NASHVILLE — The only guy possibly having a better All-Star weekend than Dylan Larkin?
Scott, who over the last 72 hours has become a media darling, furthered his improbable story on Sunday, scoring the Pacific Division’s opening goal in the second 3-on-3 tournament contest at the NHL All-Star Game.
Scott’s goal, assisted by former Sharks teammate Brent Burns, came just 47 seconds into the opening frame of the Pacific-Central matchup. It also snuffed out James Neal‘s opening tally, in which the Preds winger fired past Jonathan Quick thanks to an assist from another Nashville favorite — the captain, Shea Weber.
But for as loud and excited the Bridgestone faithful were for Neal’s goal, Scott’s took things to the next level.
The fans roared with approval as the well-traveled enforcer banged the puck home. Given he only has five career markers in nearly 300 games, the cheers were certainly warranted.
Related: Larkin shines as Atlantic Division moves onto All-Star Game finale
NASHVILLE — Nobody was quite sure how the first-ever 3-on-3 event at the NHL All-Star Game would go.
Pretty well. Especially for Dylan Larkin.
Larkin, who was a shining star in Saturday’s Skills Competition by capturing the Fastest Skater and breaking Mike Gartner’s 20-year-old record, notched three assists on Sunday as the Atlantic Division beat the Metropolitan 4-3 to advance to this evening’s ASG Finale.
Larkin, 19, was a big story in the opener.
But he wasn’t the only story.
Kris Letang scored the first goal under the new format — on an assist from Penguins teammate Evgeni Malkin — just 61 seconds into the opening frame. At that point, it looked as though offense would rule the day, as most predicted.
Then the goalies got involved.
Braden Holtby and Roberto Luongo played extremely well in the first period, making several stellar saves to keep opposing snipers at bay. Each finished with eight saves on 10 shots, with Luongo putting forth this highlight-reel glove save on Evgeni Malkin:
The two sides exchanged goals from there on in, with Larkin assisting on three of his team’s final four goals, but it was P.K. Subban‘s tally with just under five minutes remaining that proved the game-winner. Atlantic netminder Ben Bishop carried over from Holtby’s strong effort in the opening frame, finishing with 11 saves on 12 shots for a .917 save percentage.
Aaron Ekblad, Erik Karlsson and Jaromir Jagr also scored for the Atlantic… Malkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov replied for the Metro… Both teams fired 22 shots on goal.
NASHVILLE — Didn’t take long for the Pittsburgh Penguins to make their mark on the 2016 NHL All-Star Game.
Just 61 seconds into the first-ever 3-on-3 game in ASG history, Pens d-man Kris Letang scored — on an assist from Pittsburgh teammate Evgeni Malkin — to give the Metropolitan Division a quick 1-0 lead over the Atlantic.
Letang beat Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo for the opening tally, setting the stage for what proved to be an entertaining opening 10 minutes of action. Both teams seemed slightly tentative at times, but the new competitive format proved to be much more entertaining than the previous incarnations — while still retaining some of the parts of actual, real-life hockey.
(There were even a couple of back-checks in the opening 10 minutes, which was a sight to behold).
The L.A. Kings will have some added toughness in their lineup coming out of the All-Star break.
Kyle Clifford, who’s been out since early December with an upper-body injury, has been recalled from his conditioning assignment and should be ready to re-join the team when it gets back into action on Tuesday in Arizona.
Clifford has missed the last 23 games with his ailment. Prior to getting hurt, he had just three points and 28 PIM in 26 games, but has emerged over the last few years as a rugged, dependable checking forward that’s not afraid to fight.
The 25-year-old has scrapped four times this season, and set a career-high of 18 tilts during the 2010-11 campaign.
NASHVILLE — It hasn’t been a banner year, production-wise, for John Tavares — but on Saturday night in Nashville, he was decidedly on point.
Tavares won the Accuracy Shooting contest at the ASG Skills Competition, hitting four targets in five attempts in 12.294 seconds to edge out Corey Perry and Joe Pavelski for the crown.
The Isles captain has 34 points in 44 games this year, which isn’t terrible production, but is below his usual average. His 0.77 points-per-game clip this season is his lowest since breaking in as a rookie in 2009-10.