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NHL Three Stars: Blues take Game 7; Preds stay alive

No. 1 Star: Troy Brouwer, St. Louis Blues

The veteran forward was the hero for the Blues in their 3-2 Game 7 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Brouwer scored the game-winning goal at the 8:31 mark of the third period. Brouwer also played 18:13 in the game. It was his first goal in his last 24 postseason games. The Blues hadn’t won a Game 7 since the first-round of the 1999 playoffs against the then-Phoenix Coyotes. Chicago forced Game 7 by coming back from being down 3-1 in the series. St. Louis had been ousted in the postseason's first-round the last three years.  

No. 2 Star: Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues

After two straight subpar performances in Games 5 and 6, Elliott was superb in Game 7, stopping 31 of 33 shots on goal to help the Blues to their series win over the Blackhawks. In the prior two games, he had allowed nine goals. Elliott finished the first-round of the postseason with a 2.40 goal-against average and .929 save percentage.

No. 3 Star: James Neal, Nashville Predators

Neal scored for the first time since the first minute of Game 1 to help the Predators to a 3-1 Game 6 victory over the Ducks. The win pushed the series to a decisive Game 7 on Wednesday. Neal’s goal proved the game-winner. It was his third career playoff game-winning goal.

Honorable Mention: Blues defenseman Colton Parayko scored a goal … St. Louis forward Jori Lehtera also scored … Chicago forward Marian Hossa scored his third goal of the playoffs and the 52nd postseason goal of his career … Andrew Shaw also scored for Chicago … Mattias Ekholm scored his second goal of the playoffs for Nashville … Ryan Johansen picked up an assist on Neal’s goal … Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler scored his third goal of the playoffs. It was the Ducks’ only goal … Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne stopped 26 of 27 shots on goal … Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis had one assist and was a plus-2.

Did You Know? Wednesday’s Game 7 between the Predators and Ducks is the first in Nashville’s franchise history.

Dishonorable Mention: Anaheim forward Corey Perry was a minus-3 … Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen lost for the first time this playoff … Chicago’s Patrick Kane was a minus-3.

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