The first game St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott plays following the All-Star break will likely feel like a walk in the park compared to what he faced Sunday afternoon in the NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa.
Elliott, the Blues' lone All-Star representative, was the third goalie to see action for Team Alfredsson. He faced 19 shots in the third period alone and allowed six goals in a 12-9 loss to Team Chara.
Making his return to Ottawa after playing four years with the Senators from 2007-2011, Elliott entered to start the third period with the score tied 6-6. And as is usually the case in an All-Star Game, Elliott was peppered with pucks unfairly all period long.
He made his first save just 30 seconds into the period and had three saves in the first minute. Elliott then stopped Corey Perry on a breakaway and stoned Tyler Seguin at the front door on a tip-in attempt at the far post.
But in a precursor of things to come in the period, Elliott was let down by his defense when Phil Kessel broke in and wristed a shot off the cross bar and into the net just 4:12 into the period.
Elliott did the best he could to keep Team Chara from scoring again, stopping Marian Gaborik with a great pad save after he broke free in front of the net.
Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames beat Elliott with a one-timer at the far post after a pass from the corner left him wide open in front to put Team Chara up 8-7 before Team Alfredsson tied the game a short time later.
But Elliott allowed two goals in 16 seconds, both on odd-man breaks with no help from his defense, and a third straight goal just a minute later to give Team Chara a commanding 11-8 lead.
After a goal by Team Alfredsson brought the deficit back to within two, Joffrey Lupul scored on a wide open shot from the side on another odd-man rush.
Elliott likely should have allowed even more than six goals but made a sprawling pad save on a breakaway with just over three minutes to go.
The 19 shots against Elliott in the third period were significantly more than the 12 and 13 shots that Team Chara took in the first and second periods.
Elliott will return to St. Louis in time for Monday's 2 p.m. practice and the Blues will open up the second half of the season Friday night at Scottrade Center against the Los Angeles Kings.