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Foot Doesn't Stop Green's Big Night

By Tarik El-Bashir
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 24, 2007

DALLAS, Jan. 23 -- Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green set up three goals in Tuesday's YoungStars Game to help the Eastern Conference to a 9-8 victory.

But more importantly, Green said that his bruised left foot felt "really good" during the four-on-four exhibition at American Airlines Center. So good, in fact, the 21-year-old hopes to be 100 percent for Friday's game against Carolina. "It was a lot of fun because there was no pressure and you could make plays that you wouldn't try normally," he said. "Hopefully, it will give me a little bit of confidence going back to Washington."

Green said his experience has inspired him to set his sights on graduating to future all-star games. "I've met a lot of the all-stars and they're all great guys," he said. "This is a special occasion and I want to try to be a part of it as much as I can over my career."

Mirror, Mirror

Alex Ovechkin's flashy new visor certainly didn't give him an edge in the "Fastest Skater" event during the SuperSkills competition, which also was won by the Eastern Conference, 15-11.

After appearing to hesitate at the start, the Capitals' star winger recorded the slowest time of the six contestants, lapping the rink in 15.19 seconds. Anaheim center Andy McDonald posted the fastest time (14.03), nipping San Jose center Patrick Marleau (14.08).

Ovechkin also was stopped by Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo in the shootout.

"Of course you want to win, but you can't win all the time," said Ovechkin, who debuted a mirrored visor similar to the one he wore as a rookie, except this one had a bluish tint. "Sometimes you have to lose. There was no warmup, nothing. That's the reason why I skate bad."

No Schedule Change

The NHL won't change its unbalanced schedule after Tuesday's Board of Governors vote came up one short of the two-thirds needed to make adjustments.

At present, teams play eight games against each division opponent and 10 games against nonconference opponents.

The board also approved Montreal as the site for the 2009 All-Star Game, which is slated for Atlanta next season.

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