Friday April 24th, 2009

1. Martin Brodeur, Devils: It's been what, a week or two since Brodeur etched his name in the record book? This time it was Patrick Roy's career mark of 23 playoff shutouts that Brodeur claimed a share of with a remarkable 44-save performance in New Jersey's 1-0 win over the Hurricanes. This wasn't the calm, controlled game typical of most of his whitewashings, but Brodeur played with a grim determination that left the Canes wondering what it would take to beat him. Chief among the head-shakers was feisty Chad LaRose, who forced Brodeur to make three bell-ringers in the third.

2. Jonas Hiller, Ducks: The Sharks were shut out just three times in the regular season. After sweeping aside 31 shots Thursday night, Hiller's now blanked them twice in the span of four playoff starts. Bobby Ryan earned first-star honors at the rink for his two-goal effort, but it was Hiller's steely performance in the face of some 405-quality congestion in front of his crease that demoralized the Sharks early on and pushed the Western Conference champs to the brink of elimination.

3. Marian Hossa, Red Wings: Not to downplay his 40-goal regular season campaign, but $7 million players like Hossa need to justify their paper in the playoffs. After three quiet games, he finally came through with his first two goals of the spring, and his timing couldn't have been better. Less than 90 seconds after a relentless Columbus side had erased a two-goal Detroit lead, Hossa banged a rebound past Steve Mason on the power play to put the Wings back on top. Five minutes later, he cashed in on another chance with the extra man to restore the original margin.

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