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Key numbers as 2009 All-Star Game approaches

by John Kreiser
The NHL All-Star Game returns to Montreal Sunday, making its debut at the Bell Centre after 12 appearances at the Forum. There figures to be plenty of scoring, as has been the case for the past two decades. Happily for the goalies, they now only play one period each.

Here's a look at some of the key numbers in All-Star history.

0 — Goals scored by Calgary's Jarome Iginla in his four previous All-Star Games. The Flames' captain had one assist in 2002-03 and another last year, but has not turned on the red light in his four appearances.

1 — 18-year-olds who made the All-Star Game under the post-expansion formats. Detroit's Steve Yzerman was 18 years, 8 months and 22 days old when he made his first All-Star team in 1984.

2 — First-year coaches who have coached All-Star teams. San Jose's Todd McLellan, who will run the West bench this year, became the second first-year coach to become an All-Star when the Sharks led the Western Conference at the halfway point. Florida's Doug MacLean (East, 1996) is the other.

3 — Most wins without a loss (and losses without a win) by an All-Star goaltender. Hall of Famer Frank Brimsek won all three All-Stars games in which he appeared (1939, '47, '48); Turk Broda and Andy Moog both went 0-3.

4 — All-Star Games that have gone into overtime. The Wales Conference got the OT winner to beat the Campbell Conference in 1978 (2-1), 1986 (4-3) and 1988 (6-5). The 2003 game went to a shootout, with the West beating the East 6-5.

5 — Most assists by one player in an All-Star Game. Mats Naslund of the Montreal Canadiens set up five goals, including all three by Mario Lemieux, in the Wales Conference's 6-5 overtime victory at St. Louis.

6 — Power-play goals scored by Gordie Howe, the most in All-Star play — no one else has more than three. This is one record that figures to last a while: There hasn't been a penalty called since 2000 (Sandis Ozolinsh) and no one has scored with the man advantage since Keith Tkachuk did it in 1998.

7 — Brother combinations who've played together in All-Star competition. The Richards (Maurice and Henri) did it four times, the most of any pairing. Two duos — Max and Doug Bentley and Phil and Tony Esposito — played both with each other (once for the Bentleys, twice for the Espositos) and against each other (three times for the Bentleys, four for the Espositos). Four other brother combinations have opposed each other in All-Star competition.

8 — Countries that have had exactly one player make the All-Star Game (since 1969). Buffalo's Thomas Vanek became the first native of Austria to make an All-Star team when he was selected this year.

9 — Shorthanded goals in All-Star play. No player has more than one, and no one has done it since Kirk Muller in 1990. Andy Hebenton of the New York Rangers, in 1960, is one of the nine — and the only one whose lone All-Star goal came while shorthanded. Hebenton scored his only All-Star point on his only shot in his only appearance.

12 — Fewest shots by a team in All-Star play. The Campbell Conference managed just 12 shots in the 1978 game, but took the Wales Conference to overtime before losing 3-2.

13 — All-Star coaching appearances by Scotty Bowman, easily the most in the game's history. Toe Blake is second with nine. Not surprisingly, Bowman is No. 1 in both wins (7) and losses (5).

16 — Most goals scored by one team in an All-Star Game. That happened the last time the game was played in Montreal, when the Wales Conference routed the Campbell Conference 16-6.

16 — Assists by Quebec/Colorado's Joe Sakic, the most of anyone in All-Star play. Wayne Gretzky, by far the assist leader in regular-season play, is tied for fourth with 12. He trails Sakic, Mark Messier (14) and Ray Bourque (13).

19 — Consecutive All-Star Games played by Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque, the most in the game's history. Bourque is second in total games played to Gordie Howe, who took part in 23.

20 — Years since the game was played in Edmonton, the only time Wayne Gretzky played an All-Star Game in the city where he won four Stanley Cups — though he'd been traded to Los Angeles the previous summer. He didn't disappoint, getting a goal and two assists while earning his second of three MVP awards in the Campbell Conference's 9-5 victory.

25 — Points by Wayne Gretzky, the most by anyone in All-Star play. Gretzky had 13 goals and 12 assists in 18 games for his 25 points, two more than Mario Lemieux, who finished with 13 goals and 10 assists for 23 points in only 10 games.

32 — Years between the first of Gordie Howe's record 23 All-Star appearances (1948) and the last (1980). No All-Star in any sport is anywhere close to that figure. Howe is also the only player in any sport to appear as an All-Star in five decades.
48 — Seconds needed to score the fastest three goals in All-Star history. Martin Havlat (West) scored at 19:00 of the third period, Sheldon Souray (East) at 19:25 and Dion Phaneuf (West) at 19:48 in Dallas on Jan. 24, 2007. It's the only instance in which three goals were scored in less than a minute. 
56 — Most shots on goal by one team in an All-Star Game. The East outshot the West 56-46 in its 9-8 victory at New York in 1994. The combined total of 102 shots is also an All-Star record.

540 — Minutes played by Glenn Hall, by far the most of any goaltender in All-Star competition. Hall also appeared in a record 13 games, and holds the record for goaltenders with nine consecutive All-Star appearances.

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