20 years ago, Ray Bourque grabbed the spotlight at the NHL All-Star Game

Ray Bourque (left) won the 1996 All Star Game MVP award and was described by his former teammate Cam Neely (right) as, “the best defenseman in the world.’’
Ray Bourque (left) won the 1996 All Star Game MVP award and was described by his former teammate Cam Neely (right) as, “the best defenseman in the world.’’ –AP

Just a few months after its grand opening, TD Garden, now in its 20th season, hosted the NHL All-Star Game. And one of Boston’s own stole the show.

On Jan. 20, 1996, legendary Bruins defenseman Raymond Bourque provided one of the shining moments during his 20-plus year tenure in Boston. Skating with fellow legends like Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Cam Neely, Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Brett Hull, Jaromir Jagr, Dominik Hasek, Joe Sakic, Martin Brodeur, Bourque managed to draw all of the attention.

With the game tied 4-4 late in the third period, Bourque’sbackhander off a Felix Potvin rebound found the back of the net, sending a crowd of 17,565 at the then Fleet Center into a frenzy. His game-winner earned him All-Star Game MVP honors in one of the lowest scoring games in All-Star history. Last year, the NHL revealed Bourque’s game winner in Boston as the top All-Star moment of all time.

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