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
Simon Gagne, Philadelphia Flyers
Simon Gagne helped the Flyers avoid being swept in the postseason for the first time since 1997. The gifted winger, who was playing for the first time since getting injured in the opening round against New Jersey, tallied the overtime winner in Game 4 and added two goals in Philly's Game 5 win over the Bruins Monday night in Boston.
Vancouver Canucks defense
While the Vancouver forwards failed to produce any kind of attack in their semifinals series against Chicago, the same can't be said about the Canucks' defensemen. The backliners came to play each and every night in the six-game series for the Canucks especially in the last week when the group recorded 13 points in four games off five goals and eight assists.
Sergei Gonchar, Pittsburgh Penguins
Sergei Gonchar led the Penguins to their only win in Week 4 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, posting two points in Pittsburgh's 2-1 victory Saturday night at Mellon Arena. In addition to his one goal and one assist Game 5 effort, Gonchar also picked up two helpers in the Pens' 4-3 loss on Monday.
Antti Niemi, Chicago Blackhawks
Antti Niemi backstopped the Blackhawks into the Western Conference Finals by winning three of his four starts this past week. The Chicago netminder made 106 saves on 116 shots in the four contests, including 29 of 30 in the series clincher on Tuesday night in Vancouver.
Kevin Bieksa, Vancouver Canucks
The play of Kevin Bieksa in Game 5 kept the Canucks breathing for another day. With Vancouver's season on the line, the 28-year-old blueliner potted a pair of goals and added an assist in Sunday night's 4-1 win over Chicago.
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews powered the Blackhawk attack in the fourth week of the NHL playoffs, registering 10 points in three games off four goals and six assists. Chicago's young gun was at his finest in Game 4, notching five points, including his first career postseason hat trick in the Blackhawks' 7-4 win over Vancouver.
Michael Leighton, Philadelphia Flyers
Michael Leighton was lights out for the Flyers in his first action since being injured on March 16 against the Predators. On May 10 in Boston, Leighton entered the Philly crease in relief of an injured Brian Boucher and stopped everything tossed his way in a 4-0 season-saving win over the Bruins. The combined shutout by Boucher and Leighton was just the second in Stanley Cup playoff history since March 22, 1955 when Montreal's Jacques Plante and Charlie Hodge combined to blank the Bruins 2-0.
Michael Cammalleri, Montreal Canadiens
Michael Cammalleri helped the Canadiens force a winner-take-all Game 7 on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. The NHL's top postseason goal-scorer potted two markers in Montreal's 4-3 win over the Penguins Monday night at the Bell Centre, setting up the one-game showdown for the right to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Johan Franzen, Detroit Red Wings
Johan Franzen powered the Red Wings to their only win in their semifinals series against the Sharks. The 30-year-old forward posted six points in Detroit's 7-1 over San Jose last Thursday off four goals and two assists. In the one-sided series, Franzen was Detroit's standout performer, totaling 11 points in the five games off five goals and six assists.
Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
In San Jose's semifinals series win over Detroit, Joe Thornton silenced the critics who said he couldn't get it done in the playoffs. The Sharks' alternate captain netted eight points in five-games against the Wings, including two in the series-decider on May 8 at The Shark Tank.