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Greg Wyshynski

Sunday's Three Stars: Chara, Zetterberg shine in Game 5 wins

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No. 1 Star: Zdeno Chara(notes), Boston Bruins

Hey, look, the Bruins decided to join the postseason for the first time since Game 1. Facing elimination, several Bruins contributed outstanding efforts in their 4-0 Game 5 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes: Phil Kessel(notes) had two goals, Tim Thomas(notes) shut the door with 19 saves. But the much-maligned captain's effort on Sunday was monumental. Chara assisted on Mark Recchi's(notes) power-play goal to open the scoring; in the second period, he absorbed an Eric Staal(notes) check and later joined a Bruins' offensive rush for Kessel's second goal. Two assists for Chara in 24:34 of ice time; he even battled back from a Jussi Jokinen(notes) slash to play in the third period.

No. 2 Star: Henrik Zetterberg(notes), Detroit Red Wings

A total team effort for the Wings in their impressive 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks to take a 3-2 series lead, as Johan Franzen(notes) scored his seventh of the playoffs and Chris Osgood(notes) (16 saves) was there when they needed him. Zetterberg's three-point game (empty net goal, two assists) led all scorers as he led all Detroit forwards in ice time; contributing another outstanding two-way game for the Wings.

No. 3 Star: Milan Lucic(notes), Boston Bruins

Looch found the net in the third period for his second goal of the postseason, but his biggest contribution was a game-changing hit on Dennis Seidenberg(notes) in the first period of the Bruins' win. His crushing check in the corner forced Seidenberg to take a retaliatory slashing penalty; Recchi opened the scoring on the ensuing power play. Columnist Phil Stacey: "Will we look back fondly and remember that it was a thunderous check that began a historic reversal of fortunes for the Boston Bruins?"

Major Penalty: The third period of the Bruins/Hurricanes game descended into a penalty-filled drag, with 21 calls, two game misconducts, one fight between Tim Conboy and Mark Stuart, and one sucker punch from Scott Walker that may have fractured Aaron Ward's orbital bone in his face.

Minor Penalty: The listless and "docile" Anaheim Ducks wasted a sterling effort from Jonas Hiller(notes), who rebounded from a crap-tastic Game 4 with 34 saves against the Wings -- including 14 in the first period alone.

Conn Smythe Watch: (The Top 10) 1. Sidney Crosby(notes), Pittsburgh Penguins; 2. Johan Franzen, Detroit Red Wings; 3. Eric Staal, Hurricanes; 4. Alexander Ovechkin(notes), Washington Capitals; 5. Roberto Luongo(notes), Vancouver Canucks; 6. Cam Ward(notes), Hurricanes; 7. Henrik Zetterberg, Red Wings; 8. Ryan Getzlaf(notes), Anaheim Ducks; 9. Dave Bolland(notes), Chicago Blackhawks; 10. Simeon Varlamov(notes), Capitals.

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