3 Stars of the Night: May 3

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 3, 2016

#3) Alexander Steen, St. Louis: 2 goals

Steen’s first period goal just over five minutes into the game tied the score less than a minute after Dallas had jumped ahead, effectively ending all of the Stars momentum and chance to win the game. The Blues would score five more unanswered goals as they spanked the visitors in Game 3, running circles around their questionable defense and two-headed goalie tandem. The Stars may have already made more goalie changes in the first three games of a series than any other team in NHL history. Thomas Steen’s kid added another marker, this time on the power play, late in the second period which proved to be one of the final nails in the Dallas coffin. His five shots on goal were second highest in the game, only behind his teammate Vladimir Tarasenko, who had eight and a three-point night (1G-2A).

#2) Shea Weber, Nashville: GWG, assist

The player with the hardest shot already dinged two players (Fredrik Andersen, Marc-Edouard Vlasic) in the face (thank goodness for masks and visors) and luckily no one was in from of his clap bomb that sent Nashville into a frenzy because that thing looked wicked, as you can see below. Martin Jones had looked somewhat invincible in this series until Game 3 and now the Preds have found some confidence with their offense. Weber scored on his only shot on goal in the game, but logged a solid 5:23 of PK time in which Nashville held the Sharks 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

#1) Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay: goal, 2 assists

Hedman was drafted just behind John Tavares in their draft year (2009), but in their first meeting in the NHL playoffs, it is the Lightning defender who is coming out on top personally and in the series. He led all skaters in the game in ice-time (30:15), shots on goal (6) and points (3) as the Bolts rallied multiple times in Game 3 before winning in OT. Despite his six shots on goal, it was a shot of Hedman’s that missed the net that was the biggest he had all night. His one-timer bounced wide of the cage and right to Brian Boyle, who scored the game-winner to give Tampa a 5-4 win and a 2-1 series lead.

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

Victor Hedman (TB): 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

Shea Weber (Nash): 2