BSP-04 NHL: Rakell powers Pacific past Atlantic in All-Star Game

872

ZCZC

BSP-04

IHOCKEY-NHL-ALLSTARS

NHL: Rakell powers Pacific past Atlantic in All-Star Game

TAMPA, Jan 29, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Sweden’s Rickard Rakell finished with two
goals and an assist as Team Pacific pocketed the $1 million bonus with a 5-2
win over Team Atlantic in the 2018 NHL All-Star Game on Sunday.

Rakell scored the opening goal and the final one in the championship game
for Team Pacific, capping a four-team three-on-three tournament made up of
players from each NHL division.

The 11 all-stars from the Pacific Division will divide the $1 million
prize money between them.

“It’s not the only cash, it gets competitive. It’s the three-on-three
format and we were pretty excited,” Johnny Gaudreau said.

Vancouver Canucks rookie forward Brock Boeser picked up the lion’s share
of awards, collecting $90,000 and new car as Most Valuable Player. He is the
second rookie in NHL history to win the award, along with Mario Lemieux in
1985.

Boeser, Gaudreau and Drew Doughty each tallied a goal and an assist for
the Pacific, who outshot the Atlantic 19-11.

“In the first game, you kind of mess around a little bit, guys aren’t
shooting the puck, they’re trying to make pretty sauce passes,” Los Angeles
Kings defenceman Doughty said.

“But we were playing in the final for a big chunk of money so we were
like, ‘We might as well give ‘er.’ We did give ‘er.”

Detroit Red Wings defenceman Mike Green scored both goals for the
Atlantic, who advanced to the final with a 7-4 win over the Sidney Crosby-led
Metropolitan Division.

The Pacific defeated Team Central 5-2 in the other semi-final. The mini-
tournament games lasted just two periods instead of the standard three
periods during the regular season.

Rakell, 24, opened the scoring just 59 seconds in for the Pacific as he
picked up a Anze Kopitar rebound and beat Atlantic goaltender Andrei
Vasilevskiy.

MORE/MR/ 1046 hrs

ZCZC

BSP-05

IHOCKEY-NHL-ALLSTARS-TWO-LAST

Team Pacific added to their lead halfway through the first by taking
advantage of a giveaway by Atlantic forward Jack Eichel at his own blueline.

Boeser, who turns 21 next month, picked up a Gaudreau rebound and scored
into an empty net to make it 2-0.

– Eichel minus three –

Atlantic forward Eichel, who was held pointless, committed a team-high two
giveaways as he and his linemate Auston Mathews both finished a minus-three.

After Green scored his first of two, Doughty restored the two-goal lead
for the Pacific to make it 3-1.

Gaudreau and Rakell scored the second-period goals for the Pacific.

“The only thing that probably didn’t fall our way was the Atlantic didn’t
win,” said Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper, who coached the Atlantic.
“But other than that, it was an unbelievable event.”

Mike Smith and Marc-Andre Fleury combined to stop nine of 11 shots they
faced in the contest. Each of them played 10 minutes.

The game was competitive until the final minute. With the outcome decided,
Smith attempted to become the first goaltender to score a goal in an all-star
game.

He had two cracks at it but missed right the first time and then left on
the second long-arching attempt as time on the clock ran out.

BSS/AFP/MR/ 1046 hrs.