New York –
Having already received more votes than any goaltenders in the history of NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, neither Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury
nor Montreal's Carey Price
have secured the big prize: the starting nod for the Eastern Conference in the 57th NHL All-Star Game.
As of 7 a.m. ET, Fleury held just a 39,363-vote lead over Price in an election in which the two young stars had received an astounding total of more than 2.2 million votes. In fact, the two goaltenders were among six Eastern Conference players in the XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports who already had eclipsed Jaromir Jagr
's single-season record for votes that was set in 2000.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby
blew past that 9-year-old record over a week ago and his total of 1,385,888 votes as of this morning continued to lead all players from both conferences. Pittsburgh teammate Evgeni Malkin
kept up the pursuit, however, receiving 1,266,197 votes. Montreal's Alex Kovalev
led Canadiens teammates Saku Koivu
and Alex Tanguay
in a fairly tight race for the third and final starting spot at forward.
On defense, Montreal's Andrei Markov
and Mike Komisarek
were on the verge of locking up the two starting spots. Each had received more than 1.02 million votes. Pittsburgh fans continued to show how much they admire the work of Penguins Sergei Gonchar
and Ryan Whitney
. However neither is eligible to play in this year's All-Star game because they haven't appeared in the minimum 20 regular-season games.
The vote totals, as of 7 a.m. ET, in the fan balloting for the Eastern Conference starters are detailed below.
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.