Florida Panthers 0, New Jersey Devils 4 (Series is TIED, 2-2)
Boston Bruins 1, Washington Capitals 2 (Series is TIED, 2-2)
Phoenix Coyotes 3, Chicago Blackhawks 2 (PHO leads series, 3-1)
St. Louis Blues 2, San Jose Sharks 1 (STL leads series, 3-1)
Those Who Shined
1. Mikkel Boedker, Right Wing, Phoenix Coyotes
It’s somewhat rare for a player with only 24 regular season points to come up with an opportunity to win a playoff game in overtime. But, how about twice in two games? Mikkel Broedker knows all about that feeling after he snuck one past Corey Crawford yet again Thursday night to send the Coyotes to a 3-1 lead over the Blackhawks. As my partner Ryan Henning explained earlier, it was a strange and fairly unimpressive shot on goal, but it was enough to get the job done. Phoenix won both games at the United Center, which provides them with a huge advantage moving forward — you can bet that everyone is thanking Boedker.
2. Martin Brodeur, Goaltender, New Jersey Devils
After being pulled early in the Devils game three defeat, Martin Brodeur responded to adversity in a big way Thursday night at the Prudential Center. He stopped all 26 shots that he faced in accomplishing his 24th playoff game shutout. The 39-year-old passed superstar Patrick Roy to capture sole possession of the record for most postseason shutouts with the performance, which is an unbelievable accomplish. But, perhaps more importantly, he guided New Jersey to a series tie as the teams will head back to Florida for game five on Saturday.
3. Braden Holtby, Goaltender, Washington Capitals
If Braden Holtby doesn’t sound like a familiar name to you, believe me, you aren’t the only one thinking that. He played in just seven games for Washington in the regular season this year, but has taken sole possession of the starters role in the playoffs and he’s been nothing short of amazing. In Thursday’s contest he sent away 44 of 45 snipes from the Bruins in what was a nail-biter to the end. It was the second time in the last three games that he slowed Boston with at least 40 saves, and his Capitals are 2-1 on those nights. Holtby helped catapult his squad to a tie in the series, but he’ll need to continue this stellar play if he plans to match the effort of all-star Tim Thomas in the crucial games of the series.