Every April, at the conclusion of the regular season, 16 teams begin a 60-day quest to win the Stanley Cup. Each year, during this two-month span, certain players take their games to another level, hoping to bring their team and city an NHL championship. For the next eight weeks, FOXSports.com will spotlight the top 10 postseason performances from the previous week, highlighting the special plays from these clutch performers. How did your favorite playoff player do last week? Did he step up and stand out during the pressure-packed contests? Read on to find out. -- Robert Picarello
Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Penguins
While the rest of the Penguins were ice cold in Game 7 last Wednesday against the Canadiens, Chris Kunitz remained hot. The 30-year-old winger potted one of only two goals that got by Montreal's Jaroslav Halak in the Habs' 5-2 win. Kunitz finished tied for third on the Penguins in playoff scoring with 11 points in 13 games off four goals and seven assists.
Milan Lucic, Boston Bruins
Milan Lucic scored three of the Bruins' final five goals of the 2010 postseason, including two in Boston's 4-3, Game 7 loss to the Flyers. Along with Miro Satan, Lucic had the second-most goals for the Bs in the playoffs, tallying five on 24 shots in 13 games.
Daniel Briere, Philadelphia Flyers
Daniel Briere heated up at the right time for the Flyers. The center buried six goals in four games, including game-winners in Game 6 of the conference semifinals against the Bruins and Game 2 of the conference finals against the Canadiens.
Dustin Byfuglien, Chicago Blackhawks
Dustin Byfuglien helped the Blackhawks get out to a 2-0 lead in their Conference Finals series against the San Jose Sharks. First, the Minneapolis native recorded the game-winner in the opener on Sunday, scoring the tie-breaking goal for Chicago with 6:45 remaining in regulation. He followed that effort up by tallying a marker in the Blackhawks' 4-2 win over the Sharks Tuesday night.
Jaroslav Halak, Montreal Canadiens
By stopping 37 of the 39 shots he faced last Wednesday in Game 7 versus Pittsburgh, Jaroslav Halak made sure the Penguins didn't have a chance to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. The Montreal netminder kept two of Pittsburgh's biggest guns, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, off the score sheet, denying the dynamic duo on all 11 shots they fired his way in the surprising win.
Simon Gagne, Philadelphia Flyers
In Game 7 last Friday night in Boston, the stick of Simon Gagne powered the Flyers back into the Eastern Conference Finals. The 30-year-old forward's power play goal with 7:08 left in regulation capped off Philly's stunning come-from-behind victory over the Bruins in a game Philadelphia once trailed by three goals.
Brian Gionta, Montreal Canadiens
Brian Gionta was one of the main reasons the Canadiens were able to upset the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The high-scoring winger picked up eight points (5G, 3A) in the seven-game series, including two tallies in the series-clinching win on May 12 in Pittsburgh.
Evgeni Nabokov, San Jose Sharks
Evgeni Nabokov did everything in his power to try and keep the Sharks from going down 1-0 in their best-of-seven series against the Blackhawks. In Game 1, the 34-year-old goaltender turned away 38 of the 40 shots he faced in San Jose's 2-1 loss to Chicago.
Antti Niemi, Chicago Blackhawks
While Evgeni Nabokov was great for the Sharks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, Antti Niemi was better. The Chicago target stopped all but one of the 45 chances he faced in the nail-biting, opening game victory in San Jose. Niemi was also sharp in Game 2, turning away 25 of the 27 shots he faced in the 4-2 win.
Michael Leighton, Philadelphia Flyers
In the past week, Michael Leighton won all four of his starts, helping Philadelphia advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since the 2007-08 season. After sending the Bruins home for the summer with back-to-back one-goal victories, Leighton turned away everything the Habs threw his way in Games 1 and 2, stopping a combined 58 shots in the two wins. Leighton is the first Flyers goalkeeper to record back-to-back blankings since Bernie Parent did it in Games 2 and 3 of the 1975 quarterfinals against the Maple Leafs.