Larkin shines as Atlantic Division moves onto All-Star Game finale

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NASHVILLE — Nobody was quite sure how the first-ever 3-on-3 event at the NHL All-Star Game would go.

The answer?

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.

Notes

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.