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Kessel Continues To Lead, Reimer Surges In Voting

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

After three weeks of the 2012 NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, the one trend emerging quite clearly is fans of the Canadian teams are very supportive of their own players.

Five of the top six forwards, the top two defensemen and the No. 1 goaltender in fan voting through Dec. 5 all play for Canadian teams.

Player Rank Votes
Phil Kessel First amongst forwards 384,029
Joffrey Lupul Fifth amongst forwards 263,863
Dion Phaneuf Second amongst defencemen 324,031
James Reimer First amongst goalies 248,412
Fans can send the first six players (three forwards, two defensemen, one goalie) to the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel, the League's leader in goals and points, remains the League leader in voting with 384,029 votes. He picked up more than 125,000 votes in the past week.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, who's had an electrifying return from a 10-month absence due to a concussion, picked up more than 114,000 votes to vault ahead of Ottawa teammates Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza and move from fourth last week among forwards to second. Crosby is the only player from a non-Canadian team to rank among the top-six vote-getters at forward.

Alfredsson currently sits third in the voting with 320,100 votes, putting him just more than 32,000 votes ahead of Spezza. Toronto's Joffrey Lupul, Ottawa's Milan Michalek, Philadelphia's Claude Giroux and Chicago's Jonathan Toews round out the top 10.

The Senators' Erik Karlsson leads all League defensemen in scoring with 23 points, and leads all blueliners in All-Star votes with 351,957 -- an increase of more than 95,000 votes from last week. His total is second among all players, trailing only Kessel.

Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf is second with 324,031, with Pittsburgh's Kris Letang is third, nearly 47,000 votes behind. Boston's Zdeno Chara and Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom complete the top five.

Toronto goaltender James Reimer, who just returned from an 18-game absence due to concussion-like symptoms, picked up more than 87,000 votes in the past week to jump from third to first among goaltenders. Reimer's 248,412 votes place him just more than 5,000 votes ahead of Boston's Tim Thomas, last week's leader, who has 243,311.

Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury, second last week, sits third, followed by Montreal's Carey Price and Nashville's Pekka Rinne.

Fans will determine the first 6 players chosen to participate in the 2012 Tim Horton's NHL All-Star Game (3 Forwards, 2 Defensemen, 1 Goalie). The virtual poll booth closes on Jan. 4.

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