Kreider, Penner highlight Saturday's Three Stars

Publish date:

1. Chris Kreider, N.Y. Rangers -- One goal, one assist for the kid who was playing his hockey on a place called Chestnut Hill just a few weeks ago. The Boston College product is now a favorite of New York. Kreider's slap shot from high in the slot past Washington goalie Braden Holtby was the game-winner for the Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. It might be tempting to call it a soft goal -- as that's what everybody seems to call a goal that comes from beyond 20 feet anymore -- but it wasn't. It was a great shot from the rookie, and he is one big reason why more and more hockey pundits are starting to think the Rangers might just win a Stanley Cup for the first time in 18 years.

2. Dustin Penner, LA Kings -- Knock it off with the pancake jokes. Penner is truly playing some good hockey these days for the Kings. After a regular season of ridicule for his play, Penner is showing again why he got a huge contract once in his career. He scored a goal and added the first assist on the Kings' tying goal in Saturday's win over St. Louis. Penner now has four points in six playoff games. He had 17 points in 65 regular-season games. Do the math from there as to why the Kings are more successful.

3. Willie Mitchell, Kings -- Let's hear it for the old man of the Kings' defense. He played a solid 24:02, an impressive number for a 35-year-old in today's game. Mitchell didn't get his name on the score sheet, but he kept everyone on the Blues off it, for the time he was on the ice. After missing an extended period of time because of concussion problems, Mitchell has rebounded very well.