OTTAWA - Marian Gaborik got the best of Rangers teammate Henrik Lundqvist and brought back a bad memory for Lightning fans, Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos was awarded a penalty shot, and Zdeno Chara scored the winning goal for the All-Star team named after him.
Even in defeat, the Senators' Daniel Alfredsson rewarded the hometown fans with two goals and an assist for the team named after him.
For an All-Star Game that lacked the league's top-name talent in Sidney Crosby (concussion symptoms) and Alex Ovechkin (bruised ego over a league suspension), there was plenty to keep everyone buzzing Sunday.
Gaborik scored three times, added an assist and earned MVP honors, and Team Chara used a third-period offensive eruption in a 12-9 win over Team Alfredsson.
"We have a lot of fun out there," said Lundqvist, who allowed three goals on 12 shots in the first period. "A lot of times you might forget because it's a lot of pressure, and you put a lot of pressure on yourself, but this weekend is all about the game of hockey and having fun with it."
Fans were treated to a game that featured plenty of nifty passing plays, numerous odd-man breaks and the second penalty shot in All-Star history, to Stamkos for a first-period encounter with the Maple Leafs' Dion Phaneuf.
Stamkos was foiled when he attempted the same spin-o-rama move he used to beat Canadiens goalie Carey Price in the skills competition Saturday. The Red Wings' Jimmy Howard didn't bite, holding his ground and hugging the post to stop the shot.
"I think I ran out of moves," Stamkos said. "I tried something fancy and hoped it would work. It didn't. But I just tried to have fun with it."
Stamkos hinted he was influenced by Lightning teammate Marty St. Louis, who scored a shootout goal on a spin-o-rama move that gave Tampa Bay a win over the Blackhawks last season
"Hopefully Marty's watching and got a big smile on his face," said Stamkos, who had an assist in the game. "Too bad it didn't go in."
Gaborik earned bragging rights over Lundqvist after the two spent the previous few days playfully going back and forth on Twitter. The mock feud was over Lundqvist, Alfredsson's assistant captain, not selecting Gaborik in the player draft Thursday.
After opening the scoring 4:34 in on a give-and-go with the Red Wings' Pavel Datsyuk, Gaborik circled the net, dropped to one knee and pointed his stick machine-gun style at Lundqvist while pumping his fist.
The move was identical to one done by Rangers forward Artem Anisimov this season after he scored against the Lightning, a move that did not go over well with Tampa Bay.
This one was all in fun, said Gaborik, the 16th player to score at least three goals in the game. It was the first All-Star hat trick since the Blue Jackets' Rick Nash had three goals in 2008.
"It's always tough to score on him," Gaborik said of Lundqvist. "I was fortunate to be lucky against him."
The Bruins' Tim Thomas made 18 saves in the final period and extended his record by winning his fourth All-Star Game.
Datsyuk, the first overall pick in the player draft, had three assists, giving him four assists but no goals in three All-Star Games. "I've never scored in my career in an All-Star Game," he said. "But it's good news, the dream's still there."
The combined 21 goals tied for fourth most in game history. The record is 26, set in 2001 when a team of North American All-Stars beat the World All-Stars 14-12.