Monday’s Three Stars: Thomas backstops Bruins to Game 5 win

No. 1 Star: Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins

The Bruins keeper made 33 saves, including a stellar third-period paddle stop on Steve Downie, in Boston's 3-1 victory in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Said Thomas on that stop: "It was just a reaction and a desperation. And I'll admit I got a little bit lucky there." The Bruins took a 3-2 series lead with the win.

No. 2 Star: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

The center's pinpoint pass at 15:56 of the second period led to Brad Marchand's eventual game-winning goal. Bergeron now has 4 goals and 11 assists in the playoffs, playing to a plus-10.

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No. 3 Star: Simon Gagne, Tampa Bay Lightning

Gagne's well-placed deflection on a Steven Stamkos pass completed a 2-on-1 break and gave the Bolts a 1-0 lead just 1:09 into Game 5. It was Gagne's fifth of the postseason and fifth point of the conference finals.

Honorable mention: Nathan Horton tied the game for the B's in the second period with a one-timer blast off a Milan Lucic pass. … Rich Peverley scored an empty-netter. … Zdeno Chara skated 26:21 and was a plus-2, picking up an assist on Marchand's goal. … Mike Smith made 17 saves in a surprise start for the Lightning, playing well enough to create some debate for Game 6's starter.

Did you know? Bruins fans are pretty damn funny, as evidenced by this guy captured by CJ Stevenson.

Dishonorable mention: Steve Downie received a boarding minor for a hit that knocked Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk out of the game in the third. Coach Claude Julien said Boychuk is "fine." … Tampa's Sean Bergenheim appeared to suffer a groin injury in the first period and did not return. … Marty St. Louis was a minus-2 with two shots on goal. … The Lightning have gone three straight games without a power-play goal.

Conn Smythe Watch: 1. Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins; 2. Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks; 3. Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks; 4. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins; 5. Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks; 6. Marty St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning; 7. Sean Bergenheim, Tampa Bay Lightning; 8. Ryane Clowe, San Jose Sharks; 9. Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks; 10. Dwayne Roloson, Tampa Bay Lightning.

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