Philadelphia Flyers 3, New Jersey Devils 4 (OT) (NJ leads the series, 2-1)
St. Louis Blues 2, Los Angeles 4 (LA leads the series, 3-0)
Those Who Shined
1. Ilya Kovalchuk, Left Wing, New Jersey Devils
After missing game two of this second round series with the Flyers due to injury, Kovalchuk, the Devils leading scorer in the regular season, made some noise in front of his home crowd. He was heavily involved from the opening puck drop as he posted both an assist and a goal in the first period. Then, after being held relatively quiet for the rest of regulation, Kovalchuk dished out his second helper of the evening on the game-winning tally from Alexei Ponikarovsky. This was the first contest in the postseason in which he recorded three points, and it came at the perfect time with New Jersey now leading this best-of-seven series by a game.
2. Drew Doughty, Defenseman, Los Angeles Kings
Oh, who would have guessed that the team from Hollywood that would create the biggest stir in the postseason (at least to this point) would be the Los Angeles Kings? The eighth-seeded Kings have now won seven of eight playoff games and lead the St. Louis Blues three games to none, thanks in large part to the play of Drew Doughty. The 22-year-old defenseman has been excellent on the defensive end of the ice for the entirety of the postseason, posting a plus five rating overall. But, Thursday was the first time that he emerged as an offensive weapon. He scored his first goal of the postseason and added two assists, which gave him his first three point game of the entire season. You never know who will lead the way for Los Angeles, but on this night, tip your cap to Doughty.
3. Jonathan Quick, Goaltender, Los Angeles Kings
Overall, Thursday night was more about the play on the offensive end of the ice for all four teams that were in action. However, like I do most days, I have to point out the excellence of at least one goaltender; and today, it is Jonathan Quick. I don’t care how well this Los Angeles offense has played in the postseason, the success of the Kings is almost always dependent upon the effort of Quick, and he is rarely a letdown. He steered aside 18 of 20 shots Thursday to improve his 2012 playoff record to 7-1 with a minuscule goals against average of 1.62. More specifically, Quick has allowed just 13 goals despite facing 250 shots from opposing teams — and, keep in mind that their first round series was with the offensively potent Vancouver Canucks.