By Jay Clemons, SI.com
1. Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings: No Johan Franzen? No problem. Detroit may have been missing its playoff scoring machine -- who was on a Gretzky-like tear (an NHL-high 12 goals) before sitting out Game 3 to injury -- but it still had the quiet brilliance of Datsyuk on Monday night. On a 4-on-4 in the first period, the Russian center stroked a beautiful backhand shot past Dallas goalie Marty Turco at 9:27, giving the Red Wings a 1-0 lead. Six minutes later, with the score tied at 1, Datsyuk took a sly give-and-go sprint-pass from Tomas Holmstrom (who deserves special mention for flustering the Stars throughout the series) and jammed the puck through Turco's legs for the second goal. For good measure, Datsyuk added a late goal at 17:19 of the third period, thus prompting Dallas fans to head for the exits.
2. Henrik Zetterberg, Red Wings: Datsyuk gets top billing tonight, for sure. But no one had a better two-way performance than Zetterberg. He fed linemate extraordinaire Datysuk for Detroit's first goal. He then made former Conn Smythe winner Brad Richards look like a sieve (off an open-ice double-deke) on the way to a shorthanded goal early in the third period. And later on, with the outcome academic (4-2), Zetterberg went into the corners and out-scrapped three Stars for the puck before dishing the primary assist on Patsyuk's third goal of the evening. All told, Zetterberg and Patsyuk combined for six points and a plus-7 rating.
3. Brian Rafalski, Red Wings: Rafalski's table-setting excellence in Game 3 alone -- tallying assists in Datsyuk's first two goals -- was enough to merit a spot in this countdown. But he, along with Nicklas Lidstrom, helped anchor a dominating Detroit defense corps that allowed only 15 shots in the first 45 minutes, even though Dallas enjoyed six power plays during that span. After that, the Red Wings blueliners improvised a schoolyard-like game of Keep Away, preventing the Stars from holding the puck for long stretches, while draining the clock, without incident.