Jonathan Quick causes a puck to hit the crossbar with mind sorcery.
No. 1 Star: Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings
After a 5-2 blowout win in Game 2 versus the St. Louis Blues, the eighth-seeded Kings take a 2-0 lead back to the Staples Centre in Los Angeles for the second consecutive series. They iced this one early, putting 4 past Brian Elliott in the first period alone. Kopitar scored two of those, his first coming shorthanded after he showed some remarkable patience to drag this puck around Brian Elliott:
No. 2 Star: Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings
Brown picked up 3 assists in the Kings' win including a helper on both Kopitar goals. Right now, you'd have to argue that he's an early Conn Smythe favourite. Brown's work on the penalty kill is especially noteworthy: He's got 4 shorthanded points already this postseason.
No. 3 Star: Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals
After Game 1, the Capitals' netminder claimed the long stretches without a shot caused him to lose focus a little, so he must have really appreciated the increase in action for Game 2. The Rangers put 28 shots on goal and Holtby stopped 26 of them in a strong bounceback performance to lead the Capitals to a big 3-2 win.
Honourable mention: David Backes and Andy McDonald had 2 points apiece in a losing effort for the Blues ... Justin Williams, Mike Richards, and Dustin Penner all had 2-point nights for the Kings ... Jonathan Quick is in that creepy zone where he's stopping next to everything and the shots he isn't stopping are still finding a way not to go in ... Alex Ovechkin scored the game-winner for the Capitals, a nice way to get back at the coach that only gave you 13 minutes and the fans chanting "Ovi Sucks" once every period ... The passing on this Mike Knuble goal is nice:
Did you know? The Kings are now 5-0 on the road in the 2012 postseason. The last 2 teams to start the playoffs like that, Edmonton in 1987 and Tampa Bay in 2004, won the Cup. [Kevin Gibson]
Dishonourable mention: It worked out, but the fact that Dale Hunter played Jay Beagle for 6 more minutes than Alex Ovechkin is absurd, no? ... Barrett Jackman finished a minus-3 for St. Louis.