All-Star games are rarely a pleasant night for defensemen and goaltenders; Sheldon Souray and Cristobal Huet can both attest to that.
DALLAS - Despite coming out on the short end in a 12-9 loss to the Western Conference, Cristobal Huet and Sheldon Souray each made their presence felt in the Lone Star State.
"It was a great experience. I got an opportunity to play with and hang out with really great players," said the French-born netminder following his first taste of NHL All-Star action. "It was an honor to be here. An honor to represent the Canadiens and France."
The crease was handed over to Huet with the East trailing 9-6 after two periods. Huet was beaten only twice on 10 shots, the best showing of all All-Star netminders including Eastern Conference cohorts Ryan Miller and Martin Brodeur, who allowed three and six goals respectively.
"I didn't give up too many goals," said a relieved Huet,. "I'm happy. You're always expecting you'll let in four or five goals in these types of games."
Souray, meanwhile, chipped in with a goal and added an assist in his second All-Star appearance.
"I enjoyed it," said the 30-year-old defenseman, who also played in the 2004 game. "It was obviously a festival of offense."
Souray got in on the action, becoming the first Canadiens defenseman to score a goal in an All-Star Game since all the way back in 1985. That year Chris Chelios scored to help pace the Wales Conference to a 6-4 victory over the Campbell Conference at the Saddledome in Calgary. Having also set-up Alexander Ovechkin's second period goal, Souray also became the first Habs blueliner to notch two points at an All-Star Game since Larry Robinson picked up a pair of helpers in a 9-5 loss to the Campbell Conference in Edmonton in 1989.
"I've said it before, it's really an honor for me to play in these games and to be around all these young players. I haven't thought about what it would be like to be invited to a future All-Star game. I know it would be a different group of guys the next time."
Souray beat Marty Turco with his patented slapshot with 35 seconds left in the third period.
"I didn't think twice about shooting how I usually would, even if it was an All-Star game. After all, he's not my goaltender," joked Souray.
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com. With files from CP.