58th NHL All-Star Game Portraits

2011 NHL All-Star Game: Team Lidstrom beats Team Staal 11-10; Patrick Sharp named MVP

Coming back from a 4-0 deficit is rare in a normal NHL game. Yet in a wide-open event like the 2011 NHL All-Star Game, it’s almost expected.

Team Lidstrom looked like they were on their way to a lopsided defeat when they fell behind 4-0 early in the first period of the contest, but they managed to tie it up in the first frame. The game tightened up a bit in the second period as Team Lidstrom took a 7-6 lead thanks in some part to solid goaltending.

The third period ended with a frenzy of activity. Rick Nash scored a breakaway goal to cut down Team Lidstrom’s lead to 10-9, only to see Loui Eriksson score an empty netter for his fourth point of the game to build the lead back to two. Eric Staal made sure his team kept at it, scoring his crowd-pleasing second goal to cut the lead back down to one. Team Lidstrom ultimately held off Staal’s group to squeak by 11-10, though.

Perhaps the most memorable moment of the game came when Alex Ovechkin slid his stick down the ice to try to thwart a Matt Duchene breakway (and maybe give the crowd a treat), thus giving Duchene the first penalty shot in the history of NHL all-star games. Henrik Lundqvist ultimately bailed Ovi out by shutting down Duchene’s breakaway attempt.

Patrick Sharp earned the MVP (and a car) with a one-goal, two assist performance for Team Lidstrom. This is the third time Tim Thomas managed to earn a win in an All-Star Game, according to Versus. Nick Lidstrom and Shea Weber combined for a whopping +14 plus/minus in the game.

Stay tuned for more ASG-related fun later on tonight and tomorrow.

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for today

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After the Eastern Conference Game 2s played out on Saturday, we’re getting the Western Conference set today. You can watch the action via NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

Here’s a quick overview of where specifically you can watch the contests:

St. Louis at Dallas (3:00 p.m. ET)

If you want to watch the game on television, NBC is the channel to do that. If you want to stream the game with the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Nashville at San Jose (8:00 p.m. ET)

The game will be televised on NBCSN. You can also stream the contest by clicking here.

Here’s some relevant pregame reading material:

With Eaves injured, Nichushkin will play for Stars in Game 2

Hitchcock, Blues know they need to slow down the Stars … but can they?

Sharks swarm in the third period, take down Predators in Game 1

Speed, skill help Stars score late victory to take series lead over Blues

Video: Penguins coach takes issue with late, high Orpik hit on Maatta

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have spoken out against a late, high hit that Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik threw on Olli Maatta early in the first period of an eventful Game 2 on Saturday.

Maatta left and didn’t return. He played only 31 seconds, and the Penguins were reduced to five defensemen for a large portion of the game. Orpik was given a minor penalty on the play, but the league’s Department of Player Safety may see it differently.

The hit occurred well after Maatta had gotten rid of the puck. He struggled on his way to the dressing room for further evaluation.

Based on multiple reports, Orpik wasn’t made available to the media following the game, which went to the Penguins as they earned the split on the road.

But the Penguins have taken issue with the hit.

“I thought it was a late hit,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, as per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I thought it was a target to his head. I think it’s the type of hit everyone in hockey is trying to remove from the game.”

Game on: Penguins even series with rival Capitals

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The Pittsburgh Penguins will head back home with a split of their second-round series with the rival Washington Capitals.

Former Capitals forward Eric Fehr came back to burn his hold team, as he scored with under five minutes remaining in regulation to help lift the Penguins over Washington with a 2-1 victory in an eventful Game 2 on Saturday. Evgeni Malkin threw the puck toward the net and Fehr was able to re-direct it by Braden Holtby.

Oh, this was an eventful game, indeed.

It started early in the first period with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik catching Penguins blue liner Olli Maatta with a late and high hit that warranted — at least for now — only a minor penalty for interference. Maatta, clearly in distress following the hit, didn’t play another shift and saw only 31 seconds of ice time in total, as Pittsburgh was reduced to five defensemen for the remainder of the game.

It continued in the third period. Kris Letang was furious after getting called for a trip on Justin Williams, and even more ticked off when the Capitals tied the game on the ensuing power play.

For two periods, the Capitals couldn’t get much going. Only four of their players had registered a shot on goal through 40 minutes, while the Penguins held the edge in that department and held the lead.

Washington came out with more jump in the third period, testing rookie netminder Matt Murray with 14 shots in the final 20 minutes. But the Penguins got the late goal to break the deadlock.

Video: Penguins’ Letang was furious after Capitals tie up Game 2 with power play goal

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Kris Letang watched from the penalty box as the Washington Capitals tied up Game 2 with a power play goal in the third period. The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman was called for tripping after he appeared to muscle Justin Williams off the puck as he entered the zone.

Letang let his disagreement with the call be known at the time, and was furious after the Capitals capitalized on a goal from Marcus Johansson.

The Capitals started the period down a goal and being outshot 28-10 by the Penguins, who need a win to even the series.

Also, it seems this is worth mentioning: