The march of the Penguins has reached the top of the fan balloting mountain for the 2011 All-Star Game presented by Discover.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury added 52,027 votes to his total, pushing him past the Canadiens' Carey Price and into the lead among goaltenders and third in the overall voting, behind teammates Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang.
The top goalie, along with the top three forwards and top two defensemen in fan voting will guarantee themselves spots in the 42-player pool for the Ultimate Fantasy Draft. New for this year's All-Star Game, the players themselves will draft their own teams for the midseason classic, which will be hosted by the Carolina Hurricanes.
Sidney Crosby continues to hold the top spot among forwards, as well as among all players, with 523,822 votes. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews
is No. 2 among forwards, with Evgeni Malkin third. Letang and the Blackhawks' Duncan Keith
lead all defensemen.
Fleury's big week saw him open a 2,025-vote lead Price. Part of Fleury's big week were 8,930 text votes -- more than seven times the 1,268 Price received.
Flyers rookie Sergei Bobrovsky is third, more than 72,000 votes behind Price. The Bruins' Tim Thomas is fourth, followed by the Blues' Jaroslav Halak.
Crosby continues to score All-Star votes like he does points, picking up 58,990 votes this week to expand his lead on Toews for the No. 1 forward spot to 215,630.
Toews has been second among forwards since the first voting results were released last month, but his hold on the No. 2 spot is shrinking as Malkin picks up steam. The Penguins forward received 47,027 votes this week, and now is just 18,314 votes behind the Blackhawks' captain.
Malkin also managed to nearly quadruple his lead on the Lightning's Steven Stamkos for the third spot. Malkin led by 4,171 votes last week; this week that lead is 19,961 votes.
The Blackhawks' Patrick Kane
is fifth, followed by the Canadiens' Michael Cammalleri, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Flyers teammates Mike Richards and Claude Giroux, and the Canadiens' Tomas Plekanec.
Letang strengthened his lead for the top spot among defensemen, picking up 49,407 votes to give him 391,525 -- 87,887 votes ahead of Keith, the defending Norris Trophy winner.
While there's still a week of voting left, it would be pretty difficult for anyone to catch Keith. He's now 37,159 votes ahead of third-place Chris Pronger of the Flyers, and 43,467 votes ahead of fourth-place Nicklas Lidstrom of the Red Wings.
Kimmo Timonen of the Flyers is fifth, followed by the Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook
, Canadiens rookie P.K. Subban, the Kings' Drew Doughty, the Thrashers' Dustin Byfuglien and Paul Martin of the Penguins.
Fan balloting runs through Jan. 3, 2011, at Vote.NHL.com.Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com
Author: Adam Kimelman | NHL.com Staff Writer