NHL all-star: Atlantic Division wins 3-vs-3 tournament

SUNRISE, Florida –

Bo Horvat and Elias Pettersson actually had their last trip together.

They were hoping for again.

Traded with the New York Islanders in a blockbuster deal earlier in the week, Horvat wrapped up a busy seven days alongside his former Vancouver Canucks teammate at the NHL’s 3-on-3 all-star tournament on Saturday.

But the fact that Pacific Division was eliminated in the semi-finals by opponents from the Central region meant that they did not have a second chance.

“It’s a bit sad to know that it will be the last time we skate together,” said Horvat, the former Vancouver captain, after scoring for Pettersson in a 6-4 loss in the Pacific. “I’m very happy that today we scored the goal and took the last shot. I will miss him.

“He’s a great person, a great person, a great player. He’s going to do a lot of great things.”

Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin scored a hat-trick for Atlantic in a 7-5 win over Central in the final of the tournament’s showcase event.

Florida Panthers winger Matthew Tkachuk, who was named the tournament’s MVP, scored one goal and set up another in the title match after a three-goal, two-assist performance in a 10 win. -6 in the semi-final against Metropolitan.

“It’s been an honor to play in front of (Panthers fans) this whole year,” Tkachuk said of the home team’s support following his off-season transfer from the Calgary Flames. “It’s great that other players in the league can see what a great place this is.

“I’m as happy as I can be here.”

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner scored three assists in the final.

“It’s great to be a part of it,” he said. “Fun, fun game out there ΓǪ a few people gave it their all.”

The Metropolitan’s defeat to the Atlantic means Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin – his rival to the Washington Capitals – had what could be their last all-star appearance together. truncated.

“You try to balance it,” Crosby said when asked if he’d be more atmospheric at his fifth and fourth all-star games against Ovechkin. “You try to go out there having fun and save the moment. Hopefully it’s not our last.”

Ovechkin, who entered the tournament with Crosby in 2005 and combined to score three goals on Saturday, added: “You never know if you’ll be in an all-star game again.

“I was trying to have more fun…and trying to get back to the memories.”

Crosby was surprised to receive a few passes from his forever rival, who is chasing Wayne Gretzky’s all-time scoring record.

“I didn’t expect to get (the ball) back so many times,” Crosby said with a laugh. “I thought I’d just finished my job, gave it to him. I thought he’d get it done, but he was kind enough to send me back a couple of goals. We had one. Nice number of goals.

“There are definitely some memorable moments on a personal level.”

Those moments are not lost on their opponents.

Montreal Canadaiens captain Nick Suzuki said: “Looking at them playing together, you don’t see that very well. “It’s really great.”

Pettersson, meanwhile, said he and Horvat discussed their last hurdle.

“We talked about it: ‘Whatever happens, just make sure we score a goal together,'” the Swede said.

“And, yes, we did.”

Pacific Division teammate and Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid said it was strange to see the former and current Canucks skating together.

“We wanted to try to make it special for them,” said the NHL scorer. “It’s not every day you get to trade and you spend a few extra days together and playing together.”

Vegas Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy, who runs the Pacific bench, started Horvat and Pettersson for the opening showdown against the former face of the Vancouver franchise.

“We thought that would be great,” he said. “Let Bo start, wave goodbye to the West and continue to the East.”

Horvat said he enjoyed lining up next to Pettersson in what he later described as their “last ride” as the lead.

“It was fun to play with him one last time – for now,” Horvat said. “We’ll see what happens in the future. It’s bittersweet out there.”


The NHL has announced Toronto will host an all-star game next year — returning to the field of hockey for the first time since 2000.

“I’m sure they’ll do a great job,” said Crosby. “They will be delighted to have it and will have a lot of support.”

The temperature outside will also change quite a bit after Las Vegas hosts in 2022 and South Florida moves on this season.

“We were pretty busy all weekend,” says McDavid. “I haven’t spent much time on the beach, but it’s my hometown that will be very special.”

This year’s event includes the thrill of surfing and golfing in a competition of skills.

So what could Toronto’s rotation be in 12 months’ time?

“It is possible that a polar region plunges into Lake Ontario,” said Marner. “We don’t have to worry about alligators there.”


Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes was at his first all-star event, which his late brother and former NHLer Jimmy Hayes playfully predicted.

Kevin Hayes, who laced his skates for the Metropolitan team, said: “Honestly, it was more of a joke. “I never really thought something like this would happen. He always said, ‘This is a year that’s going to happen.”‘

Jimmy Hayes died suddenly at the age of 31 in August 2021.

“I think he just said that to be a good guy,” Kevin Hayes said of his brother’s superstar eloquence.

“But it’s great that it happened and I experienced it.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on February 4, 2023.

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