January 30, 2012 (NOTE: There is a slideshow from Flickr attached to this article: https://www.flickr.com//photos/43294724@N05/sets/72157629098584873/show/)
The inevitable happened. With all of the talent on Team Chara, it was apparent that Zdeno Chara’s team would take the win over Team Alfredsson at the NHL All Star Game. New York Ranger Marian Gaborik took the MVP prize for his hat trick which took only 21:23 to capture. Of course, it helped that Henrik Lundqvist was in goal during the first period. Gaborik joked the night before that he could beat his own goalie…and he did it twice in the All Star Game.
With two goals against Lundqvist and then another against Jonathan Quick in the second period, Gaborik became the big winner of the night, taking the 12-9 win along with his teammates from Team Chara.
Gaborik even took a big risk in the celebration of one of his goals… he decided to pull an Artem Anisimov, by cocking and loading his hockey stick as if it were a rifle, pointed it at Lundqvist and fired away. Of course, the young Anisimov got into trouble for the move, but for Gaborik… he flew under the radar, making the move just a joke amongst his fellow Rangers.
As for other big players in the game, both Daniel Alfredsson and Joffrey Lupul scored two goals in the contest. Seventeen of the thirty-six players scored a goal, while 26 skaters tallied assists. Everyone was able to play over 12 minutes of ice time.
Each of the goalies allowed three shots a piece, but it was Brian Elliott in the third period that gave up six goals to Team Chara, giving them the win.
All in all, the players had a great time, as well as the fans. Hip Hop Superstar Drake added to the excitement of the game when he performed two songs for the NHL All Stars. Even the young NHL players gathered out on the ice to watch the show and take photos with their cell phones during the performance.
With players tweeting in between periods, mascots running around the building and taking the game in along with the sea of fans in NHL jerseys from all across the league, Ottawa hosted one incredible event.
If anything, the presence of the Rangers at the All Stars proved that New York is going to be one of the top contenders in the post-season. Everyone’s talking about how the Rangers are going to go far in the playoffs. Of course, the playoffs are the next big event for the NHL. But until then, the players head back home to prepare for their next regular season game in the race to the playoffs.