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Hockey fans get show as West wins, 12-9

Times Staff Writer

Minus the physicality and emotion that make hockey compelling, NHL All-Star games tend to become snoozefests or scoring sprees.

But in the league’s first All-Star contest since 2004 -- the 2005 game was canceled by the lockout and the 2006 game was skipped in deference to the Turin Olympics -- players felt obligated Wednesday to become entertainers.

As these things go, they succeeded. The West stars rode a six-goal second period to a 12-9 victory in a penalty-free, no-hit exhibition of glorified shinny on a very big pond known as the American Airlines Center.

“Before the game we talked about putting on a show,” said Brian Rolston of the Minnesota Wild, who contributed two goals and two assists to the West cause.

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“In All-Star games in the past, the effort hadn’t been there. This was more of a serious atmosphere.”

Rolston, Columbus’ Rick Nash, Chicago’s Martin Havlat and Phoenix’s Yanic Perreault scored four straight goals in the second period against New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur, who has his three Stanley Cup championships to fall back on for consolation.

The East ended that streak when Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin converted a rebound. He was assisted by Buffalo’s Daniel Briere, one of four assists in a five-point game that earned him most-valuable-player honors and a truck.

“I never thought in the first place that I would ever get the chance to come here and play in the All-Star game,” Briere said, “so I feel fortunate just to be here this week and to win the MVP.”

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Philippe Boucher of the Dallas Stars, a former King, started on defense for the West in place of injured Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer.... Ducks winger Teemu Selanne said he liked the sleek, water-repellent jerseys the teams wore Wednesday. They’ll be worn league-wide next season. “I think they look pretty good, and it’s lighter,” he said.


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