Bruins' Chara breaks hardest shot mark
MONTREAL -- Some feud.
Ovechkin successfully defended his breakaway challenge title as the evening's six events were conducted independently of one another, unlike previous years that featured an overall title contested by the two conferences.
The high-scoring Washington left wing played to the crowd -- with a huge assist from Pittsburgh's Malkin -- and garnered 42.8 percent of the fan voting via text messages.
Ovechkin Is NHL's True Rock Star
Watching A.O. during All-Star weekend, it's not hard to notice his swagger, which, by the way, is a great thing for a sport that can use a little more personality, writes E.J. Hradek. Blog
Ovechkin credited Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk for helping the Russian forwards make their peace.
"Kovalchuk said, 'OK, let's go,' and Malkin gave me the hat, cleaned my sunglasses, and gave me some water and his stick," Ovechkin said. "It was pretty fun."
Malkin claimed the shooting accuracy title, hitting three of four targets in a playoff with Ottawa's Dany Heatley after both nailed all four targets in four shots in the opening round.
Phoenix's Shane Doan scored on four of six penalty shot attempts to outlast Boston's Marc Savard in the elimination shootout finale that featured all 36 skaters taking turns against the New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist, Minnesota's Niklas Backstrom, Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Boston's Tim Thomas.
Nashville defenseman Shea Weber drove a 103.4 mph shot that looked as if it might hold up after Chara hit 103.3 mph on his first attempt.
The 6-foot-9 Bruins defenseman drew an ovation from the crowd of 21,273 after he broke Iafrate's record of 105.2 set at the Montreal Forum in 1993.
"I knew I would have to put another really hard shot, and basically I gave it all I had and I'm just glad it worked out," Chara said.
Ovechkin scored points from the get-go as the last of the six contestants in the breakaway competition, waving his hand at the crowd to draw the fans' support.
In a nod to his supposed feud with Malkin, Ovechkin skated over to his East teammates before his final attempt.
Malkin helped him put on an outback hat -- with a Canadian flag stuck to the brim -- and white-framed wraparound sunglasses before pouring a sports drink down Ovechkin's throat.
Ovechkin, a right-handed shot, took Malkin's left-handed stick before driving in while stickhandling the puck with both sticks.
"Well, I think fans have to see how we are, who we are, you know," Ovechkin said. "They see our skills and I think the last trick was just for fun."
Ovechkin tossed his own stick into the right corner before taking a left-handed shot, which was stopped before he slapped it home with a second effort.
He then skated over to the left side boards and tossed the hat and the sunglasses into the crowd.
"The picture that I can't get out of my head is that they're having fun," Edmonton defenseman Sheldon Souray said. "It just goes to show you can't believe everything you read or hear all the time, and it shows you how important winning with your club teams is that they can have this running feud and have everyone conjure up this big, nasty bad blood story between them, but to go out and pull that was pretty funny."
Ovechkin came up with the idea Friday night and bounced it off Nate Ewell, the Capitals' director of media relations.
"I talked with Nate about it and I said it's going to be fun, and you have to try it," Ovechkin said.
Boston rookie Blake Wheeler was the YoungStars game MVP after scoring four goals to lead the rookies to a 9-5 victory over the sophomores. Wheeler scored on Montreal goalie Carey Price -- the Eastern Conference starter for Sunday's All-Star game -- in each of the three 6-minute periods in the 3-on-3 game.
Rangers defenseman Marc Staal scored twice on Nashville's Pekka Rinne for coach Peter Mahovlich's sophomores, including his first of the game in the first period moments after he checked Dallas rookie James Neal into the boards on the left side.
Edmonton's Andrew Cogliano won the fastest skater competition that opened the evening. Cogliano, a YoungStars participant who was the last of six competitors, raced around the rink in 14.31 seconds to beat Philadelphia center Jeff Carter, whose 14.43 lap as the second skater nearly stood up.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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