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Tuesday’s Three Stars: Travis Zajac raises the Devils to Game 7 vs. Panthers

Greg Wyshynski
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No. 1 Star: Travis Zajac, New Jersey Devils

Zajac's goal at 5:39 of overtime sent the Devils to a Game 7 on Thursday against the Florida Panthers, winning Game 6 by a 3-2 count. Zajac beat goalie Scott Clemmensen after Ilya Kovalchuk found a seam in the Florida defense with a pass. Zajac also assisted on Kovalchuk's second-period power-play goal, finding him wide open in front of a tap-in.

No. 2 Star: Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils

Kovalchuk's power-play goal at 4:21 of the second gave the Devils a 2-0 lead. But it was his play in overtime — drawing two defenders, springing Zajac in for the game winner — that was the key to the night.

No. 3 Star: Scott Clemmensen, Florida Panthers

Pressed into duty when starter Jose Theodore was too injured to play, Clemmensen made 39 saves in the loss — including 15 in the second period, when the Panthers rallied to tie the game.

Honorable mention: Steve Bernier scored his second of the playoffs for the Devils. … Kris Versteeg and Sean Bergenheim scored their third goals for the Panthers.

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: Marty Brodeur got the win, but didn't look all that great in giving up two goals on 16 shots. … Mike Weaver was a minus-2.

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