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Malkin joins Crosby, Letang among potential All-Star starters

Four Penguins ranked in the top eight

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and defenseman Kris Letang remained the Nos. 1-2-overall vote-getters for the third straight week in 2011 NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, presented by XM.

Forward Evgeni Malkin (242,841), who has five goals and eight points in three games since returning from injury, joined Crosby and Letang as potential starters, gathering 31,152 votes last week to move into third place among forwards behind Crosby and Chicago’s Jonathan Toews.

Crosby, who leads the league in goals (27) and points (57), held the top spot for the fifth straight week with 464,832 votes. Letang, the NHL’s second-highest scoring blueliner, continues to lead all defensemen and write-in candidates with 342,118 votes.

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (259, 596) ranked second among goaltenders behind Montreal’s Carey Price for the second-straight week.

Crosby (1st), Letang (2nd), Fleury (6th) and Malkin (8th) gave the Penguins four of the top-eight-overall vote-getters.

All-Star voting will continue through Jan. 3. Should Crosby, Malkin and Letang maintain their current positions, it would give the Penguins three players voted into the starting lineup for the first time since 1992-93 (Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Kevin Stevens).

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