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GAME CHANGER winners - 4/15 to 4/20

Thursday, 04.16.2009 / 10:37 AM / 2009 Playoffs Conference Quarterfinals

NHL.com

Welcome to the Game Changer Results page. You check out the clips, you vote, and we'll announce your choice as best Game Changer of the night each morning right here, and only on NHL.com.

Be sure to check back each night, as we present a fresh batch of Game Changer efforts, and each morning, as we present the winners. And be sure to vote early and often, to let your voice be heard for the most important play, as chosen by the fans, of each night of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

4/19 winner: New Jersey at Carolina - Game 3 | Watch the nominees

 

New Jersey had surrendered two leads, as Carolina came back to force overtime. But with just under five minutes in, Zach Parise skated around a pokecheck by Chad LaRose and centered a puck that landed on the tape of Travis Zajac's stick.

Zajac was stopped on a strong save by Cam Ward, but he deposited the rebound in the top shelf of the net, ending the second consecutive OT game between the Devils and Hurricanes. As the RBC Center fell silent, Zajac celebrated only his second career playoff goal, one that handed home ice advantage in the series back to New Jersey.

FINAL SCORE: Devils 3, Hurricanes 2 (OT)








4/18 winner: Calgary at Chicago - Game 2 | Watch the nominees

 

The Blackhawks were looking for a spark after leaving the ice down 2-0 after one period. Captain Jonathan Toews responded.

Just 46 seconds into the second period, Patrick Sharp faked a slap shot from the sideboards and slid a perfect pass to Toews, who lifted the puck past Miikka Kiprusoff for a power-play goal that made it 2-1. Toews' first career playoff season goal gave the Blackhawks life. It was a huge momentum shift that got the raucous United Center crowd back into the game and sparked Chicago to a come-from-behind 3-2 win.

FINAL SCORE: Blackhawks 3, Flames 2










4/17 winner: Philadelphia at Pittsburgh - Game 2 | Watch the nominees

With the Penguins feeling the pressure of the series being knotted up at 1-1, Marc-Andre Fleury came through to give the Penguins hope. 

As the Penguins trailed 2-1 with under nine minutes to go in the third period, the Flyers' Jeff Carter skated in a two-on-one with Joffrey Lupul on his right wing. Carter threaded the puck to Lupul, who quickly gave it back to Carter, who was staring at an empty net. Out of nowhere, Marc-Andre Fleury slid across the goal line for a huge skate-blade save to prevent a two-goal deficit. The Pens tied the score on the power play minutes later and eventually won the game in OT. But without this Fleury gem, Philly may likely have held on to knot the series at 1-1. 

FINAL SCORE: Penguins 3, Flyers 2 (OT)











4/16 winner: Calgary at Chicago - Game 1 | Watch the nominees

The Hawks had put one quality shot after another on Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff throughout the third period, and the Finnish netminder turned them all aside as the Flames looked to protect a 2-1 lead. But Martin Havlat split two defenders in front of the net with 5:33 remaining and fired a shot on goal, banging in his own rebound into the far side of the net to knot the score and force a wild five minutes of play to end regulation.

Havlat would light the lamp again for the winner, just 12 seconds into overtime, but his game-tying score late in the third period would alter the course of the evening, giving Chicago a thrilling win in Game 1 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal.

FINAL SCORE: Blackhawks 3, Flames 2 (OT)











4/15 winner: NY Rangers at Washington - Game 1 | Watch the nominees

In an up-and-down battle all game, Brandon Dubinsky engineered an unbelievable finish for the Rangers.

Tied at 3-3 with 8:17 left in the third period, the Capitals were on a power play looking to regain the lead after trailing by two goals. After an exhausting penalty kill by the Rangers, Markus Naslund stepped out of the box and caught a pass at mid-ice. He handed it over to Brandon Dubinsky who skated across the Washington blueline and slid the puck between Jeff Schultz's legs. After getting by Schultz, Dubinsky moved in on Jose Theodore and beat him with a snap shop to the top corner.

The Rangers grabbed the lead and held on for the 4-3 victory over the Capitals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

FINAL SCORE: Rangers 4, Capitals 3

Quote of the Day

It's a little different but it feels amazing. A new chapter in my life and I'm excited. It's been amazing. Better than I expected. The weather is great, the place is just amazing. I can't say enough good things about it. I'm glad to get the season going.

— Ryan Kesler on his transition to the Anaheim Ducks