By Dan Majka
OTTAWA (CBS) – As they’ve done so many times this season, Flyers’ teammates Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell, skating on the same line, did exactly what helped them become All-Stars. The pair combined to score a goal.
This one, not nearly as important, but certainly special to someone who grew up playing hockey in the small town of Hearst, Ontario, 474 miles north of Ottawa.
“It’s pretty special to be here [in Ottawa],” said Giroux. “I have a lot of family and friends here watching the game and it’s exciting.”
Giroux took a pass from Hartnell and buried it past Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas to even the score at eight apiece midway through the third period. It was Hartnell’s second assist of the contest after setting up Henrik Sedin’s first period tally.
“It was really awesome. It was a lot of fun and I’m just trying to take it all in,” said Hartnell. “I was able to set up one of the Sedins, I’m not sure which one it was, but it’s fun trying to work hard and not look too funny out there.”
It wasn’t enough, however, as Team Charra answered Giroux’s goal with three straight scores on its way to a 12-9 victory over Team Alfredsson on Sunday at the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa.
Rangers forward Marian Gaborik (Team Charra) earned MVP honors with his three goals, including two against New York teammate Henrik Lundqvist. It was the 16th hat trick in the history of the event.
Hometown favorite and team captain Daniel Alfredsson stole the spotlight in the second period — scoring back-to-back goals — much to the delight of the sell-out crowd at Scotiabank Place.
“It was a lot of fun obviously from start to finish,” said Alfredsson. “I would like to get one, you know, I was thinking before the game to get the crowd cheering a little bit, but, you know, (Daniel) Sedin served me up nice on the second one.”
The game also featured a penalty shot for just the second time ever. Lightning star Steven Stamkos was awarded the breakaway in the first period after being hooked from behind, but he was unable to beat Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard on what looked like a move similar to the one he used the night before on his way to winning the Elimination Shootout in the NHL Skills Competition.
Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen, skating opposite Giroux and Hartnell on this day, played a few ticks shy of 18-minutes and recorded one shot on goal in a winning effort.