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Lecavalier earns All-Star start



NEW YORK (AP) — The Lightning’s Vinny Lecavalier will be starting alongside Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Ottawa Senators right winger Daniel Alfredsson for the East in the All-Star game, the NHL announced today.
Lecavalier, the league’s leading scorer, received 224,661 votes. The All-Star game, scheduled for Jan. 27 in Atlanta, will be his third, but his first start.
Marty St. Louis finished 21st among forwards in the voting, and Brad Richards was 32nd.
Crosby, the 20-year-old reigning NHL MVP, topped All-Star voting for the second straight year. The Penguins captain, in his third NHL season, received 507,274 votes, nearly 200,000 more than anyone else in the East, and about 30,000 greater than West leader Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit.
The Red Wings are the second team in two years to place three players in an All-Star starting lineup. The Buffalo Sabres did it a season ago for the East en route to the first Presidents' Trophy in franchise history.
Lidstrom, a five-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman, will join teammates Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk in the Western Conference lineup.
Lidstrom, who received 477,787 votes, will partner with Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf on the blue line while Jarome Iginla — also of the Flames — plays up front with Zetterberg and Datsyuk.
Zetterberg and Datsyuk are among eight first-time All-Star starters. Iginla and Phaneuf, who have helped Calgary take over first place in the Northwest Division, are also set to make their initial starts in the midseason game.
Vancouver's Roberto Luongo got the starting nod in goal for the West.
Crosby, who entered Tuesday ranked fourth in the NHL with 57 points, got the most votes again but earned 318,509 fewer votes — a 39 percent drop — than he garnered for the 2007 game in Dallas when approximately 28 million ballots were cast.
Last year, Crosby at 19 years, five months, became the youngest player voted into the starting lineup since fan balloting began in 1986. He went on to be the NHL's youngest scoring champion with 120 points.
On defense will be fellow first-time starters Andrei Markov of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston's Zdeno Chara. Markov is the only starter making his first All-Star appearance. Chara is going for the third time.
New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur was elected for the fourth time and will take part in his 10th All-Star game, tying Lidstrom for the most among this year's starters. Lidstrom is in the starting lineup for the eighth time.
The league's top two goal-scorers, Ilya Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers (34 goals) and Washington's Alex Ovechkin — tied with Iginla with 32 — weren't elected to start for the East. Ovechkin was fifth in votes among forwards with 177,574, while Kovalchuk came in sixth with 173,629.
Zetterberg was chosen to his second All-Star team, but sat out last year due to an injury. Phaneuf and Datsyuk are also All-Stars for the second time, and Iginla will play in his fourth.
Luongo was voted to the West starting lineup for the second straight season following his trade from Florida to Vancouver in 2006, and will be an All-Star for the third time.
This marked the 20th year that fans determined the starting lineups for the NHL All-Star game. Voting took place online and by cell phone only for the second straight season.
Western Conference reserves, chosen by the NHL's hockey operations department along with general managers, will be announced Thursday. The rest of the Eastern Conference roster will be revealed Friday.

The vote totals:
East forwards
x-Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh, 507,274; x-Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay, 224,661; x-Daniel Alfredsson Ottawa, 224,483; Daniel Briere, Philadelphia, 188,740; Alex Ovechkin, Washington, 177,574; Ilya Kovalchuk, Atlanta, 173,629; Dany Heatley, Ottawa, 134,782; Saku Koivu, Montreal, 112,794; Maxim Afinogenov Buffalo, 111,425; Chris Drury, N.Y. Rangers, 92,337; Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh, 79,566; Mats Sundin, Toronto, 77,814; Jason Blake, Toronto, 72,905; Jaromir Jagr, N.Y. Rangers, 72,646; w-Alex Kovalev, Montreal, 67,340; Simon Gagne, Philadelphia, 63,074; Jason Spezza, Ottawa, 62,595; Marian Hossa, Atlanta, 58,991; Thomas Vanek, Buffalo, 56,936; w-Mike Richards, Philadelphia, 55,145; Martin St. Louis Tampa Bay, 47,798; Patrik Elias, New Jersey, 47,536; Brendan Shanahan N.Y. Rangers, 46,016; Vyacheslav Kozlov Atlanta, 39,528; Eric Staal, Carolina, 35,179; Marc Savard, Boston, 27,870; Bill Guerin, N.Y. Islanders, 27,097; Scott Gomez, N.Y. Rangers, 26,936; Olli Jokinen, Florida, 25,959; Justin Williams Carolina, 21,532; Brian Gionta, New Jersey, 20,752; Brad Richards, Tampa Bay, 15,458.
East defensemen
x-Andrei Markov, Montreal, 316,136; x-Zdeno Chara, Boston, 271,272; Brian Campbell, Buffalo, 205,332; Tomas Kaberle, Toronto, 193,634; Kimmo Timonen, Philadelphia, 156,471; Wade Redden, Ottawa, 150,284; Jay Bouwmeester Florida, 140,058; Ryan Whitney, Pittsburgh, 138,655; Bryan McCabe, Toronto, 111,154; Dan Boyle, Tampa Bay, 106,203; Chris Phillips, Ottawa, 103,203; Henrik Tallinder Buffalo, 86,070.
East goaltenders
x-Martin Brodeur, New Jersey, 220,392; Henrik Lundqvist, N.Y. Rangers, 175,350; Cristobal Huet, Montreal, 170,215; Martin Biron, Philadelphia, 123,025; Ryan Miller, Buffalo, 90,146; Ray Emery, Ottawa, 56,293; Rick DiPietro, N.Y. Islanders, 55,395; Cam Ward, Carolina, 42,753; Olaf Kolzig, Washington, 34,712; Tomas Vokoun, Florida, 28,029.
West forwards
x-Henrik Zetterberg Detroit, 326,244; x-Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit, 303,309; x-Jarome Iginla, Calgary, 244,538; Mike Cammalleri Los Angeles, 165,042; Joe Sakic, Colorado, 162,489; Joe Thornton, San Jose, 147,795; Jonathan Cheechoo San Jose, 143,375; Marian Gaborik, Minnesota, 139,828; Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim, 132,180; Jason Arnott, Nashville, 127,288; Rick Nash, Columbus, 118,240; Paul Stastny, Colorado, 113,928; Mike Modano, Dallas, 98,086; Paul Kariya, St. Louis, 76,703; Shane Doan, Phoenix, 75,595; Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles, 64,856; Markus Naslund, Vancouver, 54,788; Ryan Smyth, Colorado, 50,222; Ales Hemsky, Edmonton, 49,680; Henrik Sedin, Vancouver, 47,797; Daniel Sedin, Vancouver, 46,795; Martin Havlat, Chicago, 46,321; Milan Hejduk, Colorado, 42,255; Andy McDonald, St. Louis, 35,196; Keith Tkachuk, St. Louis, 32,576; Patrick Marleau San Jose, 31,268; Brian Rolston, Minnesota, 27,423; Daymond Langkow Calgary, 26,157; Brenden Morrow, Dallas, 23,991; w-Patrick Kane, Chicago, 18,589; David Legwand, Nashville, 13,881.
West defensemen
x-Nicklas Lidstrom Detroit, 477,787; x-Dion Phaneuf, Calgary, 307,358; Chris Pronger, Anaheim, 206,590; Rob Blake, Los Angeles, 177,113; Francois Beauchemin, Anaheim, 151,746; Brian Rafalski, Detroit, 139,492; Sergei Zubov, Dallas, 101,585; Sheldon Souray, Edmonton, 97,539; Scott Hannan, Colorado, 96,621; Ed Jovanovski, Phoenix, 91,644; Mattias Ohlund, Vancouver, 88,579; Lubomir Visnovsky Los Angeles, 53,250; Robyn Regehr, Calgary, 37,022.
West goaltenders
x-Roberto Luongo, Vancouver, 263,221; Pascal Leclaire Columbus, 180,381; Dominik Hasek, Detroit, 119,465; J-S Giguere, Anaheim, 102,051; Miikka Kiprusoff Calgary, 84,416; Niklas Backstrom Minnesota, 79,727; Evgeni Nabokov, San Jose, 58,434; Nikolai Khabibulin, Chicago 53,217; Marty Turco, Dallas, 47,680.

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:38pm]


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