No. 1 star: Marc Savard, Boston Bruins
Having not played since March 7th, there were a lot of questions about Savard's effectiveness as he returned to the Bruins lineup this afternoon against the Philadelphia Flyers. He logged 15:16 of ice-time, with his most important moment coming in overtime as he scored the game winner to give the Bruins a 5-4 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal.
No. 2 star: Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks
Luongo's 36-save performance against the Chicago Blackhawks helped lead the Canucks to a 5-1 series opening win. The United Center was a house of horrors for Luongo a year ago in the playoffs, but with help from his offense - including goals from Christian Ehrhoff and Mason Raymond and 17 saves in the first period - Vancouver found themselves with a 5-0 lead before the end of the second period.
No. 3 star: Danny Briere, Philadelphia Flyers
Briere's end-to-end effort to tie the game and force overtime with 3:22 remaining was a beauty:
Honorable Mention: The overtime show put on by Brian Boucher (14 saves) and Tuukka Rask (four saves) was a spectacular opening before Savard closed the show ... Mike Richards recorded three points in the loss ... Patrice Bergeron and Miroslav Satan each contributed a goal and an assist. Satan has a point in his last four games ... Dennis Wideman set up three goals, included Savard's winner.
Dishonorable Mention: Marco Sturm left the game early in the first period with a leg injury and it's believed the Bruins will be without him for the remainder of the playoffs ... Vancouver's five goals on Antti Niemi's before the end of the second period could raise questions as to whether or not we see Cristobal Huet start Game 2.
Conn Smythe Watch: 1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; 2. Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks 3. Mikael Samuelsson, Vancouver Canucks; 4. Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings; 5. Daniel Sedin; Vancouver Canucks; 6. Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers; 7. Jaroslav Halak, Montreal Canadiens; 8. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins; 9. Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings; 10. Mike Cammalleri, Montreal Canadiens.