A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

East, Staal, win All-Star game

On Sunday night, the Eastern Conference won the All-Star game 8-7, and Eric Staal took home the MVP honors.

In the first period, Rick Nash scored against Rick DiPietro just 12 seconds in. Eric Staal scored one minute later, then the East got unanswered goals from Andrei Markov and Brian Campbell, who scored once each, and Alexander Ovechkin, who scored twice against Chris Osgood. The East had what looked like a commanding 5-2 lead. However, the West wasn't ready to throw in the towel.

In the second frame, the West got the only two goals when Rick Nash and Scott Niedermayer tallied against Tomas Vokoun.

The third was high-flying. The West got a goal from Ryan Getzlaf and Rick Nash completed his hat trick with a nifty breakaway where he backed in against Tim Thomas. Suddenly, the game was tied. The East got a goal against Manny Legace from Maid Marian Hossa on a beautiful give-and-go with Scott Gomez to retake the lead 6-5.
The West got two more unanswered goals from Dion Phaneuf and Marion Gaborik to take a 7-6 lead.
The East, however, would prevail. Eric Staal tied it and the former Thrasher Marc Savard got the game-winner at 19:39.

I thought the MVP could have gone to any number of players. Rick Nash had three goals. Alex Ovechkin had two goals. Brian Campbell had a goal and two assists. The Versus crew thought Evgeni Nabokov deserved MVP consideration for pitching a second period shutout, but he only faced eight shots. He made two remarkable saves against Ilya Kovalchuk, but aside from that, he didn't have to work at all.

Eric Staal had two goals and had an assist on the game-winner. He was given the MVP award and the keys to a car that he'll never drive.

I wasn't far off the mark with my 9-7 prediction, or with my Ovechkin as MVP prediction. It easily could have been. If he had scored an empty netter in the closing seconds, I would have been dead on.

All the All-Star game camaraderie will now come to a screeching halt. Guys from rival teams have been hanging out together and getting along with each other for the past couple of days, but now it is time for the regular season to recommence.

There is no better way for the hostilities to restart than a game with the Rangers. Carolina will have some business to finish with Messrs. Orr and Avery. Also, there will be the "brother against brother" Staal show. See the classic 1985 television commercial below for a nice blast from the past.

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