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Star players

Ryan Kesler's 15 points are tied atop the NHL's playoff scoring race with the ousted Pavel Datsyuk. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Ryan Kesler's 15 points are tied atop the NHL's playoff scoring race with the ousted Pavel Datsyuk. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Throughout the playoffs, THN has been awarding first, second and third stars to the top players in each game, revealing our picks in the Playoff Recaps.

Now that the eventual Stanley Cup champion is halfway there, here are the players who have received the most star points in the playoffs so far.

(When tallying up star points, the First Star of the game earns three, Second Star two and Third Star one.)

1. Ryan Kesler, VAN – 16

His 15 points lead the league as Kesler single-handedly drove the Canucks to the Western Conference final. He is the engine that powers Vancouver’s machine.

2. Tim Thomas, BOS – 12

The Vezina favorite sits second in the league in playoff GAA and SP behind Dwayne Roloson, the goalie he will face in Round 3. Thomas’ numbers are nearly identical to his sparkling regular season levels.

T-2. Pavel Datsyuk, DET - 12

It’s a shame the Red Wings are out, because that means no more Datsyukian magic. The Russian scored at least one point in each game except Game 3 against Phoenix and his 1.36 points per game average is the highest of his playoff career.

T-2. Pekka Rinne, NSH - 12

There’s no question about it, without Rinne the Preds still wouldn't have a playoff series win. He was spectacular in keeping Nashville in games it should have long been out of.

5. Sean Bergenheim, TB - 10

He’s on this list because of a tremendous second round performance in which he earned three, first-star honors. He now has six goals in his past six games.

T-5. Jimmy Howard, DET – 10

Goaltending certainly wasn’t to blame for Detroit’s ouster as Howard was their savior at times. His .923 save percentage was fifth overall and second behind Corey Crawford (.927) among Western goalies.

T-5. Antti Niemi, SJ – 10

He’s either very hot, or very cold, but Niemi has put up enough solid performances to sit as the top Shark. He is the only goalie left with a GAA higher than 3.00, but held the Wings to fewer than three goals in four of the seven games.

T-5. Carey Price, MTL – 10

The fact Price is on this list despite being eliminated in Round 1 says a lot about his performance. The problem was, Price was facing off against another goalie who was fully capable of meeting those standards.

9. Roberto Luongo, VAN – 9

The gold medal-winning goalie got most of his star points early in the Chicago series, but he only allowed Nashville to score more than two goals in one of six games and is quietly finding his composure.

T-9. Shea Weber, NSH – 9

The Preds asked a lot of their captain, who didn’t play fewer than 24:31 since Game 1 of the opening round. Weber was minus-1 and didn’t score a point against Vancouver, but he was a thorn in their side all series. Clearly, the Predators need to re-sign this guy fast.

 

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