Marleau, Robidas join NHL's West all-star team
Price, Bolland, Perron and Rinne named to YoungStars game
On track for his best statistical NHL season, Patrick Marleau deservedly will take the ice at Montreal's Bell Centre on Sunday for his third all-star game (CBC Sports, CBCSports.ca, 6 p.m. ET).
But the San Jose Sharks centre wasn't a shoo-in for a spot on the Western Conference squad, having been named a replacement Wednesday for Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk.
Dallas's Stephane Robidas, who began his NHL career with the Canadiens in 2000, will return to Montreal this weekend for his all-star debut, taking the place of fellow blue-liner Nicklas Lidstrom of the Red Wings for the 57th annual event.
"To be an all-star anywhere would be great," Robidas said. "But to play in Montreal, that will be something very special."
Joining Robidas will be Stars teammate Mike Ribeiro, also a former Canadien.
Marleau strengthened his case on Tuesday when he scored at 3:08 of overtime to lift the Sharks to a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Vancouver.
The 29-year-old added an assist to give him 25 goals and 51 points in 45 games this season, tied for 10th in league scoring with Calgary's Jarome Iginla.
Marleau's most productive season came in 2005-06 when he collected 86 points in 82 contests.
In the YoungStars game on Saturday (CBC Sports, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET), current Montreal goaltender Carey Price will step in for injured Los Angeles Kings netminder Erik Ersberg on the 10-player sophomore team in their tilt against the rookies.
Price, who returned to the Canadiens lineup from an ankle injury Tuesday night in relief of Jaroslav Halak, received more votes than any other goalie in all-star voting history and will start Sunday's game.
Also added to the YoungStars game Wednesday were sophomores Dave Bolland of the Chicago Blackhawks and David Perron of the St. Louis Blues, along with Nashville Predators rookie goaltender Pekka Rinne.
Bolland, who has eight goals, 25 points and a plus-14 rating in 44 games, will take the place of Boston's Milan Lucic. Perron, with 25 assists among his 30 points, will step in for Washington's Nicklas Backstrom.
Backstrom said he decided he wanted to take a rest rather than play in the game.
"This year I felt like it made more sense for me to give someone else that opportunity and use this time to rest and prepare for the second half of the season with the Washington Capitals," Backstrom said in a statement released by the team. "I can assure Caps fans that I'm not injured."
Rinne will appear in place of Columbus's Steve Mason, who will take the weekend off to rest his sore back. Rinne sports a 10-7 record, 2.33 goals against average and .916 save percentage in 21 contests.