12:32 a.m. -- Final wrap
There was a whole lotta scoring going on, as per NHL All-Star Game tradition.
Twenty-one goals, 52 points in the 55th edition of what has become an annual scorefest. A combined save percentage of .737. Open nets. Lots of chances.
You'd think that the NHL's Next Great One would get himself some.
But Sidney Crosby's big, fat zero was probably bigger news than the Western Conference's 12-9 victory over the East. No goals, no assists, no excuses. Even so, his zero sum game will be recalled more famously than Buffalo's Daniel Briere winning MVP.
"It's probably going to be remembered as Sidney and Alex's (Ovechkin) first game," said East goalie Ryan Miller, Briere's Buffalo teammate.
Ovechkin, Washington's second-year player, at least had a goal. Pittsburgh's Sid the Kid had one of his worst games of the season considering he was on the ice for 18½ minutes and was a minus-4.
"Oh yeah," Crosby said when asked if he was disappointed. "It would have been nice to get one, especially playing with the guys I was playing with."
That would be Ovechkin and 38-year-old Brendan Shanahan who also had nada on the scoresheet. At least Crosby is in good company. Wayne Gretzky went scoreless in his first All-Star Game.
"I'll sleep easier tonight," Crosby said smiling.
This week has been all about No. 87. He did every interview. Went to every function. The sold-out American Airlines Center wanted to see his breakout game much the way his landlord Mario Lemieux had his in 1988. That year in St. Louis, Lemeiux had three goals and three assists and was named the game's MVP.
"Just the way he handles himself with his popularity is amazing to me," Miller said. "I get a small taste back in Buffalo but to have an entire nation and Canada ... wanting your time and wanting to have a part of you. He conducts himself very well."
A new era is still dawning with Crosby and Ovechkin, just not on Wednesday.
"This is the future of the NHL," New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur said. You've got to promote these guys as much as you can. We've done our duties. We've been everywhere. To see those young superstars willing to do what they're doing, more power to them."
Next up for Crosby, an actual practice. With all his commitments, he hadn't been able to stretch out his legs much until the All-Star Game. His Penguins teammates will join him here in Dallas for a game against the Stars on Friday night.
"I'll try to find some free ice," he said.
Crosby's free time, though, might be gone. ...
All-Star Game tidbits:
• Briere was the fourth consecutive MVP from the losing team. He had a goal and four assists.
• Colorado's Joe Sakic had four assists for the West giving him 16 in his All-Star career (12 games). That's the most in history. Sakic moved past Mark Messier (14). With 22 points, Sakic is three points shy of Gretzky's record of 25.
• The 20 players who made their all-star debut were the most since 1982.
• Shananhan on his linemates: "That's usually what happens in your first All-Star Game. Most young guys come in here and they over pass ... I think a lot of guys had some nerves tonight."
• Brodeur on Sidney and Alex: "I've talked to both of them. The attitude for a young age, the responsibilities they have is tremendous. They just want to compete. They want to be the best out there every time they go out. They don't just float around."
• How wide open was it? There were officially NO hits in the game according the scoresheet.
11:09 -- It's all over
Sidney Crosby scored six points in a game this season. Ten in two games.
There were 21 goals, more than 50 total points Wednesday night in the 55th NHL All-Star Game.
Crosby got none of them. The next Great One was shut out on a night when all you had to do was lace up your skates and you got on the scoresheet.
Six-foot-9 stay-at-home defenseman Zdeno Chara had two goals. Crosby was lucky to get two shots.
Does this mean the end for the NHL? Probably not but if the fourth major (maybe) is going to get back on the U.S. sports map it would help if its best player skated that way.
No worries for Dallas. If the fans would kindly stay in their seats, they have less than 48 hours until Crosby and the Penguins play here Friday night against Dallas. ...
Did Marty Turco allow a goal on purpose?
With his team leading 11-8, the Dallas goaltender -- wired for sound -- said, "If I let one more in, I get the win."
Next time down the ice the East's Sheldon Souray scored on Turco who played the shot extremely nonchalantly. Guess who got the win? Turco. ...
Don't know what this means but the West scored more goals (10) than points Florida International averaged last season in college football (9.58). That's the kind of insight you get from college football guy turned Hockey Boy.
10:13 -- After two innings of play ...
9-6 West after two periods. The winner gets home-field advantage in the World Series. The Western Conference is threatening to outscore the Raiders -- for the season.
Actually, Martin Brodeur gave up as many goals in one period (six) as he does in a week. ...
Some dude just won a Dodge Nitro for playing a video game. The NHL has good sponsors. ...
9:58 -- Close to the Edge
OK, now I get it. Versus is treating this like Fox treats the World Series, as a vehicle for their other shows. Something named "Edge" just made an appearance. Not "The Edge" of U2 fame. This roided-up freak apparently wrestles in the WWE which is really important to know on the night of hockey's All-Star Game.
And you wonder why this league suffers from underexposure. It attaches itself to cartoon characters. ...
This is not going to form. Just about all the goals have been scored by guys 45 or over. No Crosby, No Ovechkin. Oh wait, check that. Ovechkin just scored for the East to cut the lead to 8-6. ...
Martin Brodeur has been abused by the West in the second period so far (four goals) but he just made a save that reminded us why he is the goaltender in the world. A sprawling, spinning save while on his back.
9:38 -- What time's the reservation?
The officials must want to get to the steak house early, too. San Jose's Patrick Marleau was tripped by Montreal's Sheldon Souray, preventing a sure breakaway. Had this been a real game, Marleau might have been awarded a penalty shot.
Souray certainly would have gotten a penalty. Table for three, fellas?
9:28 -- Where's Chuck now?
Crazy NHL. Alexander Ovechkin was just offered a bag of Lay's potato chips by the interview lady on Versus. I have no problem with that but why wasn't Chuck Norris involved?
9:12 -- Chuck Norris in the house
It's only 3-3 after the first period. I'm kind of disappointed. I thought the nets would have been ripped off the goals by now.
Here are the first period highlights:
"Mom, I want some popcorn."
OK, now back to the action.
Right now I'm looking at a live feed from the Eastern Conference lockerroom. I feel kind of creeped out. All the players are taking off their jerseys and I'm starting to wonder what's coming off next.
Oh and what would an NHL All-Star Game be without Chuck Norris? Just saw him pop up on the screen pimping something called the World Combat League. Wow, Jason and Joumana sure do get around. Apparently they've sold the rights to their marriage to some TV network.
And now your between-periods entertainment. Please welcome Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.
I wish I was kidding.
8:41 -- Fast-paced start
What did I say about 20 goals? Less than seven minutes we have three. The West leads 2-1. There's more hitting going on in your average Jason Kidd marriage.
8:37 -- Slippery when slick
Not a good start. Giorgia Fumanti, apparently an opera singer doing the Canadian anthem, slipped and fell on her way off the ice.
The Wreckers, doing the American anthem, had their mikes cut out.
Just so you know, Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo looks like a vampire.
8:20 p.m. ET -- Opening act
DALLAS -- Hockey Boy here. For a night the college football blog has been hijacked by the NHL All-Star Game.
OK, so hockey writer Wes Goldstein is going to help just a little. I'm bumming around absorbing the atmosphere and some pucks in the forehead while I watch the pregame skate.
We all know this is the world's greatest game, not just America Junior's. (That's Canada for those of you without mullets).
Oh, so it's going to be like that, huh? Pretty much.
Things I want to see tonight:
• Sidney Crosby in what promises to be his coming out. If you haven't been reading about him, you should have. I'm so sick of T.O., Tank Johnson, A.I., 'Melo. This kid is about as pure as it gets. Gretzky brought the game national in the '80s. Maybe Crosby can do the same in the 21st century.
• Less than 20 goals. This All-Star Game is easily the least watchable of the majors. A couple of years ago they had a 14-12 game. Apparently, they were playing make it, keep it.
• An announcement from commissioner Gary Bettman between periods that the Penguins are moving to Kansas City. Be afraid Pittsburghers. We (Kansas Citians) are coming for you. We have a shiny new arena, all the suites are sold and the Penguins have been offered free rent. You've had seven years, Pittsburgh, to build your team a new arena. That trash can you call Mellon Arena is a disgrace. Crosby deserves more. We're ready, willing and able to pay those NHL ticket prices.
• Overtime. Like I said, I love hockey.
• Beers for less than $8.50 a pop. (No worries, boss, I'm keeping it real with the Diet Dr. Pepper.)