OTTAWA -- The NHL All-Star Game played out in normal fashion Sunday at Scotiabank Place. A night earlier, health news about Sidney Crosby fairly well upstaged the skills challenge.
On the day of the main event, though, there was no update about Crosby, the Penguins center and captain who for most of the past 13 months has been dealing with a concussion, symptoms associated with concussions and now news of a neck injury from some point that was discovered last week, an undetermined time after it apparently healed.
No one from the club addressed Crosby's status Sunday.
Over the past two-plus weeks, Crosby has traveled to see three people outside the Penguins' network -- trainer Alex Guerrero in Utah, chiropractor and neurological specialist Ted Carrick in Atlanta and spinal neurologist Robert S. Bray in Los Angeles.
He returned over the weekend to Pittsburgh, where he has continued to skate.
Results of his recent MRI and CAT scans are being examined by independent specialists. A team official said there was no word of those results, which could be released as soon as today.
Calgary winger Jarome Iginla is a veteran of more than 1,100 games with more than 500 goals and 1,000 points, but he doesn't get tired of events such as the NHL All-Star Game. In fact, at this point, he savors them.
"Every one you're at, you never know if you're going to be there again and you try to appreciate it and look at it," he said. "It's a neat experience. You get to meet some other guys around the league.
"Over the years it changes. It seems a lot younger this year. You get a chance to meet some of them. You admire some of the different styles of different players.
" I think every year, just in hockey, you try to appreciate it and reflect. I hope to play for five, six more years, but even that will go quickly. It's gone quickly so far."
Iginla wasn't just along for this ride. He had a goal and two assists for Team Zdeno Chara, a 12-9 winner against Team Daniel Alfredsson.
Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard might have been at his first NHL All-Star Game, but he came with no illusions.
"This is not goalie-friendly whatsoever," he said before the game. "It's still fun at the same time."
It was something of a homecoming for Howard, who is from just over the United States border.
"I'm very thankful growing up in Ogdensburg, N.Y., just down the road that I'm able to have my friends and family here to enjoy this with me," he said, "enjoy" being a fluid description for someone who knew he would play one period of hockey with no hitting, no blocked shots and against some of the top snipers in the world.
"Twenty minutes. Try to hold the fort down as best as you can and see what happens," he said. "Hopefully, I can keep it under five [goals allowed]."
Mission accomplished. He played the first period for Team Chara, giving up three goals on 14 shots and stopping Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos on a penalty shot.
Penguins winger James Neal , on what it's like to play in the offense-only NHL All-Star Game: "It's tough to get the puck off of a lot of those guys. When you grow up playing shinny, it's kind of like that." ... The Penguins will reconvene today with a late afternoon practice. Other than their three All-Stars, they have been off since a 3-2 shootout win Tuesday at St. Louis, their seventh win in a row. ... Penguins broadcaster Steve Mears served as a rink-side reporter for the NHL broadcast of the All-Star Game.