Joe Thornton --
His game-winning goal with 9.4 seconds left in Game 4 was arguably the biggest of his life. The big center set the tone early in Game 7 against the Flames by breaking a scoreless tie midway through the first period. With two goals and five assists, Thornton is now 4-22-26 in 29 playoff games with San Jose. He will undoubtedly play a huge role against the Stars.
Evgeni Nabokov --
Wasn’t as good as he can be against the Flames, but he was still good enough to help San Jose advance to the second round of the playoffs. After playing the most minutes of any goalie in the League, the All-Star tacked four more postseason wins on to his resume, giving him 28 in his career.
Patrick Marleau --
The Sharks’ captain picked up his game in the first-round victory over Calgary after going just 19-29-48 during the regular season. Marleau, who had six points (two goals, four assists) over the seven games against Calgary, has always possessed the ability to dominate a game. It’s simply a matter of the 6-foot-2, 220-pound center digging down for that something extra.
Mike Ribeiro --
The $25 million man was worth every penny in the opening round, notching eight points in six games. He also enjoyed a career regular season with new highs for goals, assists and plus-minus rating. Terrific playmaker with a scoring touch.
Brenden Morrow --
The gritty captain led by example, notching three goals and three assists against the Ducks, while racking up 16 minutes in penalties. Anaheim paid dearly for Morrow’s abilities on the power play, as all three of his goals came with the man advantage.
Marty Turco --
The Stars’ netminder picked up where he left off last postseason, when he could hardly be blamed for the team’s first-round loss to the Vancouver Canucks
. In six games against the Ducks, Turco posted a 2.01 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage.