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The 57th National Hockey League All-Star Game was held at the Bell Centremarker in Montreal, Quebec, Canadamarker, home of the Montreal Canadiens, in conjunction with the Montreal Canadiens centennial celebrations. The game was held between two teams, each representing a conference (Eastern and Western) of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Eastern Conference team won the game 12–11, decided by shootout. The next NHL All-Star Game, the 58th, will be held in 2011, instead of 2010, due to the 2010 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Vancouvermarker, an NHL city.

The game was part of a weekend of activities. On Saturday, a game featuring NHL rookies and sophomores preceded a skills competition among the NHL players, called the NHL All-Star Game SuperSkills Competition. In a first for the All-Star Game, the "Breakaway Challenge", a part of the skills competition, had fans voting for the winner using their mobile phones, with the real-time voting results posted on the NHL's website. The All-Star Game itself was played on a Sunday evening. The game was preceded by a circus arts display and a concert was held between the second and third periods.

Skills Competition

Unlike previous years, the Skills Competition did not have players playing on the behalf of their respective conferences (thus, there was no conference-based scoring) and the team-based Obstacle Course was removed. In addition, YoungStars players became eligible to play in the Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot, Shooting Accuracy, and Breakaway Challenge events.

In reaction to the changed format for the skills competition the year before, the Fastest Skater event reverted back to the traditional one-lap format. The breakaway challenge used Jason Maggio, a local minor hockey goaltender defending the goal (to answer criticisms that the all-star goaltenders simply poke-checked the players as they were making the shot) as well as the player being able to take as many shots as possible in one minute (instead of only one shot). Finally, instead of being a judged competition, the breakaway challenge allowed the public to vote for the winner via text messaging. The public chose Alexander Ovechkin, whose highlight was a shot using two sticks while wearing a series of props provided by Evgeni Malkin, by a landslide, with 47% of the votes. Evgeni Malkin won the shooting accuracy over Dany Heatley in a sudden death shoot-off after both scored 4-for-4 in the preliminaries. Malkin shot 3-4 missing the last target while Heatley hit his first two but missed on the third. Andrew Cogliano walked off as the winner of the Fastest Skater competition.

The Hardest Shot competition was played for charity, with each competitor contributing $1000, to be matched by their team and the league, as well as the NHL Players' Association (NHLPA), for a total of $24,000 to the charity chosen by the winner of the competition. Zdeno Chara won the event, with a record 105.4 MPH shot (eclipsing Al Iafrate, who had set the record the last time the All-Star game was in Montreal). The Elimination Shootout involved all 40 skaters (but only four of the six goaltenders - leaving Roberto Luongo as the only player to not participate in any of the skills events), with the goaltenders being able to choose which skaters they will face off against. The field was narrowed from 40 to just 12 after one round, and Shane Doan eventually outlasted Marc Savard after 7 rounds (including two rounds in which none of the three remaining players — Doan, Savard, nor Milan Hejduk — scored).

YoungStars Game

For the first time, the YoungStars game, part of the the Skills Competition featured a three-on-three rookies versus sophomores format, consisting of three six-minute periods with the clock stopping only within the last minute of each game. Coaching the rookies was Luc Robitaille and for the sophomores was Pete Mahovlich. Unlike last year, YoungStars goaltenders have been named, though sophomore goaltender Carey Price volunteered to do double duty after Erik Ersberg withdrew from the game due to injury. The game saw rookie goaltender Pekka Rinne (who replaced Steve Mason) make 20 saves in a 9-5 victory for the rookies. Rookie Blake Wheeler was named the MVP of the YoungStars game after scoring four goals.


Rookies Sophomores
Coaches Luc Robitaille Pete Mahovlich
 35 – G Pekka Rinne (Nashville Predators)
8 – D Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings)
2 – D Luke Schenn (Toronto Maple Leafs)
21 – F Patrik Berglund (St. Louis Blues)
19 – F Mikkel Boedker (Phoenix Coyotes)
67 – F Michael Frolik (Florida Panthers)
18 – F James Neal (Dallas Stars)
91 – F Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning)
32 – F Kris Versteeg (Chicago Blackhawks)
26 – F Blake Wheeler (Boston Bruins)
 31 – G Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens)
58 – D Kris Letang (Pittsburgh Penguins)
18 – D Marc Staal (New York Rangers)
36 – F Dave Bolland (Chicago Blackhawks)
13 – F Andrew Cogliano (Edmonton Oilers)
17 – F Brandon Dubinsky (New York Rangers)
10 – F Bryan Little (Atlanta Thrashers)
57 – F David Perron (St. Louis Blues)
21 – F Mason Raymond (Vancouver Canucks)
16 – F Devin Setoguchi (San Jose Sharks)
Final Score
Period 1 Period 2 Period 3 Final
Sophomore 1 3 1 5
Rookie 3 4 2 9

  • Milan Lucic was named to the YoungStars game, but did not play.
  • Erik Ersberg was named to the YoungStars game, but did not play.
  • Steve Mason was named to the YoungStars game, but did not play.
  • Nicklas Backstrom was named to the YoungStars game, but did not play.
  • Kris Versteeg was named to the YoungStars game, but did not dress.

Absentee punishment

Due to a growing number of otherwise healthy players choosing to skip the All-Star Game to 'rest', the NHL began to enforce the understanding that players that are named to the All-Star Game must participate in some capacity. Those who choose not to participate must miss a game, either before the All-Star game or after. Players named to the YoungStars game will not be subject to this policy, as their consent is required for participation. Thus, due to Red Wings players Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Lidstrom having declined to attend the festivities due to injury, they were forced to miss one game. Sidney Crosby, who was also ruled out due to injury, participated in off-ice activities and was not forced to miss a game.


Fan voting for the All-Star Game starting line-up was closed on January 2, 2009. The rosters were announced on January 3 by retired Canadian Hockey Hall of Famemarker player Jean Béliveau, who played in 13 All-Star games during his career.

Eastern Conference Western Conference
Coach: Claude Julien (Boston Bruins) Todd McLellan (San Jose Sharks)
Assistant Coach: Guy Carbonneau (Montreal Canadiens) Mike Babcock (Detroit Red Wings)
Captains: Alexei Kovalev Joe Thornton
 31 – G Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens)
44 – D Mike Komisarek (Montreal Canadiens)
79 – D Andrei Markov (Montreal Canadiens)
27 – F Alexei Kovalev (Montreal Canadiens) - (C)
4 – F Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay Lightning)1
71 – F Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins)

 35 – G Jean-Sebastien Giguere (Anaheim Ducks)
51 – D Brian Campbell (Chicago Blackhawks)
27 – D Scott Niedermayer (Anaheim Ducks)
15 – F Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks)
88 – F Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)
19 – F Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)
 35 – G Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers)
30 – G Tim Thomas (Boston Bruins)
3 – D Jay Bouwmeester (Florida Panthers)
33 – D Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins)
15 – D Tomas Kaberle (Toronto Maple Leafs)
2 – D Mark Streit (New York Islanders)
7 – F Jeff Carter (Philadelphia Flyers)
51 – F Dany Heatley (Ottawa Senators)
17 – F Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta Thrashers)
8 – F Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)
9 – F Zach Parise (New Jersey Devils)
91 – F Marc Savard (Boston Bruins)
26 – F Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning)1
12 – F Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes)
20 – F Thomas Vanek (Buffalo Sabres)
 32 – G Niklas Backstrom (Minnesota Wild)
1 – G Roberto Luongo (Vancouver Canucks)
22 – D Dan Boyle (San Jose Sharks)
3 – D Stephane Robidas (Dallas Stars)1
44 – D Sheldon Souray (Edmonton Oilers)
6 – D Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)
24 – F Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings)
18 – F Shane Doan (Phoenix Coyotes)
23 – F Milan Hejduk (Colorado Avalanche)
12 – F Jarome Iginla (Calgary Flames)
10 – F Patrick Marleau (San Jose Sharks)2
9 – F Mike Modano (Dallas Stars)
61 – F Rick Nash (Columbus Blue Jackets)
97 – F Joe Thornton (San Jose Sharks) - (C)
7 – F Keith Tkachuk (St. Louis Blues)

Referees: Marc Joannette and Brad Meier

Linesmen: Greg Devorski and Pierre Racicot


Nicklas Lidstrom was named to the Western Conference All-Star Team, but chose not to play. Stephane Robidas was named as his replacement.
Pavel Datsyuk was named to the Western Conference All-Star Team, but was unable to play due to injury. Patrick Marleau was named as his replacement.
Sidney Crosby was voted into the starting lineup for the Eastern Conference All-Star Team, but was unable to play due to injury. Martin St. Louis was named as his replacement on the roster and Vincent Lecavalier as his replacement in the starting lineup.

Box Score

WEST 11 – 12 (SO)
(2-4, 6-4, 3-3, 0-0, 0-2)
EAST Bell Centremarker (21,273)
First period
Tkachuk (Nash, Hejduk) 1:16 Referees:
6:26 Ovechkin (Savard) Marc Joannette
9:30 Staal (Bouwmeester, Kovalev) Brad Meier
16:34 Kovalev (Kaberle)
19:23 Markov (Ovechkin, Savard) Linesmen:
Marleau (Thornton, Niedermayer) 19:48 Greg Devorski
Second period Pierre Racicot
1:21 St. Louis (Kaberle)
2:11 Parise (St. Louis, Streit) MVP:
Souray (Hejduk) 3:29 Alexei Kovalev (Montreal)
Boyle (Doan, Campbell) 5:14
7:45 Malkin
Nash 8:27
Hejduk (Boyle, Nash) 9:02
Souray (2) (Thornton, Marleau) 10:34
13:35 Kovalev (2)
Iginla (Thornton, Marleau) 16:46
Third period
Doan (Modano, Brown) 0:32
2:17 Heatley (Savard)
Toews (Kane, Souray) 2:32
13:19 St. Louis (2) (Streit, Bouwmeester)
Kane 15:18
16:21 Bouwmeester (Ovechkin)
Overtime period
no scoring
Vincent Lecavalier
Shane Doan
Alexei Kovalev
Rick Nash
Alexander Ovechkin


A pre-game performance featured acrobatics and music by circus arts group Cirque Éloize. The U.S. national anthem was sung by Alan Prater and the Canadian national anthem was performed by the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir, under the direction of its founder Trevor Payne. Simple Plan and Marie-Mai performed during the intermission.


  1. Montreal pair among NHL all-star game crew
  2. Hometown hero Lecavalier added as Eastern starter

External links

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