Savard trumps Nash's hat trick with winner in closing seconds

ATLANTA (AP) _ Marc Savard made Atlanta feel like home all over
With hockey luminaries such as Sidney Crosby sitting at home,
Savard stepped on up. The Boston Bruins forward scored the winning
goal with 20.9 seconds left tonight to lift the Eastern Conference
to an 8-7 win over the West.
Real early it looked as though it would be a night for the West
when Rick Nash scored the first of his three goals a record-quick
12 seconds into the game. But the East took charge with five
straight, including two by Alex Ovechkin -- Crosby's rival for top
player in the N-H-L.
Yet in the end, after the West erased a 5-1 deficit to go ahead
7-6, Savard -- a former star for the host Atlanta Thrashers --
brought the local fans out of their seats to cheer for him again.
Leading up to the game, there was much talk about who wouldn't
be at the All-Star game. Crosby, the defending MVP and scoring
champion pulled out due to a sprained ankle, and starting goalies
Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo both withdrew for personal
That left it wide open for many others to grab the attention. Of
the 42 players, 15 made their All-Star debuts.
Ovechkin made an early bid, followed by Nash, and even goalie
Evgeni Nabokov. In the end it was Savard, known way more for
passing the puck than shooting it. The play-making forward, second
in the N-H-L in assists, buried the puck behind first-timer Manny
Legace just when it seemed overtime was inevitable.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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