With almost 2 weeks remaining, Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby surpassed Jaromir Jagr's record for the most votes ever received by a player in NHL All-Star game fan balloting.

Crosby has passed the 1,020,736-vote mark that Jagr set in 2000 while he was with the Penguins.

Crosby's Penguins teammate Evgeni Malkin was also poised to top the record, being within 19,000 votes of Jagr's total.

Fans can vote online through Jan. 2 to select the starting lineups for the All-Star game, which will take place in Montreal on Jan. 25.


* Boston forward Patrice Bergeron, who missed most of last season with a concussion after being checked from behind by Flyers' defenseman Randy Jones, was released from the hospital yesterday after being diagnosed with another concussion.

Bergeron spent Saturday night at Massachusetts General Hospital and underwent extensive testing after being injured in a game with Carolina.

"When examined this morning, his condition had improved greatly over last night, and he was released from the hospital," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said in a statement from the team. "There is no timetable for his return to the ice."

* Goalie Justin Pogge, Toronto's first pick in the 2004 NHL draft, was recalled yesterday from the AHL Toronto Marlies.

In yesterday's games:

* At Boston, Phil Kessel had two assists to extend his points streak to 18 games, and his former University of Minnesota teammate Blake Wheeler had two first-period goals in the Bruins' 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Kessel's streak is Boston's longest since Adam Oates had a 20-gamer in 1997-98.

Michael Ryder had a goal and an assist, Shane Hnidy, Marc Savard and Vladimir Sobotka also scored, David Krejci had three first-period assists, and Manny Fernandez (11-1-1 in his last 13 games) made 29 saves as the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins won their fifth straight game and are 19-3-1 in their last 23.

Wheeler's goal, his 11th, tied St. Louis' Patrik Berglund for the rookie scoring lead.

Boston's 24-5-4 record is the franchise's best record after 33 games since the 1929-30 season.

* At Montreal, Tuomo Ruutu scored 1:43 into overtime to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-2 victory over the Canadiens.

Ruutu got behind Montreal goalie Carey Price and brought the puck around the left post before sliding it over the goal line.

Sergei Samsonov and Eric Staal each had a goal and an assist, and Cam Ward made 26 saves to help Carolina improve to 4-1-3 in its last eight games.

Robert Lang had drawn Montreal even at 2-2 with his team-leading 11th goal on a power play 13:08 into the third period. Matt D'Agostini also scored for the Canadiens, who ended a stretch of 10 of 11 games at home.

* At Sunrise, Fla., Tomas Vokoun made 23 saves for his second shutout of the season, and Brett McLean, Richard Zednik and Bryan McCabe scored goals in the Florida Panthers' 3-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. *