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Niedermayer will lead East, Naslund West

2/4/2004

NEW YORK -- Brian Rafalski will replace fellow New Jersey Devils defenseman Scott Stevens on the Eastern Conference All-Star team.

Voted in by fans as a starter, Stevens has missed the past 12 games because of a concussion.

Rafalski, in his fifth NHL season, has four goals and 23 assists and will make his All-Star Game debut Sunday in Minnesota. He was named to the North American All-Star team in 2002 but missed the game because of a knee injury.

Also Tuesday, the NHL named Vancouver Canucks forward Markus Naslund and Devils defenseman Scott Niedermayer captains for the All-Star Game.

Naslund, making his fifth All-Star appearance, will serve as captain of the Western Conference. Niedermayer, in his third All-Star Game, will wear the 'C' for the East.

Naslund came into Tuesday night's games leading the league in scoring with 30 goals and 35 assists.