Grading the performance of the NHL all-stars

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MONTREAL - A report card look at the 2009 NHL all-star game:

Eastern Conference

Goaltenders - B. Home team goalie Carey Price set a nice tone allowing only two first-period goals, but Henrik Lundqvist was bombarded in the second and let in six. Then Tim Thomas sewed it up with 19 third-period saves and two more in the shootout.

Defence - C. Mark Streit and Jay Bouwmeester managed to emerge plus-3, and while Montreal's Andrei Markov made some sweet plays, no-hit all-star hockey is not his partner Mike Komisarek's style. Zdeno Chara and Tomas Kaberle also struggled.

Forwards - A. Vincent Lecavalier and his Tampa teammate Martin St. Louis were eye-catching, Evgeni Malkin scored a circus goal, Alex Kovalev had seven shots and was player of the game and Alex Ovechkin was there when they needed him. The Jeff Carter, Thomas Vanek, Ilya Kovalchuk trio was quiet, though.

Western Conference

Goaltenders - C. None of the three really stood out, although Niklas Backstrom faced 21 second-period shots and let in four. Roberto Luongo let in three of 16 in the third, then was beaten twice on three tries in the shootout.

Defence - B. Dan Boyle and Brian Campbell put on a skating and passing show, while Sheldon Souray had two goals and an assist even in a game where people don't blast hard point shots.

Forwards - A. Mike Modano's volleyed pass to Shane Doan for a volleyed shot and a goal was a highlight, and veteran Keith Tkachuk showed more energy than his younger teammates, tying Patrick Marleau's six shots. The Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf unit didn't get going until the third period.


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