All-Star voting: Penguins popular on ballots

All we need is for Pittsburgh fans to start penciling in Pascal Dupuis or Chris Kunitz and Brooks Orpik and the All-Star Game in Raleigh next month will be an all-Penguin affair.

No surprise that captain Sidney Crosby is the run-away leader in voting for the Jan. 30 All-Star Game, but defenseman Kris Letang has jumped into first place among defensemen in voting and leads all write-in candidates, while Pens netminder Marc-Andre Fleury has shaken off a slow start to the season to move into second in voting among goalies behind Montreal's Carey Price. Former NHL scoring champ and playoff MVP Evgeni Malkin is closing the gap on third place among forwards and those four Penguins are among the top four vote-getters, regardless of position, with more than 9.5 million votes cast so far. The number of write-in candidates continues to grow steadily with 37 percent of all votes cast going to write-in candidates. That percentage has gone up steadily every week since voting began.

The top three vote-getters among all forwards plus the top two defensemen and top goaltender will be considered First All-Stars when the two competing squads sides are picked shinny-style on the Friday evening of All-Star weekend in Raleigh. The annual skills competition is set for Saturday the 29th with the All-Star Game the following day.

Here's a breakdown by position (* -- denotes write-in candidate; the NHL's results below reflect voting through Dec. 13):


Crosby picked up more than 90,000 votes last week thanks in large part to an 18-game point streak and a 12-game winning streak enjoyed by the Penguins heading into action Tuesday. Crosby, the NHL's top goal and point-producer, leads Jonathan Toews by almost 166,000 votes among the forwards with Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos sitting in third place.

Stamkos has fallen about 25,000 votes behind Toews and must now be wary of Malkin coming up from behind. Malkin trails Stamkos by less than 8,000 votes after surging past countryman Alex Ovechkin into fourth place among forwards.

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins, 410,754

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks, 244,774

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning, 219,090

Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins, 211,699

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals, 191,892

Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks, 186,414

Mike Cammalleri, Montreal Canadiens, 181,745

Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers, 177,037

*-Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers, 175,008

Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings, 161,676

*-Tomas Plekanec, Montreal Canadiens, 159,187

Danny Briere, Philadelphia Flyers, 157,348

Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks, 148,852

Brian Gionta, Montreal Canadiens, 138,334

Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings, 127,046

Johan Franzen, Detroit Red Wings, 95,435

Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes, 94,085

*-Sean Avery, New York Rangers, 93,600

Jeff Carter, Philadelphia Flyers, 91,107

Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals, 81,109

*-Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks, 78,422

*-Alexander Semin, Washington Capitals, 70,368

*-Chad LaRose, Carolina Hurricanes, 66,982

Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks, 58,747

Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks, 55,177

Marian Gaborik, New York Rangers, 48,229

Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings, 43,547

Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs, 42,970

Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning, 42,564

Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks, 40,753

*-Jeff Skinner, Carolina Hurricanes, 38,728

Paul Stastny, Colorado Avalanche, 35,331

Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Ducks, 34,371

Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets, 34,186

Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins, 33,249

Dany Heatley, San Jose Sharks, 33,073

Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks, 32,151

Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames, 30,951

*-Maxime Talbot, Pittsburgh Penguins, 30,185

Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks, 29,259

Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks, 28,985

Milan Hejduk, Colorado Avalanche, 26,877

*-Brandon Dubinsky, New York Rangers, 26,666

Brad Richards, Dallas Stars, 24,903

Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks, 24,634

David Krejci, Boston Bruins, 23,618

Ryan Smyth, Los Angeles Kings, 22,309

T.J. Oshie, St. Louis Blues, 22,294

Derek Roy, Buffalo Sabres, 20,742

*-Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Penguins, 20,285

Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils, 19,979

*-Chris Stewart, Colorado Avalanche, 19,628

Thomas Vanek, Buffalo Sabres, 19,282

R.J. Umberger, Columbus Blue Jackets, 18,281

*-Jussi Jokinen, Carolina Hurricanes, 17,800

*-Ryan Callahan, New York Rangers, 17,406

*-Paul Bissonnette, Phoenix Coyotes, 15,958

*-Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks, 15,861

Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators, 15,795

Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils, 14,083

*-Jody Shelley, Philadelphia Flyers, 13,710

Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning, 13,634

Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild, 13,056

*-Milan Lucic, Boston Bruins, 12,442

Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators, 12,179

John Tavares, New York Islanders, 11,703

*-Nathan Horton, Boston Bruins, 11,031

Ales Hemsky, Edmonton Oilers, 10,534

Brenden Morrow, Dallas Stars, 10,250

*-Justin Williams, Los Angeles Kings, 10,195

Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes, 10,146

*-Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche, 9,403

*-Pascal Dupuis, Pittsburgh Penguins, 8,232

*-David Perron, St. Louis Blues, 7,887

*-Ville Leino, Philadelphia Flyers, 7,698

*-Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings, 7,522

*-Andrei Kostitsyn, Montreal Canadiens, 7,322

*-Patrick Kaleta, Buffalo Sabres, 6,804

David Booth, Florida Panthers, 6,386


With Letang leading all defensemen with 293,584 votes, second overall behind Crosby, the battle is on between defending Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith and former Norris winner Chris Pronger of Philadelphia. Keith jumped ahead of Pronger who was second after last week's voting, but it remains close with Keith just slightly more than 5,300 votes ahead of Pronger. Nicklas Lidstrom, speaking of Norris Trophies, is in the hunt, too, but is 18,000 or so votes back of Keith.

*-Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins, 293,584

Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks, 234,514

Chris Pronger, Philadelphia Flyers, 229,147

Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings, 216,154

Kimmo Timonen, Philadelphia Flyers, 183,205

Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks, 156,808

*-P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens, 151,672

Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings, 127,975

Mike Green, Washington Capitals, 119,274

Dustin Byfuglien, Atlanta Thrashers, 116,459

Brian Rafalski, Detroit Red Wings, 113,693

Paul Martin, Pittsburgh Penguins, 110,329

Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins, 87,639

Marc Staal, New York Rangers, 73,167

Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens, 62,316

Dan Boyle, San Jose Sharks 58,932

Brian Campbell, Chicago Blackhawks, 52,142

Shea Weber, Nashville Predators, 50,365

Joni Pitkanen, Carolina Hurricanes, 50,091

Sergei Gonchar, Ottawa Senators, 44,167

Dion Phaneuf, Toronto Maple Leafs 44,125

*-Brooks Orpik, Pittsburgh Penguins, 38,622

*-Tim Gleason, Carolina Hurricanes, 36,114

*-Josh Gorges, Montreal Canadiens, 33,883

Tomas Kaberle, Toronto Maple Leafs 32,217

*-John-Michael Liles, Colorado Avalanche, 31,374

Dan Hamhuis, Vancouver Canucks, 27,485

*-John Carlson, Washington Capitals, 22,145

*-Daniel Girardi, New York Rangers, 20,598

Stephane Robidas, Dallas Stars, 20,327

*-Luke Schenn, Toronto Maple Leafs 19,090

Tobias Enstrom, Atlanta Thrashers, 19,021

*-Jack Johnson, Los Angeles Kings, 15,887

Ed Jovanovski, Phoenix Coyotes, 13,700

Ryan Suter, Nashville Predators, 13,492

Jay Bouwmeester, Calgary Flames, 12,529

*-Douglas Murray, San Jose Sharks 11,882

*-Cam Fowler, Anaheim Ducks, 10,599

*-Christian Ehrhoff, Vancouver Canucks, 10,597

Marek Zidlicky, Minnesota Wild, 9,987

*-Alexander Edler, Vancouver Canucks, 9,856

*-Adam Foote, Colorado Avalanche, 9,685

*-Lubomir Visnovsky, Anaheim Ducks, 9,540

*-Joe Corvo, Carolina Hurricanes, 9,301

*-Tyler Myers, Buffalo Sabres, 8,713

*Alex Goligoski, Pittsburgh Penguins, 8,420

*-Erik Johnson, St. Louis Blues, 7,895

*-Johnny Boychuk, Boston Bruins, 6,825

*-Niklas Hjalmarsson, Chicago Blackhawks, 6,792

*-Hal Gill, Montreal Canadiens, 6,312

Mark Streit, New York Islanders 5,915

*-Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues, 5,517

*-Michael Del Zotto, New York Rangers, 5,500

Bryan McCabe, Florida Panthers 5,171


With Fleury and the Pens surging through the standings and in the All-Star voting world, the goaltenders' race may be the most interesting of all.

Price, having a Vezina-style year for the Canadiens, leads all netminders with 250,256 votes. Not bad for a guy who wasn't even on the NHL's official ballot. He is currently third overall behind Crosby and Letang in total votes. But Fleury collected more than 66,000 votes last week to jump over Philadelphia rookie Sergei Bobrovsky, another strong write-in candidate, and into second among netminders. Fleury trails by slightly more than 32,000 votes with 218,350.

*-Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens, 250,256

Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins, 218,350

*Sergei Bobrovsky, Philadelphia Flyers, 202,254

Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins, 118,074

Jaroslav Halak, St. Louis Blues, 103,653

*-Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings, 97,864

Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres, 82,020

Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes, 64,669

Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers, 57,346

Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks, 53,580

Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings, 52,624

Antti Niemi, San Jose Sharks, 39,432

*-Michal Neuvirth, Washington Capitals, 30,786

*-Marty Turco, Chicago Blackhawks, 30,216

Craig Anderson, Colorado Avalanche, 27,548

Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Toronto Maple Leafs, 23,096

Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, 21,560

Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary Flames, 17,372

Ilya Bryzgalov, Phoenix Coyotes, 16,520

*-Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks, 15,444

Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild, 15,099

Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators, 13,439

*-Jonas Hiller, Anaheim Ducks, 11,912

*-Antero Niittymaki, San Jose Sharks, 11,446

*-Jonas Gustavsson, Toronto Maple Leafs, 8,043

*-Semyon Varlamov, Washington Capitals, 7,812

Nikolai Khabibulin, Edmonton Oilers, 7,256

Tomas Vokoun, Florida Panthers, 5,908