Three Stars: Blues’ Backes sets tone in Game 3 win
Tuesday was a busy night of Stanley Cup Playoffs, with three games on the slate—and all going on at the same time at one point in the evening.
The Lightning and Islanders traded goals for 60 minutes until Brian Boyle gave the Bolts an overtime win, while the Predators broke through against the Sharks for a Game 3 victory that halved their series deficit. In the final game of the night, the Blues routed the Stars en route to a 2-1 lead in their series.
Here’s who stood out to us:
David Backes, St. Louis Blues
The captain set the tone early with his physical play, then lit the Stars up for a pair of memorable goals. His first, a slick re-direct that beat Antti Niemi on a first-period power play, stood as the game-winner in St. Louis's 6-1 victory. With that, he became just the third Blues player to notch three clinchers in a single playoff season, and the first to do so since Scott Young in 2000-01. His second of the night, a wire that blew by Kari Lehtonen on the short side, was his fifth this spring. That equals his career total in 29 postseason games prior to this season.
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators
With his team's season on the line, the captain registered his first multi-point effort of the postseason, leading the Preds to a 4-1 win over the Sharks in Game 3. His second period goal reminded everyone that he has the most lethal slap shot in the league, and counted as the game winner. It counted as the 13th playoff goal of his career, tying him with David Legwand for the most in franchise history.
Brian Boyle, Tampa Bay Lightning
The big man laid out New York's Thomas Hickey—avenging what might have been the biggest (legal) check of the playoffs when Hickey lit up Jonathan Drouin—then buried the OT winner just eight seconds later to lead the Lightning to a 5-4 win over the Islanders.