Western Conference wins high-scoring tilt

Thursday, January 25, 2007
Eastern Conference goaltender Ryan Miller, right, reached for the puck after a shot by Western Conference forward Patrick Marleau, left, at the NHL All-Star game in Dallas, on Wednesday. (MATT SLOCUM ~ Associaed Press)

The showcase game was the first for the league since 2003.

DALLAS -- Young standouts Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin will have to wait to dominate an All-Star game.

This night belonged to one of the NHL's old stars.

Colorado's Joe Sakic, making is 12th All-Star appearance, had four assists to lead the Western Conference to 12-9 victory Wednesday night.

Well-traveled Yanic Perreault of Phoenix, Columbus' Rick Nash, Minnesota's Brian Rolston and Martin Havlat of Chicago each had two goals for the West squad.

Daniel Briere, one of three starters from Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo, had a goal and four assists and was selected the MVP.

The league's first midseason showcase since 2004 was a high-scoring affair befitting post-lockout rules and new streamlined uniforms designed, in part, to make the players faster.

Crosby and Ovechkin started on the same line and played most of the game together for the Eastern Conference, but just never could get into the flow. Ovechkin's goal in the second period was the only point between the duo that's being compared to Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.

Pittsburgh's Crosby, 19, was the top vote-getter for the All-Star game. He leads the NHL in scoring with 72 points. Ovechkin, the 21-year-old Moscow native who was Rookie of the Year last season has 65 points for Washington.

Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara, at 6-foot-9 the tallest player in NHL history, scored two goals for the East squad.

Neither Crosby or Ovechkin were in the NHL when the last All-Star game was played, before the lockout and then the Olympics last year put the game on the shelf. They were among 20 first-time All-Stars.

Sakic, who has spent his entire 18-season career with the Colorado/Quebec franchise, was the MVP of the last All-Star game when he scored three goals in a West loss.

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