OTTAWA — Marian Gaborik got the best of New York Rangers teammate Henrik Lundqvist, and Zdeno Chara scored the winning goal for the NHL All-Star team named after him.
Even in defeat, Daniel Alfredsson rewarded the hometown fans with two goals and an assist, and then the Ottawa Senators captain hinted that he might come back for one more season.
For an All-Star game that lacked the league’s top-name talent in Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, there was plenty to keep everyone buzzing on Sunday.
Gaborik scored three times, added an assist and earned MVP honors, and Team Chara used a third-period offensive eruption to secure a 12-9 win over Team Alfredsson.
“We have a lot of fun out there,” said Lundqvist, who allowed three goals on 12 shots in the first period. “A lot of times you might forget because it’s a lot of pressure, and you put a lot of pressure on yourself, but this weekend is all about the game of hockey and having fun with it. So we’ve been enjoying ourselves, and I hope the fans felt the same way.”
What was not to like?
Fans were treated to a wide-open, no-hitting style in a game that featured plenty of nifty passing plays, numerous odd-man breaks and even a penalty shot awarded to Steven Stamkos, who leads the NHL with 32 goals.
Stamkos, however, was foiled on his freebie – the second in All-Star game history – when he attempted the same spin-around move he used to beat Carey Price in the skills competition on Saturday night. Jimmy Howard didn’t bite on Sunday, holding his ground and hugging the post to stop Stamkos’ penalty-shot attempt.
“I think I ran out of moves,” Stamkos said. “I tried something fancy and hoped it would work. It didn’t. But I just tried to have fun with it.”