Hockey’s young stars shine in NHL All-Star 3-on-3 tournament
By Stephen Whyno
AP Hockey Writer
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Hockey’s young skill was on display at the NHL All-Star 3-on-3 tournament.
Boston’s 23-year-old David Pastrnak, Edmonton’s 24-year-old Leon Draisaitl and Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson put on an offensive show in the 3-on-3 finale. Draisaitl and Pettersson’s Pacific Division team beat Pastrnak’s Atlantic 5-4 Saturday night in the fifth incarnation of 3-on-3 making up the All-Star Game.
Pastrnak, the league’s leading goal scorer at the break, was named All-Star MVP after scoring four goals and adding two assists. San Jose’s Tomas Hertl, who at 26 was among the oldest players to shine in the 3 on 3, scored five goals to help the Pacific come away with the win.
“It’s a young man’s game now in the NHL, and these guys, they’re superstars,” Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin said.
Pettersson and Chicago’s Patrick Kane — who was cheered and booed by fans in enemy territory — tried to score a lacrosse goal. Neither was successful, though it has happened twice in the NHL this season.
In addition to youth and offensive talent, the night was a showcase of St. Louis hockey in the aftermath of the Blues winning their first Stanley Cup title. Laila Anderson, whose courageous battle with a rare degenerative disease served as the team’s inspiration last season, announced the Blues’ four All-Stars.
St. Louis natives Jon Hamm and Jenna Fischer and Hockey Hall of Fame Blues alumni Wayne Gretzky and Brett Hull spent time behind the benches as honorary captains.
Blues fans who cheered goaltender Jordan Binnington’s success in the skills competition Friday didn’t get to see their players reach the 3-on-3 final because the Central Division lost the Western Conference semifinal 10-5 to the Pacific. Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk, who grew up in St. Louis, had two goals and two assists including the game-winner.
Pastrnak and Ottawa Senators forward Anthony Duclair each had a hat trick to help the Atlantic beat the Metropolitan in the Eastern Conference semifinal.
Some of the most entertainment of the event came between the semifinals and final when Green Day performed on the ice. Fans in the arena could hear multiple swear words during Green Day’s performance that were bleeped out on the NBC television broadcast.