NEW YORK (Jan. 21, 2009) – Having produced a marvelous first half of the 2008-09 season that has him fifth in the League with 24 goals, San Jose center Patrick Marleau now has a spot in the 2009 NHL All-Star Game to show for it. Having been named to the 2008 All-Rookie Team, Montreal goaltender Carey Price has chosen to do double-duty by coming to the aid of his class and will play goal for the sophomores in the 2009 NHL YoungStars Game presented by Upper Deck in addition to starting for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game.
Marleau and Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas have been named to the Western Conference team to replace injured Detroit Red Wings Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom, respectively, in the 57th NHL All-Star Game in Montreal’s Bell Centre on Sunday (6 p.m. ET, RDS, CBC, VERSUS, NHL Radio).
Price received more votes than any goaltender in history in being chosen an All-Star starter by fans and will work the first period for the Eastern Conference Sunday evening. With the sophomores left without a goalie because of an injury to Los Angeles’ Erik Ersberg, Price will jump between the pipes for his classmates in their match against the League’s rookies during the 2009 Honda/NHL SuperSkills® on Saturday (7 p.m. ET, RDS, CBC, VERSUS, NHL Radio).
Ersberg suffered a lower body injury during the Kings 3-2 shootout loss to Dallas and returned to Los Angeles as the Kings called up goaltending prospect Jonathan Bernier to complete the rest of the Kings three-game road trip, which concludes Wednesday in Colorado. Ersberg is 8-7-3 on the season with a 2.14 GAA and a .903 SV%.
This will be the third All-Star Game appearance for Marleau, who also played in the 2004 and 2007 mid-winter classics. Robidas, a native of Sherbrooke, Quebec, will be making his NHL All-Star debut while returning home to the city where he broke into the league with the Canadiens.
"To be an All-Star anywhere would be great," Robidas said. "But to play in Montreal, that will be something very special."
Sophomores Dave Bolland of Chicago and David Perron of St. Louis and rookie goaltender Pekka Rinne of Nashville will experience how special an All-Star Weekend in Montreal can be when they join their respective YoungStars lineups Saturday night.
Bolland, who has scored eight goals with 17 assists and played to a plus-14 rating for the Blackhawks, will take the place of Boston’s Milan Lucic. Blues winger Perron, who has racked up 25 assists to go with five goals, will step in for Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom.
The place of Columbus’ Steve Mason in the rookies’ net will be taken by Nashville’s Rinne, who is 10-7 with a 2.33 goals against average and .916 save percentage.