RALEIGH -- Team Staal took advantage of the home ice by scoring four times within the first five minutes and 41 seconds of the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover. It could have even been worse, but captain and hometown favorite Eric Staal was stoned on a breakaway by Marc-Andre Fleury just 30 seconds in.
However, Team Lidstrom rallied with four unanswered goals to send the teams into the dressing rooms all locked up at 4-4 after 20 minutes.
Alex Ovechkin, Paul Stastny, Patrik Elias and Claude Giroux beat Marc-Andre Fleury with varying shots to stake the home team a 4-0 lead. Anze Kopitar, Dustin Byfuglien, Loui Eriksson and Matt Duchene scored against hometown goalie Cam Ward in the final 10 minutes of the period to lead the rally for Team Lidstrom before the first intermission.
Ovechkin got Staal's squad on the board with a fluke goal. He passed the puck to the slot and it ricocheted off Duncan Keith and slithered through Fleury 50 seconds into the game. Stastny scored about two minutes later after executing a flawless 2-on-1 with Patrick Sharp against Keith Yandle.
Stastny then found Elias alone in the slot for a one-timer that gave Team Staal a 3-0 lead 3:20 into the game. Claude Giroux, who seemed to hit nothing but the iron in the Honda SuperSkills competition on Saturday made it 4-0 at 5:41 after controlling a pass from Sharp and swatting it into the net.
Lidstrom's group answered with four unanswered goals within a span of less than six minutes to tie the game.
Kopitar got them going with a pretty backhanded shot from just below the right circle at 10:50. Byfuglien, Keith and Patrick Kane made it feel like old times for Blackhawks fans when they teamed up for a goal 2:27 later. Kane passed the puck through the blue paint to Byfuglien, who sliced down the left side to hammer a shot past Ward.
Martin Havlat set up Eriksson for the game that made it 4-3 with 3:53 to play in the period and Duchene put the finishing touches on the streaky offensive period by beating Ward with a pretty breakaway goal. He froze the goalie with a leg kick at about the hash marks and then scored on his backhand just 23 seconds after Eriksson's goal.
Each squad finished the period with four goals on 14 shots. Sharp led everybody going into the second period with 2 assists and Stastny had a goal and an assist. Shea Weber led Team Lidstrom with 2 assists.