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Posted On Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 6:37 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-Star Game live blog

Seesaw match

The lead just keeps changing down the stretch.

After Eric Staal tied it at 7-7, Defenseman Kris Letang scored on a ripper of a shot to give the Staals a 8-7 lead. But the Lidstroms would not go away, scoiring two goals 46 seconds apart to retake the lead at 9-8. Danny Briere ended Henrik Lundqvist's masterful run by beating the Rangers goalie at the far post. Then, Jonathon Toews re-staked the Lidstroms to the lead -- just its second of the game.

It should be an interesting final eight minutes.
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Posted On Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 6:25 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-Star Game live blog

Hometown hero

Eric Staal didn't have much of an impact in the first two periods, but the Team Staal captain -- and hometown hero -- picked an opportune time to break out, scoring a breakaway goal to tie the game at 7-7.

Set free on a pass from Corey Perry, Staal broke in a lone and slid a shot between the legs of Tim Thomas, who started the third period as the Team Lidstrom goalie.

Amazingly, Team Staal goalie Henrik Lundqvist kept the game tied when he stoned Matt Duchene on a penalty shot, the first in the history of the All-Star Game.

Duchene was awarded a penalty shot because Team Staal's Alex Ovechkin threw his stick at Duchene to try and foil his original breakaway.


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Posted On Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 6:06 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-Star Game live blog

Overtime rules

With only one goal separating the two teams and just one period remaining, I'm sure many of you are thinking overtime and wondering if there is a special format for this special game.

The answer is no. It is the same overtime format that the League uses in the regular season. That means the two teams will play five minutes of 4-on-4 overtime (boy should there be some offensive chances in that scenario). If nobody scores, the game will go to a shootout. Coaches will be have to pick three shooters and can also name any of their three goalies to take part in the contest.
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Posted On Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 5:57 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-Star Game live blog

End of two

The second period is done and a fantastic finish looms as Team Lidstrom holds a 7-6 lead.

The highlight of the second intermission promises to be the Guardian Project segment. I was here Saturday for the dress rehearsal and the piece is pretty captivating.

Soon, members of the media will be asked to vote for the MVP (fans have been texting all game and will have a 25-percent say in the vote) and it will be a tough decision to say the least.

My picks right now are Anze Kopitar for Team Lidstrom and Patrick Sharp  for Team Staal.
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Posted On Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 5:51 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-Star Game live blog

What a comeback!

Team Staal might be stronger starters, but Team Lidstrom are fantastic finishers.

The Lidstroms have ripped off three unanswered goals to take a 7-6 lead. Danny Briere picked the far corner against Carey Price to give Team Lidstrom its first lead after almost 35 minutes of play. Team Lidstrom was down 4-0 in this game and 6-4 in the second period.
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Posted On Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 5:42 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-Star Game live blog

Reason to give

All-Star Games are famous for their wide-open play.

But, you won't see a more wide-open goal than the one Anze Kopitar scored for Team Lidstrom to make the game 5-4.

Kopitar and Loui Eriksson broke in on a 2-on-0 without a Team Staal defender even in the defensive zone. Not surprisingly, Kopitar converted but not until he had executed a give-give-give-and-go with the Stars Center.

By the way, we are more than half way through the game and the contest's first offsides was just whistled.
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Posted On Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 5:34 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-Star Game live blog

Team Staal on the rise

Team Staal certainly starts fast.

After scoring the first four goals of the game, in less than 10 minutes, Team Staal scored the first two goals of the second period in less than six minutes.

Chicago's Patrick Sharp, making a strong push for MVP honors, opened the scoring by adding a goal to his two first-period assists. For a while Sharp had three assists, but one was taking away in a scoring change.

Then, Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang rifled a shot from the high slot that found the underside of the crossbar and left Jonas Hiller without a prayer to give Team Staal a 6-4 lead.

At the other end, Carey Price made several strong saves to keep Team Lidstrom off the board for the first 10 minutes. Perhaps the highlight was a save against Jonathon Toews at the mid-point.




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Posted On Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 5:24 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-Star Game live blog

First goals

There were eight goals scored in the first period and, amazingly, seven were first-time All-Star goals for the player that scored it.

Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring with his fifth career All-Star Goal -- in his fourth game -- but then it was time for a number of players to get onto the scoring act.

Paul Stastny, Patrik Elias, Claude Giroux, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Byfuglien, Loui Eriksson and Matt Duchene all found the net for the first time as All-Stars. All but Elias and Kopitar are making their first All-Star appearances.

By the way, the goalies have changed. Carey Price is now playing for Team Staal, while Jonas Hiller is in for Team Lidstrom.


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Posted On Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 5:02 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-Star Game live blog

End of first

A very entertaining first period is now in the books and it ap;pears that the Chicago Blackhawks are trying to steal the Thunder from the hometown Hurricanes.

Chicago winger Patrick Sharp has three assists for Team Staal and Jonathon Toews has a goal for Team Lidstrom. Pat Kane has an assist -- perhaps the best of the period -- and former Blackhawk Dustin Byfuglien, now pLaying for Atlanta, scored off that pass.

Right now, 3 Doors Down is rocking the RBC Center with their intermission set and I am having another pulled pork sandwich. I may need a pork product detox when I get back to Jersey.



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Posted On Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 4:49 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - All-Star Game live blog

Chicago connection

And here, perhaps, starts the comeback.

Team Lidstrom's Dustin Byfuglien -- having a season to remember -- just scored a nice tight-angle goal on a one-timer to make it 4-2.

Byfuglien's goal was set up by a familar face in Chicago's Pat Kane. The two combined quite often last season as teammates in Chicago during the run to the Stanley Cup.

Kane made a sweet pass across the crease, which Ward admitted on TV he did not expect, to feed Byfuglien for the shot.

Soon after, Chicago's Jonathon Toews set up Dallas' Loui Eriksson, and Colorado's Matt Duchene followed with a breakaway goal to tie the game at 4-4.

Marc-Andre Fleury has righted the ship after a rugged start to make this game interesting as it heads into the dying minutes of the first period.
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