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Friday’s Three Stars: Devils head to Final; Brodeur, Kovalchuk the difference in Game 6

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No. 1 Star: Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils

This time last year, Kovalchuk was a punchline, a cautionary tale of what happens when you spend an untold fortune on one guy. Now, he looks like he's worth it. Kovalchuk had a game-high 6 shots, he scored a beautiful powerplay goal, and he picked up an assist on Adam Henrique's game-winner in a 3-2 Game 6 victory over the New York Rangers, sending the Devils to the Stanley Cup Final.

No. 2 Star: Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils

Brodeaur kicked it old-school Friday night, looking like the difference-maker he once was in the Devils' victory. He made 33 saves in the win. This one was my favourite:

No. 3 Star: Adam Henrique, New Jersey Devils

Henrique scored his second series winner of these playoffs, banging home a rebound just 1:03 into overtime. He also added 3 blocked shots.

Honourable mention: Ryan Callahan played his tail off for the Rangers, scoring the game-tying goal ... Brad Richards played a strong game. He also took 28 faceoffs for the Rangers. The rest of the team took 29 combined ... Ryan McDonagh was excellent, with assists on both Ranger goals in just under 30 minutes of action ... here's the handshake line, for those of you that get off on sportsmanship:

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. Travis Zajac, New Jersey Devils; 10. Adam Henrique

Dishonourable mention: Michael Del Zotto had another rough night, on the ice for both New Jersey goals. It was in keeping with a series where he was on the ice for 8 Devils' goals, including 3 game-winners ... And finally, did this stick ever touch Steve Bernier? A lot of people were saying it didn't, but it's pretty clear that it clips his visor at the very least:

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