Wednesday May 13th, 2009

1. Ryan Getzlaf, Ducks: To paraphrase Steven Tyler, Getzlaf's get up and go finally got up and went. After a mystery ailment (the flu? Lumbago? Dropsy?) diminished his effectiveness to Thorntonian levels in Games 4 and 5, Anaheim's offensive heart was pumping on all cylinders in Game 6. On the first goal, Getzlaf hammered Daniel Cleary behind his own net to gain possession, carried the puck into the Detroit zone and established position down low just in time to bat a rebound behind Chris Osgood. He later set up the winner, wiring the shot that Corey Perry tipped in, and was in the middle of the tea party after the final whistle that set the tone for a wholly unexpected, but now highly anticipated Game 7.

2. Tim Thomas, Bruins: Let's not sugarcoat this -- Thomas was flopping around like a mackerel on Carolina's first goal and gave away the puck on the second. But when Carolina's forecheck set his teammates back on their heels, he made the saves they needed him to make, including a pair of stunners on Eric Staal, to send the series back to Boston for Game 7.

3. Patrice Bergeron, Bruins: The razor-sharp passes that set up the first goal by Mark Recchi, and the final tally by Chuck Kobasew will earn Bergeron a spot on the highlight reel, but it was his defensive play -- especially in the frantic final minutes -- that won him a star. This was the sort of two-way game that was expected of the pre-concussion Bergeron, but has been spotted far less frequently since his injury. Nice to see a guy who works this diligently earn a payoff.

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