by Kate Shefte
By Staal standards, it was a fairly low-key affair at the 2009 All-Star game, held in Montreal on Sunday night. Eric Staal scored the second goal of the night to make the score 2-1, and his Eastern Conference All-Stars won the match in a shootout, 12-11.
Alexi Kovalev, the captain of the hometown Canadiens (now there’s a funny coincidence) kept Staal from adding to his car collection. He scored two goals and added the deciding tally in the shootout, earning the game’s MVP title and a 2009 Honda Ridgeline in the process.
Staal was conspicuously absent in the Skills Competition; in the only event he did compete in, the Elimination Shootout, his shot was stopped by a sprawling Tim Thomas. Although he played on the night’s most prolific line with Kovalev and league-leading point scorer Evgeni Malkin, Staal only registered one shot on goal of his team’s 54 during the All Star game, and it wound up in the back of the net. Staal, standing at the goalmouth, picked up a Jay Bouwmeester feed for his fourth goal in three All-Star games. He has scored at least once in every one he has participated in.
The ‘Canes return to action tomorrow night when they visit Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Rangers. Carolina dropped its only game against the Rangers so far this season, a 3-2 shootout loss in December. They will return to Raleigh for a two-game home stand against Tampa Bay and Atlanta on Thursday and Saturday.