3 Stars of the Night: May 1

It’s the most, wonderful time, of the yearrrrrrrr! Who doesn’t love playoff hockey right? This is what we wait all season for, this is why most of us became fans of the game, as the postseason captivates us year after year after year. My personal favorite part is the dying minutes of a one-goal game when everything is a scramble, bodies are diving everywhere, pucks are zipping around the zone and the intensity is as high as can be. Until we get to overtime that is, when it become full-on, tighten your butt cheeks, gasp and cringe with every shot end-to-end action (WITH NO COMMERCIALS!!).

Who will hoist the 2016 Stanley Cup?


With the team I cover out of the playoffs (again), I relish the opportunity to write a little out of character and enjoy the playoffs as a fan of the game, and pick my three stars of each night like our friends over at Yahoo!/Puck Daddy blog do throughout the season. You can find player standings at the bottom of each  post with three points for being the no. 1 star, two for no. 2 and one for no. 3 and on some nights we’ll have an honorable mention.

May 1, 2016

#3) Martin Jones, San Jose: 37 saves/39 shots, Win

Jones has been, well…jonesing this postseason, very under-the-radar as well as he has backstopped the Sharks to six quick wins (in only seven games). He carried a shutout into the latter part of the third period of Game 2 and then surrendered a second goal following a mad crease scramble in the game’s dying seconds with the Preds goalie on the bench for an extra attacker. Jones was the question mark heading into this postseason, as he had no NHL playoff starts and only two mop-up appearances, but now the 26-year-old tender is the backbone of what looks like a buzzsaw Sharks team as we enter the month of May.

#2) Joe Pavelski, San Jose: goal, 2 assists

The Sharks now have scored seven of their eight goals in the first two games of this series in the third period, and Pavelski’s goal with less than three minutes left in the game broke a 1-1 tie and was the game-winner until the Preds scored with less than five seconds left. His line had been shut down by Nashville early on in this game, shotless through two periods, but came out roaring in the final period. San Jose has lost only once this postseason in seven games and their captain has been at the center of the success with six goals over those seven games.

#1) David Backes, St. Louis: OT GWG, assist

The Blues captain one-upped the Stars captain, who had tied the game late in the third period, by potting the game-winner in overtime with a power play goal to even the second round series 1-1. Backes, who turned 32-years-old Sunday, also laid out seven hits, won 58% of his face-offs and assisted on his squad’s first goal of the game in St. Louis’ three-goal first period.  He’s the first player in this postseason to net two overtime goals — which are the first two of his NHL playoff career.

3-Stars Standings:

Joe Pavelski (SJ): 7

Braden Holtby (Wash): 6

Brian Elliott (StL): 6

Michal Neuvirth (Phil): 5

John Tavares (NYI): 5

Pekka Rinne (Nash): 5

Tyler Johnson (TB): 5

Nikita Kucherov (TB): 4

Thomas Hickey (NYI): 3

Alex Ovechkin (Wash): 3

Antti Niemi (Dall): 3

Evgeni Malkin (Pitt): 3

Artemi Panarin (Chi): 3

Troy Brouwer (StL): 3

TJ Oshie (Wash): 3

Radek Faksa (Dall): 3

Kris Letang (Pitt): 3

David Backes (StL): 3

Patric Hornqvist (Pitt): 2

Roberto Luongo (Fla): 2

Tanner Pearson (LA): 2

Frederik Andersen (Ana): 2

Ben Bishop (TB): 2

Mikko Koivu (Minn): 2

Sami Vatanen (Ana): 2

Shane Prince (NYI): 2

Nick Bonino (Pitt): 2

Joel Ward (SJ): 2

Matt Murray (Pitt): 2