Penguins center Sidney Crosby
, riding a wave of support at the ballot box, has charged from behind and now leads all Eastern Conference forwards in fan voting for the NHL All-Star Game.
And teammate Evgeni Malkin
is closing in on one of three forward starting positions for the annual classic Jan. 25 in Montreal. Malkin now ranks fifth.
As of 10 a.m. Monday morning, Crosby had 551,401 votes to lead all Eastern Conference forwards. Alexei Kovalev of the Montreal Canadiens was second with 513,842 and Saku Koivu of the Canadiens was third with 512,684.
Montreal’s Alex Tanguay was in fourth place with 505,329, but Malkin was closing the gap in fifth at 482,557. Voting continues through Jan. 2.
Malkin and Crosby are 1-2 in the NHL scoring race.
Results are available in real time at www.nhl.com