No. 1 star, Sami Salo, Vancouver Canucks:
The veteran defenseman recognized the Canucks had the Blackhawks outnumbered late in regulation and joined an odd-man rush that led to his scoring the tie-breaking and winning goal. Salo was in perfect position to punch home a rebound left on Steve Bernier's shot. It was Salo's second goal of the postseason, both counting as game winners.
No. 2 star, Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks:
The second-year forward scored twice within 10:10 of the third period to rally the Blackhawks from a 3-0 deficit to within 3-2. Kane was patient on his first goal that came 61 seconds into the third period, skating through the slot and waiting for Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to commit before beating him high. Kane was unmarked at the side of the net for goal No. 2, a power-play strike, in which he slid a rebound on the ice between the near post and Luongo's left skate.
No. 3 star, Kyle Wellwood, Vancouver Canucks:
The former Maple Leaf paid a sacrifice in Game 1, twice no less. He took accidental high sticks across the left eyebrow and in the chops – the second of which meant the loss of a "partial" tooth. In addition to drawing the equivalent of five minor penalties, Wellwood went on to provide assists on Vancouver's first and third goals.
Major penalty: Blackhawks defenseman Cam Barker picked the wrong time of the game to gamble. His decision to pinch with the score tied 3-3 late in the third period backfired as he was late to get back and help lone D partner Matt Walker prevent the Canucks from converting a 3-on-1 break into the game-winning goal.
Minor penalty: Chicago is going to have to be more disciplined in the series. The visitors put Vancouver on the power play seven times in the opening 40 minutes.
Conn Smythe Watch: (The Top 10) 1. Roberto Luongo, Canucks; 2. Evgeni Malkin, Penguins; 3. Ryan Getzlaf, Ducks; 4. Alexander Semin, Capitals; 5. Sidney Crosby, Penguins; 6. Eric Staal, Hurricanes; 7. Jonas Hiller, Ducks; 8. Chris Osgood, Red Wings; 9. Phil Kessel, Bruins; 10. Patrick Kane, Blackhawks.