By REED NELSONFOXSportsDetroit.com
Pavel Datsyuk and Jimmy Howard, two key pieces to the Red Wings early season success, have been named 2012 NHL All-Stars.
For Datsyuk, the Wings' leader in points this season with 43 and the NHL in takeaways with 59, this will mark his third All-Star honor.
Howard, who leads the league with 24 wins, is making his first appearance.
The two will be eligible for either side as the All-Star Game is once again going with its fantasy draft format from 2011. The format could potentially pit the two against each other.
One local omission from the list, however, is veteran defenseman Niklas Lidstrom who was one of last year's All-Star Game captains. Lidstrom, who is having a respectable season even at the age of 41, had opted to remove himself from consideration prior to the selection process.
The NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft takes place on Thursday, Jan. 26, and the game will be played that following Sunday, Jan. 29 in Ottawa.