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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

DiPietro stops 15 of 16 shots in 8-7 East All-Star victory over the West

Rick DiPietro started off strongly and Marc Savard ended strongly for the East All-Stars that won in a dramatic 8-7 victory over the West All-Stars, Sunday night at the 2008 NHL All-Star Game at Philips Arena in Atlanta.

DiPietro staked the East to a 5-1 lead, allowing only one goal on 16 shots as the team's starting netminder. Playing in his first NHL All-Star Game, DiPietro was stellar, allowing only Rick Nash to score his first of three goals, just 12 seconds into the game.

The former Boston University Terrier made his biggest saves late in the period. One came on Henrik Sedin, who had his point blank backhand stopped by DiPietro. Then in the final minute, Mike Ribeiro's blast from the left circle hit off DiPietro's glove and popped up in the air. DiPietro found the loose puck and smothered it.

DiPietro was his usual self, handling the puck with proficiency. He made a number of head-man passes and nearly fed Jason Spezza for a breakaway.

"DiPietro played the puck more often than I did," said Boston All-Star Savard.

East goalies Tomas Vokoun and Tim Thomas surrendered six goals to the West, which took a 7-6 lead in the third period. Thanks to Eric Staal, the East tied the game with 7:35 left.

Savard bailed out the East with a goal in the final 21 seconds to cap off an exciting All-Star Game.

Nash scored three goals in the losing effort, tallying one in each period. Play halted as hats flew on the ice. Even DiPietro threw his hat on the ice as a joke so linesman Pat Dapuzzo had to retrieve it for him.

Staal earned MVP honors, scoring two goals and adding an assist. Alex Ovechkin scored two goals and Brian Campbell tallied a goal and two assists.

Slapshots: Ricky wore a microphone for VERSUS during the first period. Commentator Doc Emrick was asking Ricky a question while Nash scored...Ricky served as play-by-play man for the final 30 seconds of the game. Emrick remarked: "I might have to watch my job."…Rick Nash's goal 12 seconds into the game was the fastest to begin an All-Star Game.

To read the Point Blank blog from the All-Star festivities in Atlanta, click here.

Click here for the latest Islanders TV video of Ricky at the All-Star Game.

30 Chris Osgood
20 Evgeni Nabokov
34 Manny Legace

5   Nicklas Lidstrom – 3 Dion Phaneuf
2   Duncan Keith – 25 Chris Pronger
55 Ed Jovanovski – 27 Scott Niedermayer

61 Rick Nash – 13 Pavel Datsyuk – 12 Jarome Iginla
97 Joe Thornton – 33 Henrik Sedin – 9 Marian Gaborik
10 Shawn Horcoff – 11 Anze Kopitar – 63 Mike Ribeiro
18 Corey Perry - 15 Ryan Getzlaf – 19 Jason Arnott

39 Rick DiPietro
29 Tomas Vokoun
30 Tim Thomas

79 Andrei Markov – 33 Zdeno Chara
51 Brian Campbell – 55 Sergei Gonchar
15 Tomas Kaberle – 44 Kimmo Timonen

12 Eric Staal – 91 Marc Savard – 17 Ilya Kovalchuk
8 Alex Ovechkin – 9 Jason Spezza – 26 Martin St. Louis
19 Scott Gomez – 9 Mike Richards – 18 Marian Hossa
71 Evgeni Malkin - 5 Vincent Lecavalier – 11 Daniel Alfredsson

Ricky helps East to Skills Victory

East wins Skills competition 9-6, DiPietro allows no goals, nets two and ready for the All-Star Game

In his first career NHL Skills Competition, Rick DiPietro was nearly flawless as the East All-Stars defeated the West All-Stars 9-6, Saturday night at Phillips Arena. Wearing a microphone for the VERSUS telecast, DiPietro played on-ice broadcaster throughout the competition.

During the final event, Islanders fans got a scare when DiPietro made a marvelous save on Marian Gaborik with his left pad and appeared to be injured. DiPietro told reporters after the competition that he was a little sore, but would still be okay to play in tomorrow's All-Star Game.

DiPietro took part in three events, including the re-vamped relay race, which involved a stickhandling, saucer pass, one-timer and goaltending leg. In the goaltending leg, DiPietro scored two of three goals from his own goal line in the far net for his heat. DiPietro was one of four goalies to score more than one goal.

Later in the competition, DiPietro was in goal for the Elimination Shootout competition. He used a quick glove to stop Mike Ribeiro, who thought he had DiPietro fooled. Then DiPietro stopped Gaborik for a perfect two-for-two in the event.

Prior to the final round of the Breakaway Challenge event, which judged skaters' breakaway creativity, DiPietro gave some humorous advice to teammate Ilya Kovalchuk: "Kovalchuk should light the puck on fire or light himself on fire, and then do a back flip on the ice."

DiPietro's request wasn't fulfilled, but the Islanders netminder made sure not to allow any goals by him in the event. Facing Gaborik once again, DiPietro wasn't fooled by the shifty forward from Minnesota, stopping him twice. On the second attempt, DiPietro out-waited Gaborik's initial deke and then stopped his wrap-around attempt with a full post-to-post extension.

The NHL All-Star Game will take place tomorrow at 6 pm on VERSUS.

Catch the latest Rick DiPietro at the All-Star Game videos on Islanders TV.

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