Zidlicky, Quick, Henrique earn Sunday's Three Stars
Marek Zidlicky keyed the Devils' first-period comeback in Game 4
Jonathan Quick improved to 8-1 with 23 saves in a clinching win
Adam Henrique was a force for the Devils at both ends of the ice
1. Marek Zidlicky, Devils. In the weeks following his acquisition from Minnesota, Zidlicky didn't exactly win over New Jersey's fans. The promised offense was mostly absent and his defensive game? Let's just say it could be an adventure.
Ah, but that was weeks ago. Sunday, all was forgiven after Zidlicky keyed a first-period comeback in the Devils' 4-2 win in Game 4. He keyed their opening tally on the power play, threading a pass through two defenders and onto the tape of Petr Sykora at the side of the Philly net for an easy tap-in. Minutes later, he provided the finish on a play that originated spectacularly off the stick of Ilya Kovalchuk for the first playoff goal of his career.
The effort probably provoked a few cheers from fans of the Wild as well. If New Jersey wins one more game and advances to the Eastern Conference final, the Devils have to add a third-round pick to the sizable bounty already shipped to Minnesota for his services.
2. Jonathan Quick, Kings. Is it too early to say we have a Conn Smythe candidate emerging? Quick looks the part after his 23-save performance backed the Kings to a 3-1 win and a sweep of the St. Louis Blues. Now 8-1 in the postseason, Quick yielded just six goals in the series. He was rarely tested Sunday, but made the stops he had to, pushing Los Angeles to its first Western Conference final appearance since 1993.
3. Adam Henrique, Devils. He may lack the upside of fellow Calder nominees Gabriel Landeskog or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but if you needed to win a game right now, you'd have to take Henrique. His complete game was on display, particularly as he forced three Flyers to trip, interfere with or hold him as he rampaged in the Philly zone. He was diligent defensively -- when isn't he? -- and made a nice play on the winning goal, recovering a pass that had been deflected into the corner and drawing Braydon Coburn to him, freeing up Dainius Zubrus to score the eventual winner on an unmolested wrister.
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