The stud defenseman's four-point night along with Michal Handzus'(notes) two power play goals led the Kings to their first playoff win since 2002. Jonathan Quick(notes) made 25 saves in LA's 5-3 victory over Vancouver to go up 2-1 in their series. Scoring three times in the second period, the Kings took control of the game and Ryan Smyth(notes) added the insurance tally midway through the third period.
After allowing an earlier goal to Mike Grier(notes) to give Buffalo a 1-0 lead, Rask shut down the Sabres for the rest of the game finishing with 32 saves as Boston won Game 3 2-1 to take a 2-1 series lead. Patrice Bergeron's(notes) goal with 7:03 remaining in the third period broke the 1-1 deadlock after Mark Recchi(notes) displaced Tim Kennedy(notes) in corner to set up the winning goal.
Much like he did a year ago, Varlamov is taking over the reigns in the Capitals' net from Jose Theodore(notes) and doing just fine. In his first start of these playoffs, Varlamov made 26 saves as Washington cruised to an easy 4-1 victory to take a 2-1 lead in their series with the Montreal Canadiens. Eric Fehr(notes) and Brooks Laich(notes) each scored and recorded an assist during a four-goal second period for the Capitals.
Honorable Mention: Jack Johnson(notes) recorded three assists in the Kings' win. Vancouver's Mikael Samuelsson(notes) scored his fourth goal of the playoffs in the loss ... The heavy hitting in the playoffs continued tonight with this Johnny Boychuk(notes) hit on Matt Ellis(notes) during Boston's win over Buffalo:
Dishonorable Mention: Montreal's Mike Cammalleri, Tomas Plekanec(notes) and Andrei Kostitsyn(notes) all finished minus-four ... After going down 4-0 in the second, the Habs began to unravel when Scott Gomez(notes) was given a 10-minute misconduct penalty and Plekanec was sent off two minutes later for interference and given an additional two for unsportsmanlike conduct ... Since his 45 save performance in Game 1, Jaroslav Halak(notes) has allowed nine goals in his last 50 shots faced ... Roberto Luongo(notes) was pulled in the second period after allowing four goals on 16 shots ... The Canucks were denied a goal when the NHL "war room" deemed that Daniel Sedin(notes) made a kicking motion during this "goal":
NHL VP of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy(notes) called into the Hockey Night in Canada post game show to explain the call and said that "it wasn't a distinct kicking motion, but a kicking motion". What did you think?
Conn Smythe Watch:1. Sidney Crosby(notes), Pittsburgh Penguins; 2. Mike Richards(notes), Philadelphia Flyers; 3. Henrik Zetterberg(notes), Detroit Red Wings; 4. Craig Anderson(notes), Colorado Avalanche; 5. Nicklas Backstrom(notes), Washington Capitals; 6. Mikael Samuelsson, Vancouver Canucks; 7. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings; 8. Wojtek Wolski(notes), Phoenix Coyotes; 9. Zdeno Chara(notes), Boston Bruins; 10. Antti Niemi(notes), Chicago Blackhawks.