ATLANTA – ONLY AT THE ALL-STAR GAME: Who says skaters should have all the fun at the NHL all-star game?
Eastern Conference goaltender Rick DiPietro of the New York Islanders got into the spirit of things early in the first period of Sunday’s game at Philips Arena.
After making a glove save, DiPietro quickly threw the puck in the air and swatted it with his goalie stick. He connected but the pass was off the mark and it went all the way down to the other end for an icing call.
A minute later, DiPietro was back at it, stickhandling in the faceoff circle before finding a teammate with an outlet pass.
STAR POWER: There were several celebrities on hand at the Philips Arena for the NHL’s showcase game.
In addition to the musical performers, actors David Boreanaz (Bones), Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights), Matthew Modine (Weeds), Thorsten Kate (All My Children) and Alyssa Milano (Charmed) took in the contest.
Country music star Garth Brooks, rock band Mastodon and Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine were also in attendance.
YOUNG STARS: The youngest player in the all-star game was 20-year-old Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings.
The oldest was 37-year-old Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit, who played in his 10th all-star game.
Anaheim’s Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger, Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson, Phoenix’s Ed Jovanovski and San Jose’s Joe Thornton were all well back with five appearances apiece.
Kopitar was one of nine players aged 23 or under to play in the game.