Posted: Friday April 20, 2012 4:16AM ; Updated: Friday April 20, 2012 4:16AM
Allan Muir
Allan Muir>INSIDE THE NHL

Thursday's Three Stars

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1. Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils -- It's a safe bet the win meant more than the record, but Brodeur was full value for both in New Jersey's 4-0 win over the Panthers. Coming on the heels of the Game 3 debacle (a three-goal meltdown that saw him pulled from a playoff game for the first time since 2007), the 18-year veteran was at times sensational as he recorded his 24th career playoff shutout to move past Patrick Roy in the NHL record book.

2. Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes -- There's no way the game gets to overtime, where Mikkel Boedker created another moment of Stanley Cup magic, without Smith's larcenous performance in the first. The Hawks challenged early and often, forcing Smith to cover for some of his teammates' early jitters. His save on a partial break by Jonathan Toews seemed to settle the Coyotes down, and set them on their way to a 3-1 series lead.

3. Alexander Semin, Washington Capitals -- It was the sort of goal that very few players are capable of scoring, let alone at the most opportune moment. With the Capitals on the power play in the dying moments of the second period, Semin slid into the face-off circle and fired a wrist shot that found the far corner before All-Star Tim Thomas could flash his lethal glove hand. It proved to be the margin of victory in Washington's series-evening 2-1 win over the Bruins, and seems destined for the highlight reels. "That," said teammate Alex Ovechkin, "was a sick goal."

 
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