Unlikely NHL Playoff Heroes

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Photo: Graig Abel and Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Daniel Paille and Andrew Shaw

Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks: 2013

Role players dwell in the shadows of stars, but have a way of finding the spotlight in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Cup finalists Boston and Chicago both have supporting casts that are making names for themselves. Versatile, swift-skating Bruins winger Daniel Paille is a member of what is regarded as the NHL's best fourth line, a key to Boston's postseason success in 2013. Moved to a new third line in Game 2 of the final, he scored in overtime to tie the series and then tallied what proved to be the winner in the Bruins' 2-0 win in Game 3. The Hawks got clutch contributions from winger Bryan Bickell, center Michal Handzus, and defenseman Johnny Oduya during their run to the final. Once there, agitating energy winger Andrew Shaw, a 2011 fifth-round pick who'd been passed over in two previous NHL Drafts, earned a measure of fame when he scored to end the epic 3-OT Game 1.

Here's a look at some other notable unexpected playoff heroes of the past.

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