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All Star Canadiens Getting a Challenge From Pens Fans

New York (December 2, 2008) – Responding to the daunting challenge issued by the devoted fans of the Montreal Canadiens, the citizens of Pittsburgh and Penguins fans around the world are proving just how passionate they are about their heroes.
       
Pens forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the top two scorers in the NHL, have closed the gap considerably on the front-running Montreal threesome of Alexei Kovalev, Saku Koivu and Alex Tanguay in fan balloting to select the starting lineups for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal Jan. 25.

As of 7 a.m. ET today, Crosby had received 320,373 votes in XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports. With polls still open for another month, that moved Crosby within 65,000 votes of claiming one of the three starting spots up front for the Eastern Conference.

        Malkin, who led the NHL with 39 points through Monday’s games, ranked fifth among Eastern Conference forwards with 264,914 votes.

        However, Canadiens fans haven’t eased up at all since storming the virtual polls the moment they opened.

        Defensemen Andrei Markov and Mike Komisarek continue to lead the voting at their position, with Markov’s 440,292 votes the most among all Eastern Conference players. And goaltender Carey Price’s 429,087 votes are more than twice as many as those received by his nearest competitor, Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury.       

        The vote totals, as of 7 a.m. ET, in the fan balloting for the Eastern Conference starters are detailed below. A Western Conference update will be issued tomorrow.

Through Jan. 2, NHL fans can vote as often as they like in the XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports to select the starting lineups for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal. Fans around the world can vote online via interactive English and French ballots at Vote.NHL.com. Those in the U.S. and Canada also are able to cast their votes via text message using any wireless carrier. Real-time results are available exclusively at http://Vote.NHL.com/results
.
Fans can vote for up to six Eastern Conference players and six Western Conference players—three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender. Fans are permitted to select as few as one player—a balloted player or write-in—per online ballot at Vote.NHL.com or via text message.

To vote using any wireless carrier, fans should text their favorite player’s last name to the shortcode 81812. Fans interested in voting for all of their favorite team’s balloted players can text the team nickname (e.g., Bruins) to 81812. Standard text messaging charges will apply.

XM, which airs every NHL game for every team as the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the NHL, and 2K Sports, a leading publisher of sports video games, are the NHL All-Star Fan Balloting title and presenting sponsors, respectively.

        The 2009 NHL All-Star Weekend in Montreal will celebrate the Montreal Canadiens’ Centennial season with live national broadcasts of the Honda/NHL SuperSkills® event on Saturday, Jan. 24, and the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 25, on VERSUS in the United States and CBC and RDS in Canada. NASN, ASN, J Sports, Sky Mexico, Fox Sports Australia and other NHL international broadcast partners will provide live coverage of both the Honda/NHL SuperSkills event and the NHL All-Star Game to more than 150 countries and territories in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific Rim, Mexico and the Caribbean. NHL Radio™ will provide exclusive, national radio coverage which can be heard on stations around the United States and Canada as well as on Sirius XM Radio’s NHL Home Ice, located at XM channel 204 and on SIRIUS channel 208 with the “Best of XM” programming package. NHL.com and NHL Network will provide extensive coverage of the All-Star Weekend.

XM NHL All-Star Fan Balloting Presented by 2K Sports

Eastern Conference


Forwards

Player               NHL Club     Votes

Alex Kovalev           (Montreal)        393,303
Saku Koivu             (Montreal)        390,026
Alex Tanguay         (Montreal)        385,297
Sidney Crosby                 (Pittsburgh)      320,373
Evgeni Malkin         (Pittsburgh)      264,914
Alex Ovechkin         (Washington)    190,535
Alexander Semin       (Washington)    109,917
Marc Savard           (Boston)          98,731
Patrice Bergeron       (Boston)          91,453
Thomas Vanek         (Buffalo)          86,198
Simon Gagne         (Philadelphia)    66,667
Mike Richards         (Philadelphia)    53,486
Danny Briere           (Philadelphia)    52,770
Derek Roy             (Buffalo)          51,955
Vincent Lecavalier     (Tampa Bay)    47,147
Ilya Kovalchuk         (Atlanta)          31,208
Chris Drury           (NY Rangers)    30,617
Dany Heatley           (Ottawa)                29,916
Daniel Alfredsson     (Ottawa)                27,599
Eric Staal             (Carolina)        24,785
Zach Parise           (New Jersey)    22,437
Markus Naslund       (NY Rangers)    21,335
Scott Gomez           (NY Rangers)    20,462
Martin St. Louis       (Tampa Bay)    17,380
Jason Spezza         (Ottawa)                14,971
Rod Brind’Amour     (Carolina)        14,253
Brian Rolston         (New Jersey)    13,250
*Jordan Staal         (Pittsburgh)      13,068
Patrik Elias             (New Jersey)    11,870
Ray Whitney           (Carolina)        10,441
*Milan Lucic           (Boston)          9,141
*Philip Kessel         (Boston)          8,251
*Jeff Carter             (Philadelphia)    6,177
Trent Hunter           (NY Islanders)    5,300


Defensemen
Andrei Markov         (Montreal)        440,292
Mike Komisarek       (Montreal)        396,754
Zdeno Chara           (Boston)          197,582
Sergei Gonchar       (Pittsburgh)      185,051
Ryan Whitney         (Pittsburgh)      162,461
Mike Green             (Washington)    159,808
Teppo Numminen     (Buffalo)          77,688
Kimmo Timonen       (Philadelphia)    77,347
Tomas Kaberle       (Toronto)        61,604
Wade Redden         (NY Rangers)    45,745
Jay Bouwmeester     (Florida)          36,499
Chris Phillips           (Ottawa)                15,602

Goaltenders
Carey Price           (Montreal)        429,087
Marc-Andre Fleury     (Pittsburgh)      204,308
Henrik Lundqvist       (NY Rangers)    87,620
Ryan Miller             (Buffalo)          82,709
*Tim Thomas         (Boston)          52,606
Martin Biron           (Philadelphia)    47,090
Martin Brodeur         (New Jersey)    36,435
Vesa Toskala         (Toronto)        24,890
Kari Lehtonen         (Atlanta)          12,148
Tomas Vokoun         (Florida)        7,210
Rick DiPietro           (NY Islanders)  7,183

Note: Write-in candidates are denoted by an asterisk (*).

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+tanguay, alexei+kovalev, all+star+game, asg, evgeni+malkin, hockey+fans, saku+koivu, sidney+crosby

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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