Puck Daddy - NHL

No. 1 star: Ryan Getzlaf(notes), Anaheim Ducks

His minutes were down in Game 4 and his line was broken up in Game 5, but Getzlaf's unit stepped up big time in Tuesday's series-extending 2-1 victory over the visiting Red Wings. Reunited as expected with Corey Perry(notes) for the survival game, Getzlaf used a hard hit on Dan Cleary behind his own net to start a power-play rush, then converted a rebound of a Scott Niedermayer(notes) shot on the other end to give Anaheim a 1-0 lead in the second period. He'd add an assist on Perry's goal later that same period while dominating all night in the faceoff circle (16 of 24 draws won) and adding three hits.

No. 2 star: Patrice Bergeron(notes), Boston Bruins

If you worked yourself into a scoring position and put your stick on the ice, you probably wound up on the scoresheet Tuesday in Boston's 4-2 win in Carolina that forced a Game 7. All four Boston goals were the result of superb feeds, with Bergeron providing two of the best for the Bruins. His pass to Mark Recchi(notes) on a 2-on-1 led to Boston's first goal and his thread-the-needle dish to Chuck Kobasew(notes) provided some breathing room late in the second period. It was a complete effort for the centerman, who played in all situations while leading Bruins forwards in ice time.

No. 3 star: Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks

There's always a tendency to give the goalie a nod after a 38-save effort (consider that an honorable mention, Mr. Hiller), but Anaheim's Game 6 win was really all about the reunion and revival of the Getzlaf-Perry line after a lackluster performance in Game 5. Like Getzlaf, Perry had a goal and an assist and like his centerman, Perry turned a play in the defensive zone into paydirt on the other end. It was his diving poke check that short-circuited a Valtteri Filppula(notes) scoring chance on Jonas Hiller's(notes) doorstep, and in the continuing action Perry set up in front of Detroit goalie Chris Osgood(notes) for a deflection goal that held up as the winner.

Major Penalty: The Ducks have proven that the most penalized team in the playoffs can win the Stanley Cup. They did it in 2006-07. But there's playing with edge and playing with fire, and Anaheim nearly crossed that line Tuesday. Rookie Andrew Ebbett(notes) was baited into a pair of late penalties that a road team trailing 2-0 is just begging to receive. Detroit converted on the second power play, setting the stage for 3 ½ anxious minutes that never had to happen. Then there's the business of that postgame melee. I'm sure we'll have more reaction on this later after the combatants (and possibly the NHL) weigh in, but it's hard to see what the Ducks can gain from having their heavies beat up Pavel Datsyuk(notes) and Brian Rafalski(notes) in advance of a road Game 7.

Minor Penalty: Let's just say when you have a chance to close out a series at home in a Game 6, you want to take advantage. If Carolina is going to avoid a collapse after leading the series 3-1, it needs to get some production out of Rod Brind'Amour(notes) (one point in playoffs after monster March), Erik Cole(notes) (two points in postseason, zero goals) or Ray Whitney(notes) (stuck on one point in series).

Conn Smythe Watch: (The Top 10) 1. Sidney Crosby(notes), Pittsburgh Penguins; 2. Johan Franzen(notes), Red Wings; 3. Patrick Kane(notes), Chicago Blackhawks; 4. Alexander Ovechkin(notes), Washington Capitals; 5. Tim Thomas(notes), Bruins; 6. Henrik Zetterberg(notes), Red Wings; 7. Ryan Getzlaf, Ducks; 8. Eric Staal(notes), Hurricanes; 9. Dave Bolland(notes), Blackhawks; 10. Simeon Varlamov(notes), Capitals.

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