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января 2009 года.
Kovalev helps East stars ice West; MVP's shootout goal sparks 12-11 victory // USA TODAY
MONTREAL -- On a night when a few of the greatest players in Montreal hockey history were saluted with standing ovations, Alex Kovalev did what he could to carve his own place in the Canadiens' grand history.
Kovalev scored two breakaway goals, a game-winning shootout goal and added one assist to earn MVP honors and lead the Eastern Conference past the Western Conference 12-11 in the 57th NHL All-Star Game.
"I'm not going to hide this -- I wanted it badly," Kovalev said. "You can't ask for a better package than this -- get voted in the All-Star Game starting lineup by the fans, being the captain and getting the MVP."
No Canadien had been named MVP since Montreal's Mark Recchi won in San Jose in 1997.
"To be part of this organization is something," Kovalev said. "There is so much history here. I've been hearing that for long time. ... The last Montreal Canadiens (All-Star) captain was Larry Robinson. You can't ask for better than that."
Throughout the game, Montreal legends such as Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, Dickie Moore and Yvon Cournoyer were introduced to standing ovations. At the end of the game, after Kovalev scored in the shootout, fans chanted, "Kovy, Kovy!"
"Everything is history in this club," Kovalev said. "And you want to be part of it."
The third period began tied 8-8, and Jay Bouwmeester's goal at 16:21 forced overtime. There was no scoring in overtime, despite the first power play in an All-Star Game since 2000. Montreal defenseman Mike Komisarek was whistled for hooking Ryan Getzlaf. The game went to the second shootout in All-Star history.
West goalie Roberto Luongo stopped Vinny Lecavalier, but Kovalev beat him cleanly with a high shot. Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals clinched the win with another shootout goal.
"There was no way I was going to miss that one," Kovalev said.
In overtime, he had two prime scoring chances. He was stopped on one and shot high on another.
"He took a lot of us to school," said Edmonton Oilers defenseman Sheldon Souray, a former Canadiens player.
His first goal will be remembered because he fired the puck like a pitcher delivering a change-up. He looked like he was going to drill it, then held back for just a millisecond before lifting it into the net.
Was that planned?
"Ask (Montreal goalie) Carey Price -- he's been facing those shots for two months now, and he hates me now," Kovalev said. "I've been doing this for a while, so I'm confident. Guys ask me if I have done that in the game, and I said I'm looking for the right moment."
With 23 goals scored, this was the second-highest scoring game in NHL history, made more memorable by the enthusiasm of the Montreal fans.
"I don't remember one day that wouldn't be so passionate," Kovalev said. "It's so exciting to be on the ice surrounded by all of these fans."