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Karlsson slips in all-star voting

Ottawa Senator Erik Karlsson during team practice at the Canadian International Hockey Academy in...

Ottawa Senator Erik Karlsson during team practice at the Canadian International Hockey Academy in Rockland, Ontario on Wednesday November 23,2011. (ERROL MCGIHON/QMI Agency)

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:12 PM ET

WINNIPEG - Speedy Erik Karlsson has fallen a step behind Toronto Maple Leafs sniper Phil Kessel voting for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game.

Karlsson, the Senators defenceman who leads the league with 20 assists, led all players after Week 1. But in an update released Tuesday afternoon, his 256,839 votes now trail Kessel by 1,607.

The NHL’s leading scorer with 31 points, Kessel has 258,446 votes. His nearest competition among forwards comes from Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson, who has 233,868 votes.

Senators centre Jason Spezza is third highest vote-getting forward with 209,455 votes. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has skyrocketed up the charts and is now fourth among forwards with 206,863 votes, while Ottawa’s Milan Michalek is next in line with 190,670.

Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf is second among defencemen with 213,617 votes.

Boston’s Tim Thomas remains first among goalies with 175,315, which is 5,594 more than Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury.

Karslsson and the Senators are in Winnipeg to face the Jets Tuesday night. Asked after the morning skate what makes Karlsson so good, Ottawa coach Paul MacLean spoke of the 21-year-old’s speed.

“He can flat out skate,” said MacLean. “Better than anybody on the rink.”

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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