Wednesday’s Three Stars: Ward’s OT winner sends Caps to Round 2
No. 1 Star: Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals
The rookie netminder rebounded from a 4-3 overtime loss in Game 6 to stonewall the Boston Bruins by making 31 saves as the Capitals won Game 7 2-1. The win improves Holtby's numbers to a 2.00 GAA and .940 save-percentage through seven starts.
No. 2 Star: Joel Ward, Washington Capitals
Ward played hero as his goal 2:57 into overtime sent the Capitals to the second round with an upset of the defending Stanley Cup champions. The goal was Ward's first ever overtime winner in the NHL:
No. 3 Star: Dennis Seidenberg, Boston Bruins
Defensively, Seidenberg did all he could to keep the Bruins alive. He was credited with five blocked shots including this one in the third period that denied what looked to be a sure goal off the stick of Alex Ovechkin:
Honorable mention: All seven games of Bruins-Capitals were decided by one goal. It was the closest series in NHL history ... Matt Hendricks and Tyler Seguin were the game's other scorers ... Per the AP, all 18 Capitals playoff wins over the last four years have been by a rookie goaltender.
Conn Smythe Watch: 1. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators; 2. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers; 3. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings; 4. Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes; 5. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers; 6. Andy McDonald, St. Louis Blues; 7. Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals; 8. Danny Briere, Philadelphia Flyers; 9. Alex Radulov, Nashville Predators; 10. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators.
Dishonorable mention: No team has won back-to-back Stanley Cup titles since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997-98 ... Rich Peverley's slash attempt did not impress Holtby: