Leafs' All-Stars Finish On The Winning Side
Former Ottawa Senators Marian Hossa and Zdeno Chara scored 16 seconds apart in a six-goal third period as the Team Chara downed the crowd favourite Team Alfredsson 12-9 in the NHL all-star game on Sunday.
Tim Thomas, who caused an uproar when he refused to join his Boston teammates on a trip to meet President Barack Obama at the White House, was the winning goaltender as he allowed a mere three goals in the third to Milan Michalek, Claude Giroux and Daniel Sedin.
The teams entered the third period tied 6-6
Alfredsson scored twice, while Jason Spezza, Henrik Sedin, John Tavares Jason Pominville also scored for Team Alfredsson.
Marian Gaborik was named the game's MVP for his hat-trick performance, while Evgeni Malkin and Patrick Kane had the other goals for Team Chara.
The sellout crowd included Prime Minister Steven Harper, who spent much of the game chatting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
The game was played without marquee players Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin.
Crosby is still out with head and neck injuries, while Ovechkin declined his all-star invitation after he was handed a three-game suspension for a high hit.
It was typical all-star fare, with players trying to put on a show with fancy play but without getting hurt. There was no battling on the boards that might pull a groin or twist a knee, or blasts from the point that may break a foot.
But the fans were into it, especially when cheering on the four Ottawa Senators on Alfredsson's squad and booing the three Toronto Maple Leafs on Team Chara: Kessel, Lupul and Dion Phaneuf.
Team Chara looked on its way to a rout with three goals in the opening 10:09 of play as Gaborik scored twice and Malkin added another against Henrik Lundqvist.
But the crowd got its wish as the Senators Spezza tipped Dan Girardi's shot past Jimmy Howard to put Team Alfredsson on the board and Tavares and Stamkos scored to tie the game after 20 minutes.
Phaneuf played the villain to the hilt as he tripped Stamkos to draw only the second penalty shot in all-star game history at the 16:33 mark. The Tampa Bay sniper tried a spin-a-rama move, but lost control of the puck and was stopped easily by Howard.
The first penalty shot was at last year's game in Carolina, when Ovechkin threw his stick in a bid to stop a Matt Duchene breakaway. Duchene was stopped by Lundqvist, and an unapologetic Ovechkin later joked that "I'm in history again."
Goalie Carey Price joked to a rinkside interviewer he felt like "a lamb being led to slaughter" as he took over the Alfredsson net in the second period and it took Gaborik only 1:23 to beat him for the hat trick.
There were boos as Kessel and Lupul combined to beat Price only 2:10 later before Pominville got one back against Jonathan Quick.
The crowd roared as Alfredsson split the defence _ more like the defence moved out of the way _ and went in alone to tie it 5-5 and then he finished a tic-tac-toe play with Vancouver's Sedin twins with a goal from the slot to give his team it's first lead at 16:04.
But Kane tied it again for Team Chara as he was left alone to slip on between Price's pads.
Notes: Alfredsson got his wish by skating in the second period with Vancouver's Sedin twins. He started the game with fellow Sens Spezza and Michalek... Keith Yandle gave Chara a light bump along the boards in the first frame and Scott Hartnell put something that almost looked like a body check on Jamie Benn in the second... Chara had a record 108.8 mile per hour blast in the skills competition Saturday night, and when he wound up in the slot in the middle period, Team Alfie's Shea Weber moved out of the way. Chara only faked the shot and tried a deke.