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Team Lidstrom wins 11-10

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
  Take a look back at the 21 goals scored

RALEIGH (AP) -- Eric Staal and his Carolina Hurricanes teammates were unable to capitalize on home-ice advantage and the NHL's all-star game was unable to live up to the hype created by its new format.

The Hurricanes captain did his best by scoring twice Sunday, but Team Lidstrom walked away with an 11-10 victory.

There were no standout performances or real buzz moments — something that was in large supply during Friday's draft and Saturday's skills competition.

Anze Kopitar and Danny Briere led the way for Team Lidstrom with two goals apiece. Dustin Byfuglien, Loui Eriksson, Matt Duchene, Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Toews, Marty St. Louis and Loui Eriksson each had one.

Staal and Kris Letang each had two goals for Team Staal while Alex Ovechkin, Paul Stastny, Patrik Elias, Claude Giroux, Patrick Sharp and Rick Nash had the others.

The MVP award and a new Honda Crosstour EX-L went to Sharp, who finished with three points.

The league went with a different format for this year's game — putting the power in the hands of the players by having captains Staal and Nicklas Lidstrom select the teams. While it seemed fairly popular with the participants and created some new buzz heading into the weekend, it didn't have much impact on the game itself.

As in years past, the intensity didn't pick up until the minutes wound down.

There were countless odd-man rushes and some nice goals, none more popular than the one Staal scored on a breakaway 3:49 into the third period to tie the game 7-7. That came just before Duchene was awarded the first penalty shot in all-star game history, but he was denied by Henrik Lundqvist.

A goal by St. Louis at 13:54 put Team Lidstrom ahead 10-8 and Team Staal couldn't complete the comeback. Eriksson scored into an empty net.

Ovechkin, the NHL's flashiest player, got the scoring started just 50 seconds in when he saw a centring pass riccochet in off defenceman Duncan Keith. That gave Team Staal some early momentum as it went on to score three more times on Marc-Andre Fleury in the opening six minutes.

At the other end, Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward got off to a strong start. He got his glove on a good chance from Briere and entertained U.S. viewers on Versus by interacting with commentator Mike (Doc) Emrick throughout the period.

When Kopitar broke his shutout with a lovely deke move at 10:50, Ward said: "Good thing I only see that guy once a year."

That started a rally by Team Lidstrom, which tied the score 4-4 before the first intermission and took a 7-6 lead after 40 minutes.

Jeff Skinner's teammates did everything they could to get him a goal. The Hurricanes rookie, who is tremendously popular here, was denied on a wraparound bid in the second period and planted himself in front of the net during every shift in the third.

Raleigh was a terrific host for the event. Fans wearing hockey sweaters congregated downtown throughout the weekend and they arrived early Sunday to tailgate before the 4 p.m. start.

Next year's all-star game will be played at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.

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