TORONTO (AP) - Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel has taken the overall lead in fan balloting for the All-Star game.
The showcase event will be held Jan. 29 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. Kessel leads the league with 16 goals and 31 points this season.
His 258,446 votes moved past Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, who leads all blue-liners with 256,839 votes in results released Tuesday by the NHL. Ottawa forward Daniel Alfredsson was third overall (233,868) and teammate Jason Spezza was fifth overall (209,455).
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby rose from 19th to sixth overall with 206,863 votes after his stellar return to the lineup after missing more than 10 months because of a concussion.
Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins leads all goaltenders with 175,315 votes.
Fan voting for six starters wraps up Jan. 4.