LOS ANGELES — The Metropolitan captured the All-Star Game title by beating the Pacific 4-3 after toppling the Atlantic 10-6 in the first round of play. The Pacific beat the Central 10-3 in the first round.
Joe Pavelski finished the day with two goals and an assist, while teammate Brent Burns potted a goal and an assist. Martin Jones made 12-16 saves for a .750 save percentage. The original post, a live blog, can be found below.
I’ll be updating this post live from the press box at Staples Center with the best highlights from today’s NHL All-Star Game. Feel free to use the comments as a discussion thread for today’s action. You can catch the games on NBC starting with the Pacific taking on the Central.
The Atlantic will then battle the Metropolitan. The winners of the two games play for the championship. The games are 3-on-3, just like in last year’s All-Star Game. The Pacific won last year’s championship led by Most Valuable Player John Scott.
Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski and Martin Jones are representing the Pacific. I expect Mike Smith will get the start in net over Jones.
Pacific vs. Central
Pacific 10, Central 3
Nine players scored for the Pacific in a total rout of the Central. Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns each had two point games while Cam Fowler led the way for the Pacific with four points. Five players on the Pacific tallied three points. Martin Jones made seven saves on nine shots while Mike Smith made two saves on three shots.
Jonathan Toews - Patrick Kane
Joe Pavelski - Jeff Carter
Cam Fowler started the scoring by burying a nifty feed from Johnny Gaudreau. Bo Horvat had the second assist. The Pacific dominated possession up to that point, scoring before the Central had gotten its first shot on goal.
It didn’t take long before the Pacific did it again, scoring before the first goal announcement was delivered. Jeff Carter got the second goal, assisted by Drew Doughty to bring the score to 2-0.
Jonathan Toews made it 2-1 to make things interesting, but only briefly as Connor McDavid came right back to make it 3-1 Pacific with a little help from Ryan Kesler. Then came the Wookiee Noises as Burns nifty backhander gave the Pacific a three-goal lead on its seventh shot.
Doughty scored for his second point of the game to make it 5-1 with 10 seconds to go in the period. Joe Pavelski assisted for his first point of the game. After the first period five different Pacific players had scored and, Doughty, McDavid and Carter had two-point games going.
P.K. Subban scored two minutes into the second period to get the Central back into it on the team’s first shot on goal of the period. That didn’t last long. The Pacific’s high-powered offense saw them surge to the other end of the ice and just 20 seconds later Johnny Gaudreau put the Pacific up 6-2.
Joe Pavelski made it 7-2 by burying a rebound of a Jeff Carter shot. The Central cut the lead back down to 7-3, but the Pacific got right back ahead with a goal from Ryan Kesler to make it 8-3.
Then the floodgates opened up. Bo Horvat scored his first of the game followed by Gaudreau’s second tally of the contest to make it a 10-3 game with three minutes to play.
Atlantic vs. Metropolitan
Metropolitan 10, Atlantic 6
After a slow start, the Metropolitan poured it on at the end to reach the the championship round against the Pacific. The Metro was outshot, but #score #effects come into play as the Atlantic tried to surge back into the game.
While the Pacific used a balanced attack and nine goal scorers to defeat the Central, the Metropolitan had three different players score twice to down the Atlantic. Wayne Simmonds, Cam Atkinson and John Tavares each potted a pair of goals and both Tavares and Atkinson had two assists each. Justin Faulk notched three assists. Braden Holtby saved 12 of the 15 shots he faced.
Nikita Kucherov had a four-point game for the Atlantic, scoring two goals and posting two assists. Vincent Trocheck scored a goal and had three assists and Victor Hedman had a two-point game in the defeat. Both goaltenders posted sub-.600 save percentages.
Pacific vs. Metropolitan
Metropolitan 4, Pacific 3
The Metropolitan scored twice in the second period and shut out the Pacific in the last frame to capture its first 3v3 All-Star Game tournament. Former Los Angeles King winger and current Philadelphia Flyer Wayne Simmonds scored the game-winning goal.
The Pacific had two glorious chances to tie the game with the net pulled and a minute to go in the contest. Jeff Carter nearly did the job with Braden Holtby down on the ice and a scramble in the goalmouth, but he couldn’t quite bury the shot. Ryan Kesler had a cleaner opportunity to punch a puck home but couldn’t capitalize.
Martin Jones made five saves on seven shots in the first period and finished the day with 12 saves on 16 shots. That’s not too shabby a save percentage in 3-on-3! The league average save percentage on 3v3 over the past two seasons is 0.856, so Jones finished just slightly below that against All-Stars! He’s #elite! Whatever.
Joe Pavelski got the scoring started fewer than 30 seconds into the game with a slick backhander to put the Pacific on stop. Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter picked up the assists. The goal came on the first shot of the game.
That lead lasted all of one minute. The Pacific left Seth Jones all by himself at its own blue line and he made them pay. Jones walked into the offensive zone and beat Martin Jones to his left to tie the game at one apiece. Taylor Hall and Justin Faulk picked up the assists.
Brent Burns had a great chance to put the Pacific back on top, but Sergei Bobrovsky had other ideas. He made a skiller save on the defender and Wayne Gretzky absolutely loved it.
Gretzky loved the Bobrovsky save pic.twitter.com/G5C57FrieG— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) January 29, 2017
Moments later, the Metropolitan took the lead on what was essentially an own goal scored by Burns. A fluttering puck was knocked down by Burns and underneath Martin Jones to give the Metro a 2-1 advantage.
The Pacific didn’t trail for long. Connor McDavid busted out the wheels and hands to beat Bobrovsky and make it 2-2 and continued his fabulous day. Johnny Gaudreau set up Bo Horvat in front of the net to put the Pacific back on top 3-2.
Ryan Kesler increased the Pacific’s lead to 4-2 by banking the puck off a defender’s skate and into the back of the net. Except the play was challenged and overturned for being offside. Wild.
The tide turned from there. The Metropolitan tied the game behind a goal from Cam Atkinson, his third of the day, and WAyne Simmonds scored his third goal of the day to give the team the lead seconds later. Taylor Hall earned his third assist on Simmonds goal with three minutes to play.
Mike Smith looked bad on both goals, but made a pair of strong saves to keep the game close after that. It’s 3-on-3 overtime in an All-Star Game. I can’t believe I even wrote this much about goaltender play. Oh, Braden Holtby made a great save on Bo Horvat to keep the Metro in the lead with 1:40 to play.