– Montreal fans threw down the gauntlet. Pittsburgh fans scooped it up with a flourish. And with the polls open for just 10 more days, fan balloting for the Eastern Conference All-Star starters has become a Canadiens vs. Penguins affair.
Up front, the Pens' dynamic duo of Sidney Crosby
and Evgeni Malkin
away while amassing record-breaking vote totals. On defense, the Habs' tandem of Andrei Markov
and Mike Komisarek
are driving toward locking up the two starting spots. But in goal, a fierce battle is waged via online and text voting in the XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports that selects the starting lineups for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal on Jan. 25.
Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury
edged past Montreal's Carey Price
during the last
week in the two-man quest to become the starting goaltender for Eastern Conference.
However, as of today at 7 a.m. ET, Fleury held just a 6,268-vote lead in balloting in which
each had received approximately 870,000 votes.
On defense, the Canadiens' Markov
continued to hold down the top
two spots in the voting. Pittsburgh's Sergei Gonchar
and Ryan Whitney
tremendous support, however, they won't be eligible to play in the game as neither will have
appeared in 20 regular-season games as of Jan. 2.
Having blown past Jaromir Jagr
's 9-year-old record for most votes received in a
single season of NHL All-Star fan balloting over the weekend, Crosby continues to draw
unparalleled support. But Malkin also is on the verge of eclipsing the 1,000,000-vote mark.
And Malkin will have to continue to excel at the polls to hold off the Montreal trio of Alex
, Saku Koivu
and Alex Tanguay
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
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
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