World rallies behind Khabibulin, 8-5

All-Star's shutout in 3rd coincides with 5-goal run that beats N. Americans

Hockey

February 03, 2002|By NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

LOS ANGELES - Blood dripped down the face of one goal-scorer. A defenseman was knocked down by a Jeremy Roenick check. Nikolai Khabibulin had a third-period shutout with 20 saves.

They came close to playing an actual hockey game at the Staples Center yesterday, at least until the wide-open finish. Scoring four goals in the final 3 minutes, 1 second, the World team rallied to beat the North Americans, 8-5, in the 52nd NHL All-Star Game.

"In the second period, I turned to Brendan Shanahan and asked him what the lowest-scoring [All-Star] game has been," said New York Islanders right wing Mark Parrish. "It looked like we were on track to make a run at it."

Compared to last year's 14-12 victory by North America, this was a virtual goaltending duel. The fact that a goaltender could have been the game's Most Valuable Player was evidence of that.

Because a panel of writers had to submit its ballots midway through the third period, North American Eric Daze - who completed what might be considered a Chicago hat trick (two goals, an assist and a cut) much earlier - ended up with the trophy and a truck in his first All-Star appearance.

"Yeah, I was surprised," said Daze, who required six stitches to close a still-bleeding cut near his right eye. "We lost the game and he played pretty good. He [Khabibulin] made some good saves in the third. Well, you know, I'll take it."

Many of the players on both sides thought Khabibulin (Tampa Bay) should have driven away with the honors.

"I was really happy that Eric won MVP," Roenick said. "But me and a couple of the guys thought [Khabibulin] was going to get it, especially with them winning it. I can't remember the last time a goaltender shut out a team for a period, especially with the talent that we've got on this team and some of the opportunities we had."

Khabibulin, who has many people starting to pick Russia as the favorite at the Olympics, shrugged off the snub. "For a goalie, players are playing the whole game and goalies are only playing one period," he said. "I think it's hard to even think about it."

But what a period. Khabibulin became only the fourth goalie in All-Star Game history to keep his net from being besmirched in an entire period, joining Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur and Washington's Olaf Kolzig. Kolzig shut out the North American All-Stars in the third period of the 2000 game in Toronto on 15 shots. He didn't get the car keys, either.

Until Khabibulin entered the game, the other goalies on the World team, Detroit's Dominik Hasek (10 saves) and Edmonton's Tommy Salo (15 saves) had combined to allow five goals.

The game got off to a sluggish start. With 11 players making their All-Star debuts, play was even more subdued than in most All-Star games. Even after San Jose's Vincent Damphousse scored the game's opening goal for North America 35 seconds into the first period, there wasn't too much skating by either team.

Khabibulin picked up the play, kicking away scoring chances. He stopped Roenick on a breakaway and Ed Jovanovski on a weak-side crash, allowing the World team to mount a comeback.

And his teammates finally responded. Sergei Fedorov of the Detroit Red Wings tied the score at 5-5 with a slap shot that beat Phoenix goaltender Sean Burke. At 18:17, Markus Naslund of the Vancouver Canucks scored his second goal of the game, on a 3-on-0 break off a turnover, for the game-winning goal.

The World team sealed it with empty-net goals by Alexei Zhamnov and Sami Kapanen with less than a minute left.

But Khabibulin's fate was already sealed.

"Nothing to take away from Daze, but I thought Khabibulin should have gotten that," said Parrish, from the North American team.

Khabibulin made a good save on Parrish in particular during that third period. "Yeah," Parrish said, "don't try five-hole on him because it doesn't work."

What does work? "I don't know," Parrish replied. "Nothing did tonight."

Wire services contributed to this article.

World 2 1 5 - 8

North America 3 2 0 - 5

First period - 1, North America, Damphousse (Blake), :35. 2, North America, Jovanovski (Damphousse, Daze), 10:06. 3, World, Selanne (Zhamnov), 13:10. 4, North America, Daze, 15:05. 5, World, Selanne (Kapanen, Kaberle), 16:52. Penalties - None. Second period - 6, North American, Lemieux (Kariya), 2:02. 7, World, Naslund (Knutsen), 5:26. 8, North American, Daze (Pronger, Damphousse), 11:33. Penalties - None. Third period - 9, World, Knutzen (Sundin, Naslund), 7:52. 10, World, Fedorov (Gonchar), 16:59. 11, World, Naslund (Sundin), 18:17. 12, World, Zhamnov (Yashin), 19:12 (en). 13, World, Kapanen (Elias, Ozolinsh), 19:56 (en). Penalties - None. Shots on goal - World 14-9-16-39. North America 13-17-20-50. Power-play opportunities - World 0 of 0; North America 0 of 0. Goalies - World, Hasek (13 shots-10 saves), Salo (20:00 second, 17-15) Khabibulin (20:00 third, 20-0). North America, Roy (14-12), Theodore (20:00 second, 9-8) Burke (20:00 third, 14-11). A - 18,118.

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