Mikael Samuelsson, Vancouver: Nothing like making the boss look good, eh? Canucks GM Mike Gillis was lambasted for the decision to open the vault for Samuelsson last summer, but the veteran winger looked like a steal after his sizzling stretch run. His hot play carried over into the postseason opener as he launched seven shots on net and beat JonathanQuick twice, including for the winner at 8:52 of OT, to clinch Vancouver's 3-2 win over the Kings.
Jaroslav Halak, Montreal: If this is how he plays when he's wearing down, the Habs need to hook Halak up to the donkey wheel before Game 2. Sloughing off concerns about his performance down the stretch, Halak stopped 45 shots to lead Montreal to a stunning 3-2 upset of the Capitals. He was at his best in the first, denying 18 of Washington's franchise record-tying 19 shots and keeping his teammates in the game long enough for them to find their legs.
Ryan Miller, Buffalo: The surest remedy for a team in a scoring drought is to put the puck on the net from every angle and as often as possible. The offensively challenged Bruins did exactly that, launching 24 shots at Miller in the second period alone. He wasn't at his sharpest, at least going by the quality and quantity of rebounds he offered up, but that says it all about Miller -- even when he's off his game, he's capable of the extraordinary.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT'S THREE STARS:Flyers' Boucher leads way