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A look at who The Canadian Press would name to the Eastern all-star team

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The Montreal Canadiens will host the NHL all-star game Jan. 25 and their fans voted four Habs on to the starting lineup, while the other two came from the Pittsburgh Penguins. The NHL will name the rest of the East Conference lineup Thursday.

The fans got it mostly right, but the first-place Boston Bruins should be well represented, although their numbers may be limited because the league likes to have each team represented. Here's The Canadian Press's picks for the East team.

Starters

Evgeni Malkin, forward, Pittsburgh: The rangy centre-winger leads the NHL in assists and points and could very well snatch the scoring title as he heads towards a second straight 100-point campaign.

Sidney Crosby, forward, Pittsburgh: Sid the Kid has had a frustrating season around the net, but he has already topped the 50-point mark. Like teammate Malkin, he deserved the fans' votes as a starter.

Alexander Ovechkin, forward, Washington: After a slow start, the big, blazing winger has been on fire and is challenging for the league lead in goals as he shoots for a second 60-goal season.

Mark Streit, defence, New York Islanders: Montreal let him go as a free agent to the Islanders last summer, giving up a key piece of its power play, and now he's one of the NHL's top-scoring defenceman and one of the Isles' few success stories this season.

Andrei Markov, defence, Montreal: The all-around defenceman is among the Canadiens' scoring leaders while also a kingpin of their defence and penalty-killing units. He was voted in by fans.

Henrik Lundqvist, goaltender, New York Rangers: The Rangers have had a roller-coaster season, but a constant is the strong play of their goaltender, who has been the deciding factor in most of their wins.

Reserves

Tim Thomas, goaltender, Boston: One reason the Bruins have emerged as the East's top club is their once-spotty goaltending has been solid. No one exemplifies that more than journeyman Thomas, who has had a mostly stellar first half.

Carey Price, goaltender, Montreal: The Canadiens have struggled to score, but the strong play of their big, second-year goalie has kept them near the top of conference standings. Also voted on to the team.

Dennis Wideman, defence, Boston: His 26 points are only 10 short of his career high but the big stat is his league-leading plus-25.

Zdeno Chara, defence, Boston: The six-foot-nine veteran with the bullet shot has been a tower of leadership and physical play, while also toting up 20-plus points this season.

Jay Bouwmeester, defence, Florida: The Panthers have become a no-name team except for their big defenceman, who has played strong two-way hockey as trade rumours whirl about him.

Tomas Kaberle, defence, Toronto: It hasn't been the Czech veteran's best season, but he's still a top defenceman and the best the struggling Leafs have to offer.

Thomas Vanek, forward, Buffalo: He's the new Peter Bondra - plenty of goals, few assists. But 27 goals so far makes the slick Austrian an all-star.

Jeff Carter, forward, Philadelphia: A Flyer from the old school - big, physical and ready to go to the net. Carter is challenging Ovechkin and Vanek for the goal-scoring title.

Mike Richards, forward, Philadelphia: A combative skater who scores, makes plays and has become a leader.

Marc Savard, forward, Boston: He is the first-line playmaker on the East's highest scoring team.

Zach Parise, forward, New Jersey: After two 60-point seasons, the gifted skater is on pace for 90 this year despite playing for a low-scoring team.

Nicklas Backstrom, forward, Washington: If he shot more often, he'd have more than 12 goals, but the young centre likes to pass and does it as well as anyone.

Ilya Kovalchuk, forward, Atlanta: He has looked listless at times playing for the lowly Thrashers, but has 40 points and can still light up a game with a spectacular rush.

Daniel Alfredsson, forward, Ottawa: Production is down on the Senators' big line with Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza but they remain a force and Alfredsson is their leader.

Vincent Lecavalier, forward, Tampa Bay: The big centre remains a favourite in his home town of Montreal and, while he has struggled this season with shoulder problems, he's still very much a star.

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