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Sean Leahy

Wednesday's Three Stars: Behind Halak, Habs upset Caps 2-1

Sean Leahy
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No. 1 star: Jaroslav Halak, Montreal Canadiens

Heading into Game 7, there were questions if Halak could repeat his brilliant performance from Game 6. Minutes into the series-deciding game, it was obvious he was up to the task. Montreal was outshot 42-16 as Halak stopped 41 Washington shots en route to a 2-1 upset setting up a second round date with the Pittsburgh Penguins. With the Canadiens down 3-1 in the series, Halak stopped 131 of the final 134 shots he faced as Montreal won three straight, including two at Verizon Center to upset the No. 1 seeded Capitals.

No. 2 star: Hal Gill / Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens

You really could give the second star to the 15 Canadiens who blocked a shot tonight. Gill and Markov led the way with six each and Montreal dominated in the blocked shot department yet again 41-11 tonight.

No. 3 star: Dominic Moore, Montreal Canadiens

When Moore's shot beat Semyon Varlamov with 3:36 left in the game to put Montreal up 2-0, the game was seemingly over. No one thought it would end up being the game-winner after Brooks Laich scored just over a minute later to cut the lead to one, but Moore's tally proved to be the deciding factor in one of the biggest upsets in recent history.

Honorable Mention: Marc-Andre Bergeron only took six shifts and played 4:06 in Game 7, but his goal on the power play stunned the Washington fans and caused the Capitals to play from behind for most of the final two periods ... Scott Gomez was strong in the faceoff dot winning 50% of his draws going 17-for-34.

Dishonorable Mention: Washington's power play went 0-for-3 and finished the series 1-for-33 ... Alex Ovechkin (10 shots) and Alexander Semin (8 shots) were frustrated all night by the shot blocking of the Canadiens and Halak ... Mike Green had a night to forget. Bergeron's goal came while Green was in the penalty box for a cross-check and later, he failed to play the puck that allowed Moore to walk in and scored Montreal's second goal.

Conn Smythe Watch: 1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; 2. Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings; 3. Mikael Samuelsson, Vancouver Canucks; 4. Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; 5. Daniel Sedin; Vancouver Canucks; 6. Jaroslav Halak, Montreal Canadiens; 7. Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers; 8. Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings; 9. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins; 10. Mike Cammalleri, Montreal Canadiens.

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