This article was originally published on Hockey Primetime .
First Star: Ryan Miller, USA
Ryan Miller could very well go on to win the Vezina and Hart Trophies this season, but last night’s game would be the game for which many hockey fans in the US would remember him.
Miller survived Team Canada’s barrage of shots, making 42 saves to give the US a stunning 5-3 upset victory over the juggernaut Canadians. While it wasn’t the most important game Team USA will play all tournament, it was certainly the most important it had played so far, and the win has given them a bye in the quarter finals.
Second Star: Evgeni Malkin, Russia
After faltering against Slovakia, questions began to sneak into the Russian’s minds. Malkin, along with Alexander Ovechkin and Pavel Datsyuk, put those questions to rest against a strong Czech team. Malkin opened the scoring in both the first and third periods. His goal in the third would end up being the game winner, and he also added an assist on Datsyuk’s empty-netter to end the game and seal the Russians victory in their pool.
Third Star: Nicklas Backstrom, Sweden
While Backstrom is having a stellar season for the Washington Capitals, there is no doubt he is making a name for himself in this tournament. The young Swedish playmaker assisted on both of Loui Eriksson’s goals and added one more of his own in Sweden’s 3-0 shutout of its rival Finns, in a rematch of the 2006 gold medal game. Backstrom’s one goal and four assists in the tournament have him tied for the scoring lead.