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Wings inductees star among legends

by Dana Wakiji / Detroit Red Wings
Hall of Fame inductee Sergei Fedorov stick-handles around former Red Wings teammate Kris Draper in Sunday's celebrity game, which was part of induction weekend at Toronto's Air Canada Centre. (Photo by Dana Wakiji/Detroit Red Wings)

TORONTO -- It was somehow appropriate that during the Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Classic that Sergei Fedorov got all the attention yet Nicklas Lidstrom's presence was also keenly felt.

But who would have guessed that Kris Draper would open the scoring, putting Team Gilmour (Canada legends) up 1-0 over Team Bure (world legends) just 1:40 into the first period of the two-period game?

"I would say if you look at the game sheet and the list I don’t think my name would be on the top to score the opening goal in a Hall of Fame game," Draper said. "It was kind of a rebound there and I was able to sneak it in. My wife and kids were here and my youngest, my 7-year-old, (Kamryn) put a lot of pressure on me to score a goal so I’m glad I was able to get it out of the way on the first shift and enjoy the game after that."

There were fans of every team in attendance at Toronto's Air Canada Centre, but the Red Wings fans certainly had plenty to celebrate.

In addition to watching Fedorov and Lidstrom receive their Hall of Fame blazers, Wings fans then got to see them go out and show why they are officially entering the Hockey Hall of Fame Monday night.

Fedorov got the puck from Lidstrom and tied the game on a highlight-reel goal, the kind of goal he scored many times in his 400 with the Wings.

"Typical Sergei goal," Lidstrom said. "He’s good at finding those open spots and it was great to see him score."

Said Pavel Bure: "It was beautiful. He deked the defenseman and it was a great shot. I think he can still play."

After goals by Wendel Clark, who was a Red Wing very briefly but is far better known for his time with the Maple Leafs, and Pavel Bure, Fedorov again did what Fedorov does.

Fedorov intercepted an attempt to clear the zone and scored unassisted at 6:53 of the second.

"So much fun after I score a couple," Fedorov said. "Couldn’t believe that pass. It was a friendly game. Really enjoyed the moment. That’s what I got from colleagues, friends and older guys who went through it last year, inductees. You gotta enjoy it."

Lidstrom had another assist on Angela Ruggiero's goal at 16:04 of the second, which gave Team Bure a brief 4-3 lead.

Peter Stastny scored with an assist from former Wing Petr Klima for a 5-3 Team Bure lead but Team Gilmour got goals from Gary Leeman and Pierre Turgeon to tie it.

There was a shootout planned even if the game had not ended in a tie.

Lidstrom, Igor Larionov and former Wing Paul Coffey failed to score on their attempts.

Only Turgeon, whose son Dominic was a Wings' third-round draft pick in 2014, scored in the shootout.

Fedorov was named first star for the game.

"We were on the way out just in that little corridor over there and one of the helpers in the locker room said, 'You were the first star. How's that for the weekend?'" said Fedorov, who didn't know. "It was fun to play with those guys. It was fun to play against those guys. It was one of those moments you will remember that forever in my mind."

Bure wasn't the only one who believes that Fedorov and Lidstrom could still play in the NHL.

"Nick’s that kind of player," former Wing Dino Ciccarelli said. "He could quarterback the power play. I guarantee you he could still play today and Sergei is no different. You see him out there scoring two goals today. That’s nice to see."

BLAZER CEREMONY: Fedorov, Lidstrom, Ruggiero and Phil Housley were late entering the game as they first had to don their official Hockey Hall of Fame blazers, presented by Lanny McDonald in an on-ice ceremony.

"That was unbelievable ceremony, unbelievable honor, unbelievable feeling," Fedorov said. "We sort of went through the whole process, we were there for 15-20 minutes before everything, they were announcing both teams. Just an amazing experience. Most of all, really happy to see a lot of fans and very interested, cheers and Lanny was unbelievable. He just walked you through it, because I was first again. I don't want to mislead my other inductees. It was a lot of fun. It was definitely a very cherishable moment."

Each player had a short tribute video played before coming onto the ice.

"I kind of had a little chuckle there," Draper said. "They were showing a video of Sergei going down on a 2-on-1, I was open. I thought he could have slid it over and that would have been one more big goal in my career but he decided to shoot and he scored. But that’s what Sergei did. Awesome to see it, awesome to share it."

PERFECT HUMAN: Whenever people talk about Lidstrom, they love to bring up the "Perfect Human" nickname.

"Kris Draper and Chris Osgood came up with that name," Lidstrom said. "They’re the pranksters behind that."

"I guess you could kind of talk to both Ozzie and I about that," Draper said. "Just the way Nick played, the composure he had when we went out in a game. You know when you’re playing in a big game momentum is going to go back and forth and Nick always seemed to be that calming influence when he’d go on out on the ice and settle things down for us."

Lidstrom just laughed when he was asked if he actually had any flaws.

"There’s plenty of things," Lidstrom said. "I kind of chuckle when I hear that. Not keeping my car clean, for one."

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