NEW YORK –
Responding to the daunting challenge issued by the devoted fans of the Montreal Canadiens
, the citizens of Pittsburgh and Penguins fans around the world are proving just how passionate they are about their heroes.
Pens forwards Sidney Crosby
and Evgeni Malkin
, the top two scorers in the NHL, have closed the gap considerably on the front-running Montreal threesome of Alexei Kovalev
, Saku Koivu
and Alex Tanguay
in fan balloting to select the starting lineups for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal Jan. 25.
As of 7 a.m. ET today, Crosby had received 320,373 votes in XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports. With polls still open for another month, that moved Crosby within 65,000 votes of claiming one of the three starting spots up front for the Eastern Conference. Malkin, who led the NHL with 39 points through Monday’s games, ranked fifth among Eastern Conference forwards with 264,914 votes.
However, Canadiens fans haven’t eased up at all since storming the virtual polls the moment they opened.
WHAT FANS ARE SAYING
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Defensemen Andrei Markov
and Mike Komisarek
continue to lead the voting at their position, with Markov’s 440,292 votes the most among all Eastern Conference players. And goaltender Carey Price
’s 429,087 votes are more than twice as many as those received by his nearest competitor, Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury
The vote totals, as of 7 a.m. ET, in the fan balloting for the Eastern Conference starters are detailed below. A Western Conference update will be issued tomorrow.
Through Jan. 2, NHL fans can vote as often as they like in the XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports to select the starting lineups for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal. Fans around the world can vote online via interactive English and French ballots at Vote.NHL.com
. Those in the U.S. and Canada also are able to cast their votes via text message using any wireless carrier. Real-time results are available exclusively at Vote.NHL.com/results
Fans can vote for up to six Eastern Conference players and six Western Conference players -- three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender. Fans are permitted to select as few as one player -- a balloted player or write-in -- per online ballot at Vote.NHL.com
or via text message.
To vote using any wireless carrier, fans should text their favorite player’s last name to the shortcode 81812. Fans interested in voting for all of their favorite team’s balloted players can text the team nickname (e.g., Bruins) to 81812. Standard text messaging charges will apply.
XM, which airs every NHL game for every team as the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the NHL, and 2K Sports, a leading publisher of sports video games, are the NHL All-Star Fan Balloting title and presenting sponsors, respectively.
The 2009 NHL All-Star Weekend in Montreal will celebrate the Montreal Canadiens
’ Centennial season with live national broadcasts of the Honda/NHL SuperSkills® event on Saturday, Jan. 24, and the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 25, on VERSUS in the United States and CBC and RDS in Canada. NASN, ASN, J Sports, Sky Mexico, Fox Sports Australia and other NHL international broadcast partners will provide live coverage of both the Honda/NHL SuperSkills event and the NHL All-Star Game to more than 150 countries and territories in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific Rim, Mexico and the Caribbean. NHL Radio™ will provide exclusive, national radio coverage which can be heard on stations around the United States and Canada as well as on Sirius XM Radio's NHL Home Ice, located at XM channel 204 and on SIRIUS channel 208 with the "Best of XM" programming package. NHL.com and NHL Network will provide extensive coverage of the All-Star Weekend.