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Kopitar's pair gives Team Lidstrom lead after two

by Dan Rosen
RALEIGH -- Chicago forward Patrick Sharp probably didn't even realize that he had one of his assists stripped away from him during the 3 Doors Down concert between the first and second period.

No big deal.

Sharp, who instead only had two assists in the first period, got that point right back just 62 seconds into the second period when he rifled a shot past Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller to stake Team Staal a 5-4 lead. But, just like it did in the first period, Team Lidstrom rallied by scoring three of the next four goals to take a 7-6 lead into the second intermission.

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang gave Team Staal a two-goal cushion at the 6:10 mark of the second period when he ripped a shot past Hiller's stick side from between the hash marks. Daniel Sedin and Alex Ovechkin had the assists, but that was the last we heard from Staal's squad.

Montreal goalie Carey Price, who stopped the first 10 shots he faced in the period, had his shutout bid end at the 10:08 mark when Kings center Anze Kopitar cashed in for his second goal, converting on a rare 2-on-0 with Dallas' Loui Eriksson.

Steven Stamkos, the leading scorer in the NHL this season with 38 goals, made it 6-6 at 14:11 with his first goal of the game. Martin St. Louis, as per usual in Lightning land, provided the primary assist.

And, Team Lidstrom grabbed its first lead of the game 81 seconds later when Flyers forward Danny Briere cashed in to make it 7-6.

Team Lidstrom has Hiller to thank for the lead going into the third period.

Hurricanes rookie Jeff Skinner nearly brought the house down with about 3:30 to play, but Hiller stoned him on a breakaway with a left toe save. The crowd revved up as Skinner beat Martin Havlat to the puck to get in on a breakaway, but Havlat might have been guilty for letting him go, but you can't blame him.

Hiller also robbed Rick Nash on a breakaway with 2:15 to play and snared Ryan Kesler's backhanded shot out of the air about 30 seconds later to preserve the lead for Team Lidstrom with a pair of saves worthy of an All-Star.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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