Brian Bickell lives my nightmare.
No. 1 Star: Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
Rask was nigh unbeatable in Game 2. He was just regular old unbeatable in Game 3, stopping 28 shots for the shutout as the Bruins took the first game at TD Garden by a score of 2-0. There are two ways of looking at his performance: on one hand, the Blackhawks didn't really seem to challenge him. But on the other hand, that might just be because he's in the zone right now and nothing challenges him. Rask has been the story of this series so far.
No. 2 Star: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
Bergeron got the insurance marker midway through the second, and he had a game-high seven shots. The Bruins' centre also went 24-for-28 in the faceoff circle, winning 8 of 8 versus Michal Handzus and 8 of 10 versus Jonathan Toews.
No. 3 Star: Daniel Paille, Boston Bruins
Paired again with Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin, Paille was flying in this one. His goal early in the second turned out to be the game-winner. Here it is from view of the scored-upon net:
Honourable mention: Zdeno Chara was his usual steady, excellent self in 25 minutes of icetime... Jaromir Jagr's pass on the Patrice Bergeron goal was fantastic:
Did You Know? Game 3 was just the second time this year that the Blackhawks have been shut out.
Conn Smythe Watch: 1. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins; 2. David Krejci, Boston Bruins; 3. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks; 4. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins; 5. Andrew Shaw, Chicago Blackhawks; 6. Nathan Horton, Boston Bruins; 7. Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks; 8. Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins; 9. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; 10. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks.
Dishonourable mention: The Blackhawks' powerplay is abysmal -- 0-for-5 in the game, and 0-for their last 27. When Patrice Bergeron narrowly avoided a puck over glass penalty in the third, both sides breathed a sigh of relief... Chicago struggled something fierce on faceoffs in this one. They won just 16 of 56. Handzus was 0-for-10 and Dave Bollan was 1-for-8.