ATLANTA (AP) - Eric Staal got the offense started for the Eastern Conference, and was right there at the finish, too.
Staal won the most valuable player award in the NHL All-Star game Sunday night, finishing with two goals and an assist in the East's 8-7 win over the Western Conference.
Staal, the Carolina center, helped set up Marc Savard's winning goal with 20.9 seconds left.
Staal ended a streak of MVP honors going to players on the losing team four straight years. Rick Nash, who had three goals for the West, and Alex Ovechkin, who had two goals for the East, also were strong contenders for the award.
Buffalo's Daniel Briere won the honor for his five points for the East in the Western Conference's 12-9 win last year.
Staal scored one goal in his All-Star debut last year.
Staal is the first Hurricanes player to be selected for the All-Star team in consecutive years since the franchise moved from Hartford to Carolina.
Staal may be best known for his endurance in Carolina. He played in his 218th consecutive game for the Hurricanes on Jan. 10, matching the second-longest streak in franchise history.
Staal scored the East's first goal, shortly after Nash made NHL history by scoring only 12 seconds into the game. Staal converted from the right circle 1:20 into the game, tying it at 1.
The West erased a four-goal deficit and led 7-6 before Staal's second goal, on an assist from Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk, tied it again.
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