Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Tarasenko earns second straight All-Star bid

Blues' right wing is team's lone representative; game will be Jan. 31 in Nashville

ST. LOUIS -- It will be a return trip for Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko after the NHL announced its roster Wednesday for the 2016 All-Star Game.

Tarasenko, who was in Columbus last season for the first time, will head to Nashville for this year's game, which will be played Jan. 31. He is the lone Blues' representative.
Vladimir Tarasenko

Tarasenko is tied for second in the NHL with 23 goals -- one behind leader Jamie Benn of Dallas -- and was named to the Central Division roster; he had four assists in a 17-12 Team Toews victory over Team Foligno.

Unlike a draft system in picking teams, the game has been changed to a 3-on-3 format matching divisions against each other.

Tarasenko will be joined in the Central Division with captain Patrick Kane (Chicago) and Jonathan Toews, Benn and Tyler Seguin (Dallas), Matt Duchene (Colorado), Dustin Byfuglien (Winnipeg), Shea Weber, Roman Josi and Pekka Rinne (Nashville) and Devan Dubnyk (Minnesota).

Rosters for the Central, Pacific, Atlantic and Metropolitan divisions are made of six forwards, three defensemen and two goalies.

Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and goalie Jake Allen would have been viable selections but with the limited space and representation from each team, it became restricted for teams to have all worthy players. Despite missing 10 games earlier this season with a groin injury, Shattenkirk is third on the Blues and first among defensemen with 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in 32 games; he played in the All-Star Game last season.

Allen is 18-10-2 with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .926 save-percentage this season, eighth in the NHL in both categories.

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