Datsyuk still searching for first All-Star goal
Pavel Datsyuk's wish to be the MVP of the NHL All-Star game will have to wait for at least another year. So will the Detroit Red Wings forward's bid to score his first goal in the league's midseason classic.
In three career appearances, Datsyuk has been limited to four assists - including three on Sunday in Team Chara's 12-9 win over Team Alfredsson.
It wasn't for a lack of trying to score.
Datsyuk had all three of his shots stopped, while playing on a line with Marian Gaborik and Marian Hossa. Gaborik had three goals and an assist to earn MVP honors, and Hossa had a goal and two assists.
''I've never scored in my career in an All-Star game,'' Datsyuk said. ''But it's good news, the dream's still there.''
There was much attention focused on Datsyuk this week, after he was picked first overall in the All-Star player draft on Thursday. In making the pick, Chara explained it was because of how much he admired Datsyuk's overall game.
Chara described the 10-year NHL veteran as one of the NHL's most complete players.
Datsyuk has been one of the most consistent producers during his 10 seasons. He has scored at least 20 goals in each of his past seven seasons, and has 14 goals and 39 assists - putting him in a tie for third with Hossa in the NHL points race.
Despite failing to score, Datsyuk had a good time in his first All-Star appearance since 2008. He was selected for the 2009 game, but didn't attend.
''Today was fun,'' Datsyuk said. ''I really enjoyed it. The atmosphere was unbelievable.''
WIN FOR TEAM SLOVAKIA: Much was made about Daniel Alfredsson stocking his All-Star team with fellow Swedes.
It turns out, Chara and his two fellow Slovaks got the upper hand in the NHL All-Star game on Sunday.
The three combined for five goals and three assists, with Chara's goal standing up as the winner after he gave his team a 10-8 lead with 7:40 remaining.
''You could hear it out there, there were more Swedish guys than Slovak guys, but overall, I think we had a lot of fun,'' Gaborik said.
The Swedes lost, but didn't do all that bad, either.
Alfredsson led with two goals and an assist, and got the opportunity to play on a line with the Vancouver Canucks' Sedin twins, Henrik and Daniel. Henrik had a goal and two assists, and Daniel scored once and set up another.
Alfredsson joked that the Sedins have such chemistry that it's as if they communicate on a different frequency.
''They're so good at anticipating and knowing what's going to happen before they get the puck. That's what's made them so good,'' Alfredsson said. ''I definitely benefited from that today.''
CLOSE BUT NO RECORDS: The combined 21 All-Star goals on Sunday tied for the fourth most in the game's history.
The record is 26, set in 2001, when a team of North American All-Stars beat the World All-Stars 14-12.
Goals by Hossa and Chara 16 seconds apart isn't a record, either. The quick strikes don't even rank in the top three on. The record of 8 seconds was set in 1997.
Hossa, Chara and Corey Perry scored 1:22 apart, which ranks second on the All-Star list of fastest three goals by one team. The record of 1:08 was set in 1993.
ICE CHIPS: Team Chara assistant captain Joffrey Lupul played on a line with Maple Leafs teammate Phil Kessel and Boston's Tyler Seguin. Lupul and Seguin, both right-handed shooters, both wore No. 19. There were six other double numbers in the game, including Gaborik and Perry (10), Jamie Benn and Jordan Eberle (14), and Hossa and Kessel (81) for Team Chara. Jason Spezza and Scott Hartnell (19), and Steven Stamkos and John Tavares (91) were the only members of Team Alfredsson who shared uniform numbers. ... The three No. 1 draft picks in the game wore the highest numbers. Stamkos (2008), Tavares (2009), and Patrick Kane (2007), who wore his customary No. 88. ... The NHL schedule resumes on Tuesday, with 13 games.