NEW YORK (Reuters) - Reigning NHL MVP Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins led the voting for the All-Star Game for the second successive year on Tuesday.
Crosby, 20, who tops the NHL with 40 assists, garnered over half a million votes in fan balloting for the January 27 game at Philips Arena in Atlanta.
Detroit’s record-setting start to the season was rewarded with Western Conference starting berths for defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and forwards Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.
The Red Wings (32-8-3) hold a commanding 15-point lead in the Western Conference and became the first club ever to post 30 wins in the first half of the season.
Lidstrom led Western Conference players with 477,787 votes and will be making his eighth consecutive All-Star Game start. Zetterberg and Datsyuk are among eight first-time starters in this year’s lineups.
Joining the Detroit trio in the starting lineup are Calgary Flames forward Jarome Iginla and defenseman Dion Phaneuf, and Vancouver Canucks’ Roberto Luongo in goal.
Crosby’s Eastern Conference linemates will be NHL scoring leader Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators right wing Daniel Alfredsson.
Voted to the Eastern Conference blueline are defensemen Andrei Markov of the Montreal Canadiens and Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins, with Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils minding the net.
Complete rosters will be selected by the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department in conjunction with league general managers and announced on Thursday.
Writing by Larry Fine, editing by Rex Gowar