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Merits of shootout in season debated

© St. Petersburg Times
published February 3, 2003

SUNRISE -- One of the biggest cheers from Sunday's crowd at the Office Depot Center came when it was announced the game would be decided by a shootout.

Players differed on whether shootouts should be used during the regular season.

"Yeah, we should try it, first in preseason and see how it goes," game MVP Dany Heatley said. "If it's successful, we should put it in the regular season."

"I don't know," Senators goalie Patrick Lalime said. "I kind of like four on four (in overtime). It's got an ambience. During a game like the All-Star Game, it's more show than anything."

Flyers center Jeremy Roenick straddled the fence.

"I'm going to say no because I'm old-fashioned," he said. "But if the league wanted to do that for the fans, I'd be okay with that."

UNFAIR ADVANTAGE: Anaheim's Paul Kariya knew what he was doing when he beat Lalime to clinch the shootout, and a 6-5 victory, for the West.

Lalime was once Mighty Ducks property and Kariya said he beat him low stick-side during a skills competition. Figuring Lalime remembered, Kariya went glove-side.

"I said, 'Sorry, Patty, I had to change it up,' " Kariya said.

Dallas' Bill Guerin and Vancouver's Markus Naslund also scored for the West in the shootout.

HOMETOWN HERO: Florida's Olli Jokinen, named to the East as an injury replacement, played like he should have been there from the start.

The center sent the game into overtime with a goal 9:38 into the third period and had two assists. He also hit the post on a shootout attempt that would have kept the East alive.

"I was nervous the first couple of minutes," said Jokinen, who replaced Montreal's Saku Koivu.

But after hearing his name chanted by the sellout crowd, he said, "I was feeling normal. It's a special feeling to play in front of the home crowd. They were pretty loud."

A POLITE GAME: There were three body checks in the game. Roenick threw two, on Edmonton's Eric Brewer and Detroit's Sergei Fedorov.

"I just said, 'Excuse me,' " Roenick said.

RETURN ENGAGEMENT: Defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh started for the East despite being traded last week from the Panthers to the Mighty Ducks. Ozolinsh skipped Saturday's skills competition because, he said, "I was really nervous. I was questioning the reaction I would get there." Sunday, he was introduced to a loud and long ovation.

ODDS AND ENDS: X-rays were negative, but St. Louis' Doug Weight left the game in the third period after being hit in the foot by teammate Ed Jovanovski's slap shot. Weight left the arena on crutches. ... It was the All-Star Game's fourth overtime. ... Colorado goalie Patrick Roy tied Terry Sawchuk for second with his 11th appearance. ... At 22 years, 12 days, Heatley was the youngest player to score three or more goals in an All-Star Game. He beat Wayne Gretzky's mark by a day.

SABRES: Buffalo businessman Mark Hamister is prepared to update commissioner Gary Bettman about whether he will meet the league's deadline to complete his conditional purchase of the bankrupt team. The deadline, extended four times in the past month, is 5 p.m. today.

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