NASHVILLE — Remember how everyone thought a 3-on-3 All-Star Game would result in ridiculous goal totals, and shellshocked netminders curled into the fetal position?
Things didn’t go exactly to plan.
In a tightly-contested finale, the Pacific Division captured the first-ever NHL All-Star 3-on-3 tournament with a narrow 1-0 win over the Atlantic — a game in which defense and goaltending both outshone the offense.
And that was it for the offense.
The first period was a legitimate goalie duel, with Roberto Luongo and Jonathan Quick matching each other save-for-save. Luongo finished with 12 saves on 12 shots — Quick 10 on 10 — but it was Luongo that stole the show with an acrobatic, sprawling denial of Drew Doughty.
The second period didn’t have as many shots — both teams seemed to take a more vested interest in defensive positioning and limiting chances on goal — but still featured some strong netminding, especially from Anaheim’s John Gibson, who stopped all seven shots faced.
With just over a minute to go, the Atlantic pulled its goalie for an extra attacker, but to no avail. All that was left was for the Pacific to collect their $1M winners’ check, and for the All-Star MVP to be named.
Fittingly, it went to the guy that really won the entire weekend:
There was an All-Star Game rarity with just under three minutes left — Perry looked to have scored his second goal of the contest, only to have it reversed on review when officials judged that Taylor Hall interfered with Ben Bishop… San Jose captain Joe Pavelski led all skaters with five shots on goal.