Sunday, January 30, 2011
Loui Eriksson shines in All-Star Game
By Mark Stepneski
Stars forward Loui Eriksson scored two goals – including the game-winner – and added two assists for Team Lidstrom, which defeated Team Staal 11-10 at the NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh on Sunday.
Eriksson’s four points were tied for the game-high, which should have put him in the running for the MVP honors but that went to Team Staal’s Patrick Sharp, who had one goal and two assists.
Eriksson didn’t seem concerned about any postgame honors.
"There were a lot of good players out there with a lot of points. It didn't matter to me. I just had a lot of fun out there," Eriksson told ESPN.com.
The game’s MVP did give a tip of the hat to Eriksson.
“I thought usually the winning team gets it. I was surprised I won,” Sharp said on the NHL Network after the game. “I thought Loui Eriksson had a couple points out there, scored some nice goals and what about Nicklas Lidstrom? He was a plus-seven.”
Eriksson played primarily on a line with Jonathan Toews and Martin Havlat. He scored in the first period, beating Cam Ward from close range to cut Team Staal’s lead to 4-3.
He set up an Anze Kopitar goal in the second period when the two got a two-on-zero break and passed the puck back and forth before Kopitar finished off the play.
Eriksson came close to scoring another goal in the second period, but his breakaway bid was stopped by Montreal goalie Carey Price.
He set Toews on a goal that tied the game 9-9. After taking a pass from Eriksson, Toews made a nice spin move and then beat Rangers goalies Henrik Lundqvist.
Eriksson’s game-winner was an empty net goal with 1:11 remaining that put Team Lidstrom up 11-9.
“I had a lot of time to put it in," he told ESPN.com. "It was nice to get that. It was the game-winner after all.”
Eric Staal scored with 34 seconds left to make it an 11-10 game.
Stars center Brad Richards, who played on a line with Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, had one assist for Team Lidstrom. He picked up an assist on a Stamkos goal in the second period.
ESPN.com's All-Star Game coverage is here.
"I think the MVP went to the hardest worker today, that's for sure. He deserved it. We were kind of laughing, we thought it would be funny if Loui Eriksson could get two empty-net goals at the end for the hat trick and steal the car from him."
- Jonathan Toews on Patrick Sharp winning the MVP award at the NHL All-Star Game