Team Chara 12
Team Alfredsson 9
4:00 PM ET, January 29, 2012
Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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.
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"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."
Gaborik enjoyed himself the most, earning bragging rights over Lundqvist after the two spent the past few days playfully going back and forth on Twitter. The mock feud was over Lundqvist -- Alfredsson's assistant captain -- choosing not to select Gaborik in the All-Star player draft on Thursday.
Gaborik showed just how motivated he was. After opening the scoring 4:34 in on a give-and-go with Pavel Datsyuk, Gaborik circled the net dropped to one knee and pointed his stick machine-gun style at Lundqvist while pumping his fist.
This one was all in fun, said Gaborik, the 16th player to score at least three goals -- one short of matching the record -- in the All-Star game. It was the first All-Star hat trick since Rick Nash had three goals in 2008.
"It's always tough to score on him," Gaborik said of Lundqvist. "It's not easy. I was fortunate to be lucky against him, but I think he's one of the best if not the best goalie in the league."
Tim Thomas made 18 saves in the final period, and extended his record by winning his fourth All-Star Game.
The outcome was decided in the final period when Team Chara outscored Team Alfredsson 6-3.
Gaborik set up Chara for the decisive goal, flipping the puck into the high slot, where Chara slapped it in.
"I was surprised that I was open, and I just put it on net," Chara said. "It's nice to get the win. The fans saw some goals, and then as we were going toward the end, you could see that the guys wanted to win."
Chara paid respect to Alfredsson, saying he was rooting for his former Senators teammate to complete his hat trick.
"Alfie's such a classy guy, obviously a big icon in Ottawa and Sweden, as well, and such a great player to represent this team," Chara said. "So of course I was pulling for him."
After falling behind 3-0, Team Alfredsson rallied to tie it before the first period ended. But they didn't get their first -- and only lead -- until Alfredsson scored twice during a 1:31 span to put his team up 6-5 with just under four minutes left in the second.
His first goal came on a great individual effort in which Alfredsson, dragging the puck behind him, split defensemen Kimmo Timonen and Ryan Suter, and flipped a shot that sneaked inside the right post to beat Price. Alfredsson's second came on a wonderful passing play courtesy of Daniel and Henrik Sedin, whom Alfredsson was looking forward to playing with when he drafted the twins.
That got the crowd chanting "Alfie! Alfie! Alfie!"
He nearly scored his third goal in the third period, only to have a one-timer from the left circle ring off the post.
But it was after the game when Alfredsson sounded upbeat about his future in an interview broadcast on the arena's scoreboard.
With a smile on his face, and fans cheering his name, Alfredsson said: "Fifty percent yes, and my wife's going to have to decide the other 50."
He has one year left on his contract.
It a game built around offense, the goalies still found ways to have fun with it.
Price allowed three goals on 14 shots, and lamented during the first intermission the lack of defense.
"I feel like being a lamb getting led to slaughter," Price said. "I'm must be holding on for the ride today and hope I don't get lit up too bad."
|Arena: Canadian Tire Centre
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
|Referees: Tim Peel, Eric Furlatt|
Linesmen: Brad Kovachik, Derek Amell
|Attendance: 20,510 (110.9% full)|
Team Stat Comparison
|0||Power Play Goals||0|
|0||Power Play Opportunities||0|
|44||Shots on Goal||50|
|4:34||Marian Gaborik (1)
Assist: Pavel Datsyuk
|5:38||Evgeni Malkin (1)
Assist: Jarome Iginla
|10:09||Marian Gaborik (2)
Assists: Marian Hossa, Ryan Suter
|10:36||Jason Spezza (1)
Assists: Dan Girardi, Milan Michalek
|12:51||Henrik Sedin (1)
Assists: Scott Hartnell, Kris Letang
|13:49||John Tavares (1)
Assists: Jason Pominville, Keith Yandle
|1:23||Marian Gaborik (3)
Assists: Marian Hossa, Pavel Datsyuk
|3:33||Joffrey Lupul (1)
Assist: Phil Kessel
|7:17||Jason Pominville (1)
Assists: James Neal, Steven Stamkos
|14:33||Daniel Alfredsson (1)
|16:04||Daniel Alfredsson (2)
Assists: Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin
|18:24||Patrick Kane (1)
Assist: Jordan Eberle
|4:12||Phil Kessel (1)
Assist: Brian Campbell
|5:21||Milan Michalek (1)
Assists: John Tavares, Jason Spezza
|7:45||Jarome Iginla (1)
Assists: Evgeni Malkin, Corey Perry
|9:40||Claude Giroux (1)
Assists: Scott Hartnell, Logan Couture
|12:04||Marian Hossa (1)
Assist: Pavel Datsyuk
|12:20||Zdeno Chara (1)
Assist: Marian Gaborik
|13:26||Corey Perry (1)
Assists: Jarome Iginla, Dennis Wideman
|14:20||Daniel Sedin (1)
Assists: Henrik Sedin, Daniel Alfredsson
|15:33||Joffrey Lupul (2)
Assists: Tyler Seguin, Phil Kessel