The Wild celebrate the empty-net goal that assured their trip to the playoffs.
No. 1 Star: Nail Yakupov, Edmonton Oilers
Yakupov erupted in the final frame versus the Vancouver Canucks, scoring three times as part of a six-goal outburst in third to lead the Oilers to a 7-2 win. With 6 points in his final 3 games, Yakupov came from behind to win the rookie scoring race. Justin Schultz added a four-point night and Jordan Eberle scored twice.
No. 2 Star: James Neal, Pittsburgh Penguins
Neal registered a hat trick and an assist as the Penguins beat up on the Carolina Hurricanes, winning 8-3 to close out the season.
Neal's last two goals were the beginnings of the 5-goal third period for Pittsburgh.
No. 3 Star: Mike Green, Washington Capitals
Green was in on all 3 goals in the Capitals' 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Boston Bruins. He scored two powerplay goals to tie the game in the third, then set up Eric Fehr's game-winner.
Honourable mention: Martin St. Louis had a two-point night for the Tampa Bay Lightning in their 5-3 loss to the Florida Panthers, giving him 60 points on the season and the Art Ross Trophy at 37 years old... Jimmy Howard made 17 saves for the shutout as the Detroit Red Wings clinched a playoff spot with a 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars. Meanwhile, at the other end, Richard Bachman get things respectable, stopping 34 of 37... Steve Mason made 43 saves as the Philadelphia Flyers held off the Ottawa Senators, 2-1... Radim Vrbata had a hat trick and an assist and Martin Hanzal had two assists in the Phoenix Coyotes' 5-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks. ... Jaden Schwartz scored twice as the St. Louis Blues knocked off the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-1 and earned home ice in the first round in the process... Justin Williams scored the game-winner as the Los Angeles Kings beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 to win the fifth seed in the West... Niklas Backstrom bounced back in a big way, stopping 30 shots a night after allowing 3 goals on 5 shots to propel the Wild to a 3-1 win and a playoff berth... It turned out to not be enough, but Brandon Dubinsky gave it his all, scoring a goal and adding an assist on Jack Johnson's huge game-winner in the Columbus Blue Jackets' 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators. It's a shame this Jack Johnson goal turned out to be for naught, because the way it made the crowd erupt was incredible:
Sergei Bobrovsky was incredible too, especially on this nutty sequence, where he stops seven shots in a matter of seconds:
... Lars Eller had a three-point night as the Montreal Canadiens topped the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-1... Henrik Lundqvist had a 20-save shutout and Rick Nash scored twice when the New York Rangers beat the listless New Jersey Devils, 4-0.
Dishonourable mention: the Bruins blew a two-goal lead in the third period in Washington... Roberto Luongo allowed 7 goals versus Edmonton, and one wonders why he was left in to allow so many in a mean-nothing game... Henrik Sedin played all of 22 seconds in this game to maintain his iron man streak... James Reimer was pulled in his final start of the season.