April 27, 2009
No. 1 star, Ray Whitney, Carolina Hurricanes:
The veteran forward, affectionately known as "The Wizard", supplied his magic just when the Hurricanes needed it most. Whitney scored the first goal of the game, which stood as the game-winner, and added primary assists on the three remaining Carolina goals as the hosts won to force a Game 7 against New Jersey. Whitney was alone in front of Devils' goalie Martin Brodeur to score his second goal of the series at 10:32 of the first period. In addition to his four points, Whitney put five shots on goal and was a plus-3 during 18:52 of ice time.
No. 2 star, Tom Poti, Washington Capitals:
The former Ranger haunted his ex-teammates big time on Sunday to the tune of a goal and three assists as the Capitals forced a Game 7. Poti supplied the second assist on Washington's first-period go-ahead goal that preceded his second of the series late in the period for a two-goal cushion. Poti assisted on Washington's two other goals in the second period, too, as the visitors ran out to a four-goal lead.
No. 3 star, Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes:
Staal benefited most from Whitney's big game offensively, taking two of his teammate's passes and depositing them in the net. Staal also had an assist for a three-point game in addition to being a plus-3 with a team-high six shots during 18:32 of skating. He won nine of 18 draws, too.
Major penalty: It's a total meltdown by the Rangers, who appear more concerned with writing letters to the league lamenting swearing behind their bench in Washington than devising a plan to avoid being the first Rangers' team to blow a 3-1 series' lead.
Minor penalty: The Devils didn't show up on Sunday, especially during the first half of the game. By the time it was 3-0 not quite midway through the second New Jersey was being outshot 23-5.
Conn Smythe Watch: (The Top 10) 1. Roberto Luongo, Canucks; 2. Evgeni Malkin, Penguins; 3. Ryan Getzlaf, Ducks; 4. Daniel Sedin, Canucks; 5. Phil Kessel, Bruins; 6. Chris Osgood, Red Wings; 7. Jonas Hiller, Ducks; 8. Sidney Crosby, Penguins; 9. Cam Ward, Hurricanes; 10. Martin Brodeur, Devils.