NHL All-Star Game: Team Lidstrom 11, Team Staal 10
RALEIGH ó Nicklas Lidstrom limited his All-Star losses to a flip of the puck and the skills competition.
The game was all his.
Unfazed by having to pick second in the inaugural NHL All-Star fantasy draft, the Detroit Red Wingsí defenseman built and went on to lead another winning team ó though this was the first one named after him.
The four-time Stanley Cup champion and six-time winner of the Norris Trophy, given to the leagueís top defenseman, was a plus-7 as he captained Team Lidstrom to an 11-10 victory over Team Staal in the All-Star game on Sunday night.
ěItís a matter of being on the ice at the right moments, I guess,î the understated Lidstrom said of his performance. ěThey won the skills (Saturday), so I think we kind of came out even.î
Eric Staal had the No. 1 pick in the fantasy draft on Friday, the unconditional support of his hometown Carolina Hurricanes fans behind him, and a four-goal lead in the first period.
Still, it wasnít enough to beat one of the NHLís great winners.
ěPretty good night for Nicklas Lidstrom,î Staal said. ěItís fun to get to know him a little bit more … just doing this whole experience for the first time with him. He played a great game as you can tell by the stats.î
Danny Briere, Jonathan Toews, and Martin St. Louis scored during a four-minute span of the third period.
Another Team Lidstrom defenseman, Shea Weber of Nashville, had four assists and was plus-6, and Dallas forward Loui Eriksson had two goals and two assists. Bostonís Tim Thomas stopped 11 of 15 shots in the third period and became the first goalie to earn the win in three consecutive All-Star games.
Maybe Staalís pick of Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward with the No. 1 selection in the fantasy draft wasnít such a good idea, after all. Tampa Bayís Steven Stamkos, the league leader with 38 goals, scored the one that made it 6-6 in the second.
Ward could hardly be blamed for the four goals he gave up in the first. Pittsburghís Marc-Andre Fleury also allowed four in the opening 20 minutes of a typically defenseless All-Star game.
ěI thought I was doing pretty good the first 10 minutes,î Ward said. ěIt was like, ëWhoa, this ainít so bad, and boom, four goals against.î
One consolation for the Team Staal: Chicagoís Patrick Sharp claimed MVP honors in a losing cause after he posted a goal and two assists.
With the team in white named after Staal, the Carolina fans decked out in red hardly seemed to care that Sidney Crosby and his Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Evgeni Malkin were missing because of injuries.