3 Stars of the Night: May 2

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 2, 2016

#3) Alex Ovechkin, Washington: goal, assist

In a losing effort Ovechkin did everything he could to push his team to a road win like a true leader does. Not only did he have a goal and an assist to fuel the Caps comeback effort, but he also added a game-high nine hits and his seven shots on goal were second in the game to only his teammate John Carlson’s eight. Ovi has a quiet eight points through nine playoff games and will likely need to contribute even more if the Caps are to win three of the last four games in this series.

#2) Carl Hagelin, Pittsburgh: GW goal

One of the best trades the Penguins have made in a long, long time continues to pay dividends as it was Hagelin who netted the eventual game-winner in Game 2, stuffing the puck in the net from the crease through Capitals’ defenseman Nate Schmidt’s legs. The ex-Ranger now has three goals and five points over his last four games and his speed is giving Washington’s defensemen fits. He also added two hits and one blocked shot.


#1) Matt Murray, Pittsburgh: 47 saves/49 shots, Win

Murray continued his impressive romp through the NHL playoffs, stonewalling the Capitals at every angle and chance up until Ovechkin ended the shutout near the midway point of the third period. The rookie goalie was 30-for-30 on saves through the first two periods of the game — which was probably Washington’s best two periods of the series. Now that the Penguins’ no. 1 goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is getting healthier, Murray doesn’t seem to be looking over his shoulder, at all. In fact he has their team two wins away from eliminating the President’s Trophy winners in round 2 and he’s outplaying the NHL’s best goalie this season thus far.

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

Matt Murray (Pitt): 5

Nikita Kucherov (TB): 4

Alex Ovechkin (Wash): 4

Thomas Hickey (NYI): 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

Carl Hagelin (Pitt): 2