After this series, Holtby might welcome the change of pace. Scoring comes easy at prom.
No. 1 Star: Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
After surrendering 9 goals over the 2 games in Phoenix, the Predators' tightened up defensively and Rinne tightened up behind them, posting a shutout in a big Game 3. He made 32 saves in a 2-0 win. His best work came during a two-man advantage late in the third, when he made a flurry of great saves to preserve the shutout:
No. 2 Star: Marian Gaborik, New York Rangers
14:41 into the third overtime, Gaborik mercifully broke the 1-1 tie, putting a centring feed from Brad Richards past Braden Holtby to give the Rangers the 2-1 win. He also added an assist on Ryan Callahan's powerplay goal in the first.
No. 3 Star: Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers
The Rangers' defenceman didn't score a goal. He didn't even register a point. What did he do? Oh, he only played an absurd 53:17 Wednesday night, nearly 10 minutes more than any member of the Washington Capitals. During that time, he blocked 8 shots. He is going to be all kinds of sore Thursday.
Honourable mention: Braden Holtby made 47 saves for the Capitals. Henrik Lundqvist made 45 for the Rangers ... this Nashville Predators' ice girl rules ... Both Nashville goals came in the first period, as David Legwand opened the scoring and Mike Fisher scored his first of the playoffs just over a minute later.
Did you know? Braden Holtby's parents were at the game in Washington. I don't think anyone anywhere mentioned this.
Dishonourable mention: Now that the Predators have regrouped, recommitted to defense and won without them, one wonders if Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn will draw into Game 4 ... After this David Legwand goal was called off, many thought it was that old "intent to blow" rule again, but the officials actually disallowed the goal because Mike Smith was interfered with. Should it have counted?
... No one interfered with Smith on the Predators' first goal. He just made a rare puckhandling gaffe and it led to David Legwand scoring the eventual game-winner.