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  1. Sports

All-Star captains go with what they know in draft

GATINEAU, Quebec — Daniel Alfredsson and Zdeno Chara stuck close to home in drafting their All-Star Game teams Thursday night.

Alfredsson, captain of one team, took all the players from his native Sweden in the pool of 38 and all his Senators teammates. Chara, the other captain, took all his Bruins cohorts and fellow Slovaks.

The captains also drafted with an extra gamesmanship edge. Alfredsson took all the Canucks, who lost to the Bruins in last season's Stanley Cup final, and Chara all the Maple Leafs, the Ontario rivals of the Senators.

"That's the way it should be," Alfredsson said. "(The game) should be a little bit more intense, maybe more than normal."

He also picked the Lightning's lone participant, Steven Stamkos.

The teams face each other in the skills competition Saturday and the game Sunday.

Chara earned the right to pick first after winning the "puck flip." But he started with a Russian Red Wing, Pavel Datsyuk. "I love the way he plays the game," Chara said. "It was my individual goal to get him first."

Bruins goalie Tim Thomas was his second pick, and he later took teammate Tyler Seguin.

Alfredsson opened by selecting two teammates, defenseman Erik Karlsson and forward Jason Spezza. He completed the Senators sweep by taking forward Milan Michalek with the 24th pick.

Alfredsson and his alternate captain, Rangers goalie and fellow Swede Henrik Lundqvist, got a two-fer in taking the other three Swedes in the game. They're Canucks: high-scoring forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin and defenseman Alex Edler.

Chara's Slovakian drafting also boosts his offense. He got the Blackhawks' Marian Hossa and the Rangers' Marian Gaborik.

"I'm sure the other side understood that my goal was to try to keep my countrymen and teammates together as well," Chara said. "I'm glad it worked out for both sides."

The distinction of Mr. Irrelevant fell to Sharks forward Logan Couture. For being the last man selected, Couture gets a 2012 Honda Crosstour 4WD EX-L and will have $20,000 donated to the grassroots hockey organization of his choice.

White House fallout: The decision by Bruins goalie Tim Thomas to skip a White House ceremony with President Barack Obama because he believes the federal government is "out of control" points to a growing lack of courtesy in the country, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said. "He's a phenomenal hockey player, and he's entitled to his views," Patrick said. "It just feels like we are losing in this country basic courtesy and grace."

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