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This one resembles NHL game

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO and Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 3, 2002

LOS ANGELES -- A different kind of All-Star Game. That's what Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux called Saturday's 8-5 World Team victory at the Staples Center.

There was a sense the teams wanted to play defense and there was some great goaltending that kept the score respectable, a stark contrast to last season's 14-12 North American victory.

"It was a little bit different than the last few I've been involved with," Lemieux said. "Not as much three-on-ohs and two-on-ohs as in the past. The goalies, all of them played very well. They were tested a couple of times from close range and they did well. It was nice to see for a change."

For the World Team, Detroit's Dominik Hasek stopped 10 of 13 shots, Edmonton's Tommy Salo stopped 15 of 17 and Tampa Bay's Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 20 of 20.

For North America, Colorado's Patrick Roy stopped 12 of 14, Montreal's Jose Theodore stopped eight of nine and Phoenix's Sean Burke stopped 11 of 14. There were two empty-netters.

"The way the goalies made some saves, when you look at all six of them, you could say they made saves that obviously could have been a goal as easy," World coach Scotty Bowman said.

Theodore made the save of the game, diving across the crease to get his arm on a one-timer from in close to deny New Jersey's Patrik Elias.

Calgary's Jarome Iginla, who leads the league with 31 goals and played on a North America line with Boston's Joe Thornton and Detroit's Brendan Shanahan, could not score on six shots.

"I had some good chances," he said. "Thornton and Shanahan set me up and they were probably a little frustrated with me."

MILESTONE: Lemieux scored his 13th goal to tie Wayne Gretzky's record. He has 23 All-Star points, two shy of Gretzky's mark.

"I guess the more you play these games, you have a chance to beat some of these records," he said. "The more you play, get a few goals here and there, eventually you are going to get to the top."

CHIPPY: Philadelphia's Jeremy Roenick recorded the game's only hit by nailing Buffalo's Alexei Zhitnik against the side boards.

"I just heard the noise and I saw Zhitnik picking himself up," said Detroit's Chris Chelios, who played with Roenick for North America. "He does it every year. He says he's going to hit someone and he does it. He tried to get the crowd into it. It was funny."

LINE DANCING: Maple Leafs and North America coach Pat Quinn put Colorado center Joe Sakic with Lemieux and Anaheim's Paul Kariya and admitted it was an Olympic test run.

"I wanted to have a look at it, see how it might work out," said Quinn, who will coach Team Canada at Salt Lake City. "You're never sure when you're putting groups together whether it's got a chance or not.

The line had one goal on 11 shots.

"They're smart players," Quinn said. "They looked good out there."

JAGR'S SHOT: Jaromir Jagr's World team fell behind early. He told ABC's Darren Pang in an interview on the bench that it was nothing new.

"I'm getting used to it from Washington. Every time we step on the ice in Washington, (we) have minus right away," Jagr said.

The Capitals are 12th in the Eastern Conference, seven points out of the eighth and final playoff spot.

ODDS AND ENDS: Chicago's Eric Daze, San Jose's Vincent Damphousse and Vancouver's Markus Naslund led all players with three points each. ... Celebrities spotted at the game included Cuba Gooding Jr., Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Tim Robbins and Matthew Perry.

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