The plays that turn the tide in every game of playoff action -- that is what the beauty of hockey history is built on.
Check back every night following all the 2009 playoff action to witness NHL.com's game-changing moment from each game, as well as the rest of each game's goals, saves and hits.
You can vote on the night's best Game Changer. Cast your votes after the night's action.
Thanks to all who voted -- and enjoy the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs!
Anaheim at Detroit - Game 1
A) With the game deadlocked at 2-2 and under a minute to go in regulation, Norris Trophy nominee and Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom sent the Joe Louis faithful into a frenzy.
Daniel Cleary picked up the puck along the boards in the Anaheim zone, feedng a pass to Lidstrom, who one-timed the puck on goal from the top of the circle. Jonas Hiller made the initial save with Johan Franzen screening him in front, but the rebound was left for Lidstrom to pounce on. The Detroit captain slid the puck through the legs of Hiller with 49.1 seconds remaining, giving Detroit a late one-goal lead in a very evenly-played game.
Lidstrom finished the contest with two goals and an assist, clearly the most dominant player in a 3-2 Red Wings victory over the Ducks in Game 1.
B) Just a few moments before Lidstrom's game-winner that negated what seemed to be a march to overtime, Chris Osgood saved the Wings' skin with a doorstep save. Anaheim's Erik Christensen slid a sneaky behind the back pass from behind the net to an incoming Teemu Selanne. But the Finnish Flash's point blank range shot was stuffed by Osgood, who stayed square and calmly slid to his left for the stop and cover-up.
FINAL SCORE: Red Wings 3, Ducks 2
Carolina at Boston - Game 1
Boston was nursing a 2-1 lead midway through the second period when Michael Ryder
intercepted a pass intended for Joe Corvo
in the neutral zone. As Carolina hurried to defend the transition, Ryder flew down the left wing with Blake Wheeler
rushing in on his right to create the two-on-one. Using defenseman Denis Seidenberg as a screen, Ryder wristed a shot past Cam Ward
, giving Boston a 3-1 advantage.
The Bruins would increase their lead to 4-1 on Marc Savard
's second goal of the night, but Ryder's tally was the one that allowed them to pull away in their Game 1 win over the Hurricanes.
Boston was holding onto a 3-1 lead early in the third period when Ray Whitney
took the puck between the faceoff circles and passed to Eric Staal
, who was waiting on the right side of the crease to put the puck in the net. Tim Thomas
managed to move to the pipe and get his left pad on the shot, deflecting it into the corner and preventing a sure goal.
Had Staal tallied it would have completely changed the tenor of the final 14 minutes, but Thomas' save kept the Bruins in control of Game 1.
FINAL SCORE: Bruins 4, Hurricanes 1