Thursday's Three Stars: The Mule kicks Ducks aside

No. 1 star, Johan Franzen(notes), Detroit Red Wings:
The Mule came out kicking on Thursday night. Franzen scored two goals and added an assist as the Red Wings won a game that sends the second-round series back to Detroit tied 2-2. Franzen tied the game at 11:49 of the opening period with his fifth goal of the playoffs. He put the visitors up 2-1 just 36 seconds before the first intermission with an even-strength goal. And he provided the only assist on Marian Hossa's(notes) go-ahead goal at 16:02 of the second period.

No. 2 star, Andrew Ladd(notes), Chicago Blackhawks:
The veteran forward came up big late for the hosts, assisting on the game-tying goal in regulation and planting himself in front to tip Dave Bolland's(notes) turn-around shot from the boards past Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo(notes) 2:52 into sudden death.

No. 3 star, Marian Hossa, Detroit Red Wings:
Quiet in recent games, the goal-scoring vet found the back of the net twice on his six shots to help Detroit rout Anaheim.

Major penalty: The Canucks had two chances to take complete control of their second-round series and blew it both times. Vancouver couldn't shut the desperate Blackhawks down the final three minutes of regulation when a franchise-first 1-0 win in the playoffs would have meant a 3-1 series lead. Then with a similar chance in overtime, the Canucks got outshot 4-1 and skated off with a momentum-changing defeat. Vancouver managed only 15 shots in the game.

Minor penalty: Ducks coach Randy Carlyle yanked Jonas Hiller(notes) early in the third period to get an early start on resting up for Sunday's Game 5, but he might as well have lifted the goalie for not playing very well. Hiller looked human for the first time in these playoffs, allowing five goals on 33 shots.

Conn Smythe Watch: (The Top 10) 1. Alexander Ovechkin(notes), Capitals; 2. Johan Franzen, Red Wings; 3. Sidney Crosby(notes), Penguins; 4. Roberto Luongo, Canucks; 5. Ryan Getzlaf(notes), Ducks; 6. Can Ward, Hurricanes; 7. Simeon Varlamov(notes), Capitals; 8. Jonas Hiller, Ducks; 9. Tim Thomas(notes), Bruins; 10. Marian Hossa, Red Wings.

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