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Les Magnifiques
Sharks don't disapoint at All Star Game
1/25/09 - By Mike Lee

Not that the All Star Game even remotely resembles a true athletic competition, but the Sharks representatives held their own on Sunday night in Montreal. Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle all contributed significantly in the scoring column, even though the West came up short in the shootout. Montreal Canadiens forward Alexei Kovalev won MVP honors in a back and forth 12-11 East win at the Bell Centre.

Marleau led San Jose's contingency with a goal and 2 assists, while Boyle had a tally of his own to go along with a helper. Thornton chipped in 3 assists, which included one of his patent setups from behind the opponent's goal.

San Jose's first point came on Marleau's goal with 12 seconds left in the opening period. He whipped a shot from the right circle that beat Canadiens goaltender Cary Price with a shot that tucked just inside the right post. The Sharks captain skated with Thornton and Calgary Flames captain Jerome Iginla.

Boyle cut the East's lead to 6-4 at the 5:14 mark of the 2nd period with a one-timer on a feed from Shane Doan. The Sharks defenseman pinched from the right point, and roofed Doan's feed as he has done for the Sharks so many times this season.

The Sharks defenseman was making his 1st All Star appearance, and was paired up with Anaheim Ducks defenseman Scott Neidermayer.

All of Thornton's assists were of the primary variety. He setup Marleau's tally with a no-look dish through the slot, then helped Sheldon Souray bag his 2nd goal of the night midway through the 2nd period.

Thornton would save his best feed for last, setting up Iginla from behind Rangers goaltender Henrik Lunqvist. Iginla buried Thornton's feed for the West's 8th goal of the evening.

The two teams would knot things up at 11, then go to overtime, where the West was primed to end things when Canadiens defenseman Mike Komisarek took a rare hooking penalty. Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas had other ideas about a West triumph, stopping all 3 shots he faced in the extra frame.

Kovalev would convert in the shootout, but Sharks head coach Todd McLellan elected to go with Doan, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash in the shootout, but both failed to get the puck past Thomas. Kovalev scored the East's 2nd attempt in the shootout after Tampa Bay Lightning centerman Vincent Lecavalier missed. Washington Capitals goal scorer extraordinaire Alexander Ovechkin ended things with backhand shot that beat Vancouver Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo.

And just like that, the party was over. But what a grand party it was. Montreal pulled out all the stops, and the Canadiens used the game to showcase their 100th season in the NHL. The team's history played a vital role in the super star celebration, with many links to their historic past on display.

The likes of Henri Richard, Jean Beliveau, Serge Savard, Yvon Cournoyer, Dickie Moore, Guy Lafleur and Bob Gainey all played supporting roles in Montreal's celebration. Many were introduced throughout the game, appearing through different portals leading into the stadium.


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