Miller, Varlamov top Wednesday's Three Stars
Ryan Miller, Sabres: He let in the last goal, and took a hard-luck L as a result, but Miller's performance Wednesday night in Boston illustrated why he's the best in the game. With the Sabres' defense making ill-timed pinches or simply struggling to hold its ground against the fired-up B's, Miller crafted at least four highlight reel gems in extra time alone to keep Buffalo alive. His larcenous glove stop on Miroslav Satan's backhand bid in the first OT might have been the best save of the postseason.
Semyon Varlamov, Capitals: Coaches always talk up the need for a 60-minute effort, but all Varlamov needed was 20 to power Washington to a 6-3 win over the Habs and give his team a 3-1 stranglehold in their series. The sophomore stopper withstood a ferocious Montreal assault in the second period, blocking 20 of 21 shots to keep the badly outplayed Caps in the contest. With his defense scrambling out of position, Varlamov brought the spectacular while denying several short-range bids, including a couple of memorable glove stops on Tomas Plekanec and Mike Cammalleri.
Alexander Ovechkin, Capitals: Offering his most inspired hockey of these playoffs -- you don't suppose he's watching the magic of No. 87 on his off nights, do you? -- Ovechkin keyed the explosive re-birth of the Caps' offense. Despite the persistent presence of Montreal's checkers, OV netted a pair on the night, including Washington's first power play goal of the playoffs in the opening stanza, and a tie-breaking wrister in the third that stunned Carey Price and likely chased him from the series.
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