All-star games traditionally are not low scoring affairs, not even with the caliber of goaltenders that are enlisted. Two Stanley Cup winners in Marc-Andre Fleury for Team Lidstrom and Cam Ward for Team Staal couldn’t keep the NHL’s top guns from scoring on them. Fleury couldn’t stop Alexander Ovechkin, Paul Stastny, Patrick Elias, And Claude Giroux from scoring within the first 5:41. Cam Ward, though, was jinxed by announcer Doc Emerick, who was discussing his scorless performance so far when Anze Kopitar top-shelfed it on Ward.
Two and a half minutes later, Dustin Byfuglien approached Ward’s right side, in an absolutely perfect location for a pass from his former Blackhawk teammate Patrick Kane, who got a feeder pass from Buff’s defensive partner Duncan Keith. Buff got tons of assists last season and during the Stanley Cup playoffs from Kane and Keith, but never as a defenseman. Buff played that shift like a fourth forward, and was rewarded with his first goal in ten games. Sadly, it doesn’t really count.
Loui Eriksson and Matt Duchene also scored within three minutes of Byfuglien, leaving the first period knotted up at a 4-4 tie. New goaltending will start the second. Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp already has three assists on the game, with the Cup winners’ players making huge contributions for both teams so far tonight.