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Crosby, Letang, Price still lead All-Star fan balloting

by Adam Kimelman /
The NHL standings are not the only place the Pittsburgh Penguins are doing well -- their players are flying up the vote list for the 2011 All-Star Game presented by Discover.

In the most recent fan balloting results, two Penguins lead their positions -- Sidney Crosby at forward and Kris Letang on defense -- with another, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, jumping up to No. 2 at his.

Crosby, with 410,754 votes, holds a commanding lead in overall votes as well as leading his position, with the Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews and the Lightning's Steven Stamkos in second and third, respectively. Letang and the Blackhawks' Duncan Keith are the top two among defensemen, and the Canadiens Carey Price continues to lead all goaltenders.

The 2011 All-Star Game will feature the Ultimate Fantasy Draft, where the All-Stars will pick their own teams from a pool of 42 players. Fans can vote six players into that pool -- the top three forwards, two defenseman and goaltender from fan balloting will be guaranteed a roster spot at this year's game, which will be hosted by the Carolina Hurricanes.

Crosby picked up another 90,945 votes this past week, as he continued to ride the popularity of his 18-game point-scoring streak as well as the Penguins' 12-game win streak that has propelled them to the top of the NHL standings.

"It means a lot and we certainly all appreciate (the support)," said Crosby. "It's a great example of the support we get and the great fans we get."

Toews, with 244,774 votes, lengthened his lead on Stamkos for the second spot, from about 5,000 votes last week to more than 25,000 votes this week. Stamkos, the League's second-leading scorer, however, is getting a push from the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin for the third spot. Malkin, despite missing the last four games with a knee injury, picked up 52,580 votes last week to pass Alex Ovechkin for fourth place and pull within 8,000 votes of Stamkos.

Ovechkin is fifth, followed by the Blackhawks' Patrick Kane, the Canadiens' Michael Cammalleri, Flyers teammates Mike Richards and Claude Giroux and the Red Wings' Pavel Datsyuk.

With 175,008 votes, Giroux, second on the Flyers with 14 goals and 28 points, leads all write-in candidates at the position.

Letang picked up 82,777 votes this past week, powered by 14,527 text votes, to remain second to Crosby in the overall race with 293,584 votes. Letang has received a League-high 59,479 text votes.

"It's great," said Letang. "You see that we have a good base of fans in Pittsburgh and in the NHL. There are a lot of people that take the time to vote and it's an amazing thing. I want to thank them for that, for supporting me."

Keith, who was third among defensemen last week, jumped ahead of the Flyers' Chris Pronger for the No. 2 position. The 45,770 votes for Keith this past week gave him 234,514 -- just over 5,300 votes ahead of Pronger. Six-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom of the Red Wings is a close fourth, just over 18,000 votes behind Keith.

The Flyers' Kimmo Timonen is fifth, followed by the Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook, Canadiens rookie P.K. Subban, the Kings' Drew Doughty and the Capitals' Mike Green.

Subban, with 151,672, is second to Letang in write-in candidates at his position.

The Thrashers' Dustin Byfuglien, who leads all NHL defensemen with 11 goals and 32 points, moved up one spot from last week, to 10th.

Price, in the midst of a phenomenal season in Montreal, has 250,256 votes, third in the overall standings, first among all write-in candidates and 31,906 ahead of Fleury, who vaulted past Flyers rookie Sergei Bobrovsky for second. Fleury, in the midst of his own 11-game win streak, picked up 66,086 votes.

Bobrovsky, who is tied with Fleury for fourth in the League with 14 wins, trails Fleury by just over 16,000 votes. The Bruins' Tim Thomas -- the League leader in goals-against average (1.51) and save percentage (.954) -- is fourth, followed by the Blues' Jaroslav Halak.

Fan balloting runs through Jan. 3, 2011, at
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