Usually, Alex Ovechkin is a hated rival in Raleigh, but for at least this All-Star Weekend, he’s beloved.
In typical All-Star fashion, the scoring began just 50 seconds in to the game when Ovechkin tipped a point blast from Zdeno Chara past Marc-Andre Fleury. Team Staal looked like they were going to run away with things after that, backed by some fantastic play from Carolina goalie Cam Ward.
But can you really ever count out a team with a combined payroll of over $100 million? (That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.) Team Lidstrom got going on a breakaway by Anze Kopitar. He roofed a wrister over the shoulder of Ward to get the blue team on the board. Polite applause came down from the RBC Center seats.
That seemed to get Team Lidstrom going a bit, and they would be the ones scoring in quick succession next. Dustin Byfuglien jumped up into the offense and buried a gorgeous pass from his former teammate Patrick Kane, and then Loui Eriksson and Matt Duchene scored 23 seconds apart to even things up.
It’s been a typical All-Star show so far. No defense, lots of goals, gorgeous passing. Oh, and lots of mascots just awkwardly walking around the building.
This update was written by Travis Hughes, SB Nation’s NHL editor.