The New Jersey Devils, praying harder than John Tortorella.
No. 1 Star: Stephen Gionta, New Jersey Devils
Gionta led the way for the Devils in Game 5, opening the scoring just 2:43 into the game and then setting up Ryan Carter for the game-winning goal at 15:36 of the third period. And that, my friends, is how you make up for going 0-for-5 in the faceoff circle.
No. 2 Star: Ryan Callahan, New York Rangers
The Rangers' captain was a difference-maker Wednesday, playing 20 minutes, leading the way physically with a game-high 6 hits, hitting a post, and scoring early in the second period to cut the Devils' lead in half. But was his goal kicked in?
No. 3 Star: Ryan Carter, New Jersey Devils
Carter scored the winner and was a part of the Devils' fourth line that was the difference in Game 5. He, Gionta, and Steve Bernier all earned praise from Coach Peter DeBoer after the game.
Honourable mention: Ilya Kovalchuk and Mark Fayne had 2 assists apiece. Zach Parise contributed a goal and an assist. Travis Zajac's wrister here is a thing of beauty:
Conn Smythe Watch: 1. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings; 2. Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings; 3. Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils; 4. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers; 5. Brad Richards, New York Rangers; 6. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings; 7. Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils; 8. Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils; 9. Dan Girardi, New York Rangers; 10. Travis Zajac, New Jersey Devils.
Dishonourable mention: Michael Del Zotto finished a minus-3 for the Rangers ... Martin Brodeur's going to catch flak for his misplay on the Rangers' third goal, but I really didn't like his play on their first ... Henrik Lundqvist has now allowed 4 goals in 2 straight games. Is that fatigue, poor defensive coverage, bad luck, choking, not worth mentioning, or some combination of the above? ... And finally, Brandon Prust, with your dive of the night:
This seems like a good time to quote my favourite unintentionally funny hockey article from these playoffs. From the Tucson Citizen:
Flopping is cheating, and cheating is not to be celebrated. It's not to be tolerated. It is not be placed in the minds our youth, the ones who need to believe in fair play.
Or else we're all doomed.
Won't someone please think of the children before we're all doooooooooooomed