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September 2, 2014

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Photos: Cheryl Burke, Erin Andrews add sizzle to 2012 NHL Awards

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Steve Marcus

Pittsburgh Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin poses with the Ted Lindsay Award, left, the Art Ross Trophy, center, and the Hart Trophy during the 2012 NHL Awards show at the Wynn Las Vegas Wednesday, June 20, 2012.

2012 NHL Awards

Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin poses with the Ted Lindsay Award, left, the Art Ross Trophy, center, and the Hart Trophy during the 2012 NHL Awards show at the Wynn Las Vegas Wednesday, June 20, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Henrik Lundquist

2012 NHL Awards red carpet/Richard Corey

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Professional dancer Cheryl Burke arrives for the 2012 NHL Awards show at the Wynn Las Vegas Wednesday, June 20, 2012.

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Mike Fisher and Eric Stonestreet at Encore Beach Club on Wednesday, June 20, 2012.

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Sportscaster Erin Andrews arrives for the 2012 NHL Awards show at the Wynn Las Vegas Wednesday, June 20, 2012.

Two sexy TV stunners brought sizzle to the male-dominated 2012 NHL Awards at Encore Theater in the Wynn on Wednesday night, and their power-play personalities proved that the show didn’t need a host. They were the two-woman advantage of the breakaway move.

“Dancing With the Stars” beauty Cheryl Burke, in a slashed-to-the-thigh, bare-shouldered gown by Gilbert Chagoury, and ESPN sports reporter (and “DWTS” alumnus) Erin Andrews, in a shorter-than-short sparkling mini-dress, had the hunks skating on melted ice. Cheryl and Erin shone as bright as the 17 awards handed out in the live, 2-hour NBC Sports broadcast.

Comedian and hockey enthusiast Jay Mohr hosted the last two awards at the Pearl in the Palms, but this year the NHL decided to forgo a traditional host. Kevin Smith, Tracy Morgan and Will Arnett provided the defensive flexible triangle of taped comedy segments to complement Nickelback’s two numbers as the entertainment. It was the perfect night of no holding and high sticking.

Erin and Cheryl dazzled while they handled presentations, along with Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family”), Kevin Connolly (“Entourage”), Ray Liotta (“Goodfellas”) and Colin Hanks (“Dexter”). Also in attendance: Matthew Perry {“Friends”), Cory Monteith (“Glee”) and, to close the show, Vince Vaughn (“Wedding Crashers”).

There was a slip-up that brought howls of laughter: The New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundquist uttered the F-word under his breath, but loud enough to be heard through his microphone. Henrik misspoke in his acceptance speech after receiving the Vezina Award for Best Goalie. No wonder Rangers coach John Tortorella joked, “That’s our first and last time ever in Las Vegas!”

NHL program chief Bob Chesterman said of the no-host decision: “We wanted to avoid those unauthentic moments and stale banter and have the presenters do more of the heavy lifting. Instead of one award, we gave them an act.”

NHL brass were (quietly) thrilled that the L.A. Kings won the Stanley Cup, as it boosted Las Vegas attendance and TV interest from California fans. “The show really engaged the fans in new, exciting and different ways,” said an NHL official. “It’s tough to do any league awards show, but this connected with the fans more than ever before.”

The NHL contract with the Wynn and our Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority keeps the awards and the Stanley Cup here through 2014, and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman hopes that it will remain here for many years to come.

Evgeni Malkin, the 25 year-old Russian who plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins, skated away with the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award. Other big winners: Erik Karlsson of the Washington Senators for the Norris Trophy; Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche for the Calder Trophy; and coach Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues for the Jack Adams Award.

The 4 p.m. satellite broadcast to meet the 7 p.m. East Coast and Canadian time zone requirements meant an early start to the after-party at nearby Surrender Nightclub in Steve Wynn’s Encore, which looked like a face off between hockey’s finest and Hollywood stars.

Eric Stonestreet was the first to arrive with two lovely ladies in tow and a large group of hockey players who partied in a luxury bungalow at the adjoining Encore Beach Club. Eric posed for a photo with the Nashville Predators’ Mike Fisher, Carrie Underwood’s husband. NHL legend Mark Messier partied with a group in the next bungalow, where Matthew Perry and Kevin Connolly, in separate entourages, joined him, as did Isaiah “The Old Spice Guy” Mustafa.

Cheryl partied inside Surrender to the sounds of DJ Deniz Koyu. Also at the party: NHL executive Brendan Shanahan, Anson Carter (retired), Pikka Rinne (Nashville Predators), Henrik Lundquist, Adam Henrique (New Jersey Devils) and Daniel Alfredson (Ottawa Senators).

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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