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By Allan Muir, SI.com

1, Phil Kessel, Boston Bruins: He chipped in with a pair of goals to power the Bruins to a Game 7 confrontation Monday with the Habs, including an ankle-breaking move early in the second period that left veteran defender Francois Bouillon scrambling for his cup while Kessel deposited the equalizer behind a slack-jawed Carey Price.

2. Cristobal Huet, Washington Capitals: For the second consecutive game, Huet gave the Capitals a chance to win one they could easily have lost. While his mates floundered against a demonstrated third-period assault by the Flyers, he turned in a remarkably composed performance, highlighted by 20 saves in that furious final stanza.

3. Jose Theodore, Colorado Avalanche: His counterpart, Niklas Backstrom, might have been more spectacular, but Theodore did exactly what he had to do — allow one less goal in a 2-1 Colorado victory. Arguably the year’s best comeback story, Theodore stopped 34 of 35 shots as the Avs eliminated the Wild and moved on to the second round.

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