on their outfits. …)

No. 1 Star: Bryan Bickell, Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks forward scored his second goal of the game at 10:36 of overtime, giving Chicago a 4-3 comeback win and a 1-1 split in their first-round series with the Phoenix Coyotes. He also had a power play goal in the first period. Overtime was made possible by a Patrick Sharp goal with six seconds left in the game.

[ Video: Bryan Bickell's OT goal completes wild rally, gives Chicago series split with Phoenix ]

No. 2 Star: Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals

The Caps rookie goalie finished the first two games of their series at the Boston Bruins having stopped 71 of 73 shots, including 43 in Washington's double-OT win in Game 2. Holtby made 11 saves in the extra sessions, before Nicklas Backstrom won the game, 2-1, with a goal at 2:56 of the second OT.

No. 3 Star: Chris Neil, Ottawa Senators

An agitating presence in regulation, Neil played the hero in OT — scoring the game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers in Game 2 of their series, knotting it up at 1-1. Neil collected the rebound from a Jared Cowen shot and tucked it past Henrik Lundqvist to end the game at 1:17.

Honorable mention: The St. Louis Blues evened their series with the San Jose Sharks with a 3-0 win, getting goals from Vladimir Sobotka (technically), David Backes and Andy McDonald. Jaroslav Halak made 12 saves before leaving with a lower body injury after a collision with Barret Jackman; Brian Elliott made 17 the rest of the way. Antoine Vermette had two goals for the Coyotes. … Brian Boyle scored his second of the playoffs for the Rangers. … Nick Foligno had the game-tying goal for Ottawa. … Mike Smith faced 50 shots and made 46 saves. … Check out this move by TJ Oshie to set up Backes:

Conn Smythe Watch: 1. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings; 2. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers; 3. Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings; 4. Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins; 5. Mike Richards, Los Angeles Kings; 6. Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals; 7. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers; 8. Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes; 9. Martin Havlat, San Jose Sharks; 10. Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers.

Dishonorable mention: Sigh, where to begin … Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic put a puck into his own goal in the first period. … Andrew Shaw was giving a major and a game misconduct for charging Mike Smith in a controversial play. … The officials in Madison Square Garden apparently missed the fact the Rangers and Sens were playing with two pucks at the same time in the second period. … Matt Carkner attacked Brian Boyle to earn a game misconduct, while Brandon Dubinsky was kicked out of the game for being the third man in. … Carl Hagelin has a Sunday hearing on this hit to the head of Daniel Alfredsson, which knocked him out of the game. … Brent Burns of the Sharks elbowed Scott Nichol of the Blues, receiving just two minutes for roughing. … Finally, the end of the Sharks and Blues game descended into some line brawl fun. Todd McLellan said that Sobotka threw a "sucker punch" at Dominic Moore:

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