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Sidney Crosby, Niklas Lidstrom lead in NHL all-star fan balloting

NEW YORK - Penguins forward Sidney Crosby and the Detroit Red Wings are looking good as voting for the NHL all-star game winds down.

The 20-year-old Crosby leads the league with 445,144 votes and Detroit is set to have three starters in the Jan. 27 game in Atlanta with balloting ending Wednesday. Crosby's total is more than twice as many as the next Eastern Conference forward, Vincent Lecavalier of Tampa Bay with 198,953.

Red Wings defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom maintained his lead in the Western Conference with 420,436 votes, and teammates Henrik Zetterberg (291,952) and Pavel Datsyuk (262,619) were the conference leaders among forwards.

Crosby, who has 16 goals and 48 points, became the youngest player to be voted into the all-star game when he also led all players in votes last year. In Crosby's rookie season of 2005-06, the Olympics replaced the all-star game.

In the West, the top defencemen are Lidstrom and Dion Phaneuf (275,395) of Calgary. Flames captain Jarome Iginla (213,258) is third among forwards.

In the East, forward Daniel Alfredsson of Ottawa is third behind Crosby and Lecavalier with 197,693 votes, slightly ahead of Daniel Briere of Philadelphia (162,019). Andrei Markov of Montreal (282,336) and Zdeno Chara of Boston (234,779) are the top defenders.

Vancouver's Roberto Luongo leads all goaltenders with 228,583 votes. Martin Brodeur of New Jersey leads all Eastern Conference goalies with 185,003 votes.

More than 10.8 million votes have been cast to determine the starting lineups. Fans can vote at for six Eastern Conference all-stars and six Western Conference all-stars: three forwards, two defenscemen and one goaltender for each team.

The starters will be announced Jan. 8.


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