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2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

Carolina welcomes Laviolette back with open arms

Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 9:44 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Peter Laviolette will always hold a special place in the hearts of those fans of the Carolina Hurricanes.
 
A Stanley Cup championship will do that for a head coach, no matter what the future holds.
 
It's also why Laviolette, who coached the Hurricanes' for four-plus seasons and is now in his second year with the Philadelphia Flyers, was given a standing ovation when introduced to the 16,680 at RBC Center at the start of the 58th NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover on Sunday.
 
"We really enjoyed our time here with the fans and the community, and settled in for five years," Laviolette said. "To come back and get an ovation like that is certainly special for me."
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Lundqvist turns away first ASG penalty shot

Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 9:43 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

RALEIGH -- There hadn't been a penalty shot in 57 previous All-Star Games, but that changed during the second period of the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover on Sunday.

About 6 minutes into the third period, Team Lidstrom's Matt Duchene was on a breakaway against Team Staal goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Duchene's backhand attempt was stopped, but Team Staal's Alex Ovechkin tried to break up the scoring chance by throwing his stick at Duchene as he skated toward the net.

Duchene was instantly awarded a penalty shot with the game tied at 7.

"He still got his shot there so I didn't think they were going to call a penalty on it," said Lundqvist, who came up with the historic save. "It was fun. A couple things happened out there where you don't know what to think."

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RBC fans exalt Carolina trio despite loss

Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 9:28 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Eric Staal was left with no choice after the team he put together blew a 4-0 lead and came up short against Team Lidstrom in an 11-10 defeat at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover.

Staal took the blame for disappointing his home fans at RBC Center.

"We got complacent. I'm not going to lie to you," said Staal, flashing his sense of humor one final time during All-Star Weekend. "I'll take the brunt of it."

Team Staal was the fan favorite with all three Carolina Hurricanes -- Staal, Jeff Skinner and Cam Ward -- drawing cheers whenever they touched the puck or came up with a big save.
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All-Star goalies make the most of tough situation

Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 9:27 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Fortunately, Marc-Andre Fleury wasn't wearing a microphone in the first period Sunday because someone in the television truck would have needed to be lightning quick on the mute button early in the game.

"I said a couple of bad words," Fleury told NHL.com.

Who could blame him? Fleury gave up four goals on eight shots in the first five minutes and 41 seconds of the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover.

He was being overrun by Team Staal and the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover looked like it was going to turn into a route at Fleury's expense.
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Trio strikes twice in Team Lidstrom victory

Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 9:15 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Is there any doubt defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom passed his first test as an NHL general manager?
 
Lidstrom's decision to load up Friday on right wings and centers during the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft was one thing. His decision to choose Loui Eriksson of the Dallas Stars turned out to be nothing short of prophetic.
 
Eriksson, the only natural left wing on Team Lidstrom's roster, would connect twice -- including the deciding tally into an empty net with 1:11 remaining to lead the club to an 11-10 victory against Team Staal in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover at RBC Center.
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Weber, Lidstrom combine for plus-13 performance

Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 8:53 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. -- On the plus-side, there might not have been a better performance by a defensive pairing in an NHL All-Star Game than the one put forth Sunday by Nicklas Lidstrom and Shea Weber.

Lidstrom and Weber were on the ice for eight straight even-strength goals during one stretch and finished a combined plus-13 as Team Lidstrom held on for an 11-10 victory against Team Staal at RBC Center.

Weber finished plus-6 only because he wasn't on the ice for a third-period goal by Martin St. Louis. Otherwise, the Lidstrom-Weber combination was a safe harbor in a storm of offensive highlights and defensive irresponsibility.

"He's obviously very special," said Weber, who had four assists and a strong case for the game's MVP, of Lidstrom. "He's one of the best defenseman, if not one of the best ever to play the game. It's definitely something I'll never forget. I watched him growing up and just being able to play in game with him is pretty cool."
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Team Staal's Sharp named MVP of All-Star Game

Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 8:47 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Chicago's Patrick Sharp certainly didn't lack motivation for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover.

He wasn't included on the All-Star Ballot, falling victim to a Chicago Blackhawk roster that is loaded with superstars. That slight fueled him to the best first-half performance of his career and he carried that chip down to Carolina for the All-Star Game this weekend.

Yet, that slight wasn't even his biggest motivation to do well Sunday.

Instead, his desire to please his parents -- who drove through the night Friday after their flight from Newark to Raleigh was cancelled -- pushed him to turn in a memorable performance.
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First All-Star goals galore at RBC Center

Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 5:27 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

NHL.com

After a guy who is no stranger to scoring goals in the All-Star Game, Alex Ovechkin, got the action started 50 seconds in, Colorado's Paul Stastny became the game's first player to register his first career All-Star tally. Patrick Sharp fed Stastny for an easy one-timer on a 2-on-1 to give Team Staal a 2-0 lead at 2:48 of the first period.

Patrik Elias had three All-Star assists in his career after appearing in the 2000 and 2002 games, but he added his first goal at 3:20. Claude Giroux made it three straight players scoring their first All-Star goal for Team Staal at 5:41, and it was the third consecutive tally Sharp had the primary assist on as he became the early favorite for MVP honors.

Los Angeles star Anze Kopitar started Team Lidstrom's comeback with a pretty goal at 10:50. Kopitar stopped Carolina goaltender Cam Ward's shutout bid by snapping a backhanded shot under the crossbar.

Dustin Byfuglien got some help from some old friends to earn his first All-Star marker. Chicago teammates Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane helped set up Byfuglien, an ex-Blackhawk, for a one-timer at 13:17 of the first to get Team Lidstrom within two goals at 4-2.
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Fans treated to traditional smoked pig before ASG

Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 3:50 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

RALEIGH -- It takes about 17 hours to properly smoke a hog.

That's a lot of preparation for a traditional tailgate pig pickin', but it's just how things are done for sporting events in North Carolina.

Ed Mitchell is the pit master of The Pit, a restaurant in Raleigh that specializes in authentic barbecue cooking, and he wheeled out a massive hog Sunday for some lucky fans in the parking lot of the RBC Center before the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover.

It sounds like a special meal for a special occasion, but it's just another day for sports fans in Raleigh.

"We do a pig pickin' for anything -- any occasion, any good time," said Mitchell, clad in his trademark overalls. "We brought it into the arena of football and now hockey tailgating. Tailgating, it doesn't matter. It's really about celebration of good times, good events, camaraderie with friends. It's what makes it all special."
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NHL.com staff All-Star Game MVP predictions

Sunday, 01.30.2011 / 3:48 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

NHL.com

RALEIGH -- The debates over All-Star Game MVPs have raged after almost every one of the 50-odd All-Star Games that have been played.

Well, NHL.com is getting a head start on that argument by picking the MVP of the 2001 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover.

Not surprisingly, there was little consensus.
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Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie