Louie the lone star in Texas

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

National Hockey League's 55th all-star game is tonight in the Lone Star state and goaltender Roberto Luongo will be the lone Vancouver Canuck star on ice.

Luongo will start the 5 p.m. Dallas-hosted game (CBC/RDS) after leading Western conference goaltenders with 484,861 votes. His all-star debut came as a Florida Panther in 2004, where he allowed one goal during a period of the Eastern conference's 6-4 win.

The next two all-star games were cancelled by 2005's lockout and the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics.

Luongo expects the game to be full of "creative stuff you don't see every day on the ice" including the new Reebok Edge uniforms that'll be used league-wide next season.

"It's very loose and elastic," Luongo said. "You can move around very well and easily in it. It feels really comfortable."

Luongo will be the fourth Canuck goalie in the mid-season superstar shinny showcase. Gary Smith (1975), Kirk McLean (1990 and 1992) and John Garrett (1983) were the others. Garrett, now a Sportsnet commentator, substituted for the injured Richard Brodeur and was destined to win the MVP award until Campbell conference teammate Wayne Gretzky's record four third-period goals.

Colorado Avalanche captain "Burnaby Joe" Sakic captains the West tonight against New York Ranger Brendan Shanahan's East.

NHL began the all-star tradition in 1947 in Toronto. Atlanta hosts 2008's while Montreal was awarded the 2009 extravaganza to celebrate the Canadiens' centennial.


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