Swedish Sedin twins face off in NHL all-star game

Henrik and Daniel Sedin, the Swedish twins who play for the Vancouver Canucks, will line up on opposite sides for Sunday's NHL all-star game.

Swedish Sedin twins face off in NHL all-star game

It took a televised game of eeny meeny miny moe to finally separate the Swedish Sedin twins as they were picked back-to-back during the inaugural NHL All-Star fantasy draft Friday meaning they will square off against each other for the first time as professionals during Sunday’s game.

Team Staal captain Eric Staal selected Daniel as his fifth pick while his brother followed immediately when Team Lidstrom captain Nicklas Lidström made Henrik their sixth pick as the draft was televised live on the American sports channel Versus.

The twins played three seasons together with Modo in Sweden before coming to North America. They were selected in the first round (Daniel 2nd overall and Henrik 3rd overall) of the 1999 NHL entry draft by the Canucks. They have been together ever since even playing on the same line throughout their nine seasons with Vancouver.

“Back in 1999 I got picked ahead of Henrik and it happened again today so I am happy,” Daniel quipped Friday.

Henrik threw down the gauntlet to his 29-year-old sibling.

“Team Lidstrom got the best twin, that’s for sure,” Henrik joked.

With the first pick overall, Staal chose goaltender Cam Ward, his teammate on the Raleigh-based Carolina Hurricanes.

The two captains filled out their rosters for Sunday’s game and Saturday’s skills competition by choosing from a pool of 36 international stars.

Lidström chose Tampa Bay’s forward Steven Stamkos with the second pick while Washington forward Alex Ovechkin then went third to Team Staal.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain and Canada’s gold medal Olympic hero Sidney Crosby was not in the pool of players. Crosby was forced to skip the showcase event after suffering a concussion when he was blindsided by Ovechkin’s Washington teammate David Steckel on January 1st.

Despite being the last player picked, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel came out ahead of everyone else.

Kessel went to Team Lidström after Staal made Colorado’s Paul Stastny the 35th pick.

“We’re happy with our last pick in the draft, so we’ll take Phil Kessel,” Team Lidström assistant captain Patrick Kane said.

For his troubles Kessel was awarded a flash sedan car and $20,000 to donate to the charity of his choice.

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It’s official: Sweden’s Lundqvist is the NHL’s best goalie

Sweden's Henrik Lundqvist made 12 straight saves to win the goaltender competition at the NHL all-star game's skill night.

It's official: Sweden's Lundqvist is the NHL's best goalie
Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers celebrates winning the Ticketmaster NHL Save Streak during the 2019 SAP NHL All-Star Skills contest on Friday in San Jose, California. Photo: Thearon W. Hender
The New York Rangers goalie knocked off Russian Olympian Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who held the lead through several rounds after stopping the first eight shots he faced. 
The skill contests held on Friday night in San Jose, California also saw Edmonton Oilers speedster Connor McDavid win his third straight fastest skater title in a competition that included a female participant for the first time.
Canada's McDavid charged around the rink in just 13.37 seconds to eclipse Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel, who finished in 13.58 seconds at the SAP Center arena.
Kendall Coyne, who plays on the American women's national team, was invited to take part and finished seventh out of eight skaters, beating out Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller. Coyne cruised to a time of 14.34 seconds while Keller, who has 11 goals and 35 points with the Coyotes this season, finished in 14.52. 
“I thought she was unbelievable,” McDavid said. “She was absolutely flying out there.” 
Last year, Coyne's teammate Hilary Knight did the accuracy shooting drill, but her impressive time wasn't included in the official results.
Johnny Gaudreau defended his title in the puck control contest with a time of 27.045, and John Carlson, who captured a Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals last season, won the hardest shot contest with a blast of 102.8 mph.
The NHL all-star game will take place on Sunday.