East Beats West

Archived from 2003-04 season.

NHL teams

Mark Messier set an NHL All-Star Game record Sunday with his 14th assist in his 15th All-Star Game as the Eastern Conference beat the Western Conference 6-4.

"The goaltending was unbelievable, and we got a game out of it because of the goaltending," Messier said after four of the six goalies allowed only a single goal apiece. "Otherwise, I think it would have been up in the double digits for both sides."

Only two goals were scored in the first period against goalies Martin Brodeur of the East and Marty Turco and in the third against Jose Theodore of the East and Dwayne Roloson as all four made a series of exceptional saves.

"I thought it was high tempo, it was quick out there, but the goaltending was great," the West's Jarome Iginla said. "It could have been a really high-scoring game if they weren't so good."

Colorado Avalanche's Joe Sakic scored three goals to win the MVP award, but his hat trick was not enough for the West.

"You always want to win," Sakic said. "There are some stakes out there for the two teams. I think the most important thing was for the event to be a success, and I thought it was a pretty good show."

Once he scored twice, Sakic and his teammates were thinking about a hat trick.

They started trying to feed me and went to get the third one," Sakic said. "Obviously then it felt really good. I kind of thought I had a chance."

It was the second straight year that the MVP came from the losing team. Atlanta's Dany Heatley took the honors in 2003 with a four-goal outburst in the East's 6-5 shootout loss.

"The good thing about the NHL is all the guys are good guys," Vancouver's Todd Bertuzzi said. "It doesn't matter how many times you lock horns during the year, you come to these things and everyone's great."

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