East tops West in All-Star shootout

January 25, 2009 6:41:40 PM PST
The NHL All-Star game was settled in the newest of ways in hockey's oldest city. Alex Ovechkin sealed the Eastern Conference's 12-11 victory Sunday night with a goal in the third round of the shootout. It capped off the busiest of nights for the NHL's reigning MVP, who also had a goal and two assists.

The biggest cheer of the night went to hometown hero Alex Kovalev, the Canadiens star who earned MVP honors with a pair of breakaway goals and then another in the shootout against Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo.

For the first time since shootouts were implemented by the NHL to eliminate ties after the 2004-05 lockout, an All-Star game was decided by penalty shots. It also was used in 2003 to settle the West's 6-5 win over the East.

It was all set up by a wild third period and overtime. The teams were tied 8-8 after 40 minutes, and the East grabbed two leads in the final regulation frame, but couldn't get the winner past Luongo, who is from Montreal.

The only power play went to the West, and it took until overtime to get it. Canadiens defenseman Mike Komisarek went off for hooking 2:22 into the extra session, and - with the home fans chanting "Defense! Defense!" - Boston goalie Tim Thomas held off the West and earned his second straight one-goal, All-Star win.


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