|MONTREAL - JANUARY 25: Eastern Conference All-Star Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (left) and Mark Streit of the New York Islanders (right) celebrate with Jay Bouwmeester of the Florida Panthers after Bouwmeester tied the score at 11 during the 2009 NHL All-Star game at the Bell Centre on January 25, 2009 in Montreal, Canada. The East defeated the West 12-11 in an overtime shootout. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) |
A shootout to end the shootout. That was the fitting ending for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game at the Bell Centre as All-Star MVP Alex Kovalev of the hometown Montreal Canadiens and Washington's Alex Ovechkin scored against Roberto Luongo in the shootout to give the Eastern Conference a 12-11 victory.
Boston's Tim Thomas stopped Shane Doan and Rick Nash in the shootout, while Luongo was able to stop only Vincent Lecavalier. Kovalev's goal was the product of an explosive wrist shot that ripped past Luongo's glove high into the net.
Ovechkin's never-ending stream of moves resulted in him slipping the puck past the right skate of Luongo.
The goals came at a fast and furious pace in Sunday evening's game, especially in the second period when 10 goals found the back of the net. While the third period didn't have the barrage of goals that marked the second, the West-East-West-East rhythm kept the game close and the sellout crowd perched on the edge of their seats.
Doan had staked the West to a 9-8 lead just 32 seconds into the third, but Dany Heatley restored the tie at 2:17. Chicago's Jonathan Toews restored the West's one-goal edge at 2:32, by Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis struck back for a 10-10 tie at 13:19.
It looked like Chicago's Patrick Kane got the winner at 15:18 on a slick breakaway goal, but that hope was dashed by a sharp wrister from Florida's Jay Bouwmeester at 16:21 sent the game to overtime tied at 11. Bouwmeester was tied for the lead in points in the game with three as he picked up on the East's second goal of the game (Carolina's Eric Staal) as well as the 10th goal (Tampa's Martin St. Louis).
In case you weren't convinced that no lead is safe in the All-Star Game we present the second period, where a two-goal Eastern lead built in Period 1 disappeared in a hurry en route to a 8-8 tie after 40 minutes.
The goals came at a fast and furious pace against the unfortunate Henrik Lundqvist and Niklas Backstrom who aren't likely to look back at this All-Star experience with terribly fond memories with Lundqvist surrendering six goals and Backstrom four.
For those scoring at home, the avalanche of goals went as follows.
St. Louis made it 5-2 for the East at 1:21 with a whirling backhander off a Tomas Kaberle pass. New Jersey's Zach Parise made it 6-2 at 2:11 off assists from St. Louis and the Islanders' Mark Streit. Four-goal lead seems safe, right?
Yeah, no way. Edmonton's Sheldon Souray got one back at 3:29 and San Jose's Dan Boyle netted his first at 5:14 and it was a 6-4 lead for the East before Evgeni Malkin made it 7-4 at 7:45 of the middle period.
That lead disappeared in a hurry too when Columbus' Rick Nash scored on a breakaway at 8:27 and then Colorado's Milan Hejduk scored off a slick pass from Boyle at 9:02 to bring the West within one, 7-6, at 9:02.
Souray's second goal of the period forged a 7-7 tie at 10:34 when he pulled up on a slap shot and beat Lundqvist from the left circle using Eastern defenseman Mike Komisarek as a screen.
Are we done yet?
Montreal's Alex Kovalev restored the Eastern lead with a backhander at 1 3:36, but Calgary's Jarome Iginla scored the first All-Star goal of his career at 16:46 to retie the game at 8-8.
For some time, it seemed like the goalies would get off easy in the first period, despite the fact the Western Conference scored at 1:16 of the game.
Still, it was just 3-1 for the East into the final minute of the first before the two squads swapped goals to make the score a more All-Star-like 4-2 after 20 minutes.
The offensive skills on display in this All-Star Game seemed especially daunting for those trying to keep the puck out of the next. The slick moves, tape-to-tape passes and creative moves really put a premium on talent in a big way.
St. Louis' Keith Tkachuk came away with the game's first goal just 1:16 in, camping in front of Canadiens goalie Carey Price and banging home a behind-the-net pass from Nash. Hejduk also assisted on the goal.
Washington's Alex Ovechkin and Boston's Marc Savard used the old give-and-go to tie the game at 6:26, with Ovechkin feeding Savard in the right corner and then burying the return pass against Anaheim goalie J-S Giguere.
Carolina's Eric Staal took advantage of a carom off the skate of Boyle to give the East a 2-1 edge at 9:30, backhanding the shot past Giguere with Bouwmeester and Kovalev picking up assists on the goal.
Kaberle had earned boos during All-Star Weekend for being a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, but he figured out a pretty good way to earn some cheers when his long breakout pass sprung hometown favorite Kovalev for a breakaway that saw the slick veteran use an off-speed shot to fool Giguere and make it 3-1 at 16:34.
Savard and Ovechkin got into the action at 19:23, using hard, pinpoint passes to set Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov up for an easy goal in front of the West's net. A turnover in the defensive zone cost the East, however, as San Jose's Joe Thornton set up teammate Patrick Marleau for a drive from the right faceoff dot that caught Price off guard at 19:48 to make it 4-2.
Author: Phil Coffey | NHL.com Sr. Editorial Director