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Archive for Thursday, January 25, 2007

Veterans shine in West’s win

January 25, 2007

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— Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin will have to wait to dominate an All-Star game. The young sensations surely will get their chance.

This night belonged to one of the NHL's old stars.

Colorado's Joe Sakic, making his 12th All-Star appearance, had four assists to lead the Western Conference to a 12-9 victory Wednesday night.

Well traveled Yanic Perreault of Phoenix, Columbus' Rick Nash, Minnesota's Brian Rolston and Martin Havlat of Chicago each had two goals for the West squad.

Daniel Briere, one of three starters from Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo, had a goal and four assists and was selected the MVP.

The league's first midseason showcase since 2004 was a high-scoring affair, befitting post-lockout rules and new streamlined uniforms designed, in part, to make the players faster.

"It was a wide-open game with a lot of goals," said Sakic, who captained the West squad. "I don't know what more you want."

Maybe some more from the flashy young duo that's being compared to Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.

Crosby and Ovechkin started on the same line and played most of the game together for the Eastern Conference, but just never could get into the flow. Ovechkin's goal in the second period was the only point between them.

"There were 21 goals, you think I would have had one," Crosby said, jokingly. "I guess it wasn't meant to be. I had a few chances, it just didn't work out."

On several shifts, Ovechkin gave up the puck to Crosby, who still managed only three shots.

"I tried to help him. Next All-Star game, it will happen," Ovechkin said. "There were a couple of times I normally would have shot. But I wanted to play for the fans. I tried to help him, but it didn't work."

Calgary's Dion Phaneuf, left, challenges the New York Islanders' Jason Blake. The West won the NHL All-Star game, 12-9, on Wednesday night in Dallas.

Calgary's Dion Phaneuf, left, challenges the New York Islanders' Jason Blake. The West won the NHL All-Star game, 12-9, on Wednesday night in Dallas.

The 19-year-old Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who was the top vote-getter for the All-Star game, leads the NHL in scoring with 72 points. Ovechkin, the 21-year-old Moscow native, was Rookie of the Year last season and has 65 points this season for Washington. His 29 goals is one shy of the league lead.

Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara, at 6-foot-9 the tallest player in NHL history, scored two goals for the East squad.

Neither Crosby nor Ovechkin were in the NHL when the last All-Star game was played, before the lockout and then the Olympics last year put the game on the shelf. They were among 20 first-time All-Stars.

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