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Gaudreau, Giordano, Pacific wins All-Star Game

by Jason Johnson / Calgary Flames



NASHVILLE, TN
-- The championship game at the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday closely resembled a 3-on-3 overtime period in a regular-season game, save for one difference.

Nobody scored in the first five minutes. Heck, nobody scored in the first 10-plus minutes.

Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry scored off a 2-on-1 at 13:38 to give the Pacific Division the only goal it would need for a 1-0 victory against the Atlantic Division at Bridgestone Arena.

Ducks goalie John Gibson and Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick combined to make 17 saves, including seven for Gibson, who played the final 10 minutes.

Mark Giordano had an assist and Johnny Gaudreau collected a goal and a pair of assists in the semifinal match against the Central Division in a 9-6 win.

Gaudreau and Taylor Hall hooked up on a number of occasions and showed some terrific chemistry playing together with Giordano most of the night.

"It was cool, a lot of fun," Gaudreau said. "We play each other all the time in the Battle of Alberta and it was pretty cool to be on the same side as him."

Pacific Division captain John Scott was voted the MVP of the All-Star Game by the fans. He scored two goals in the Pacific's 9-6 win against the Atlantic Division in the second semifinal game.

Scott received a 2016 Honda Pilot as a reward for his MVP performance. He also gets part of the $1 million prize pool that goes to the championship team.

"He’s such a great guy and he’s been through a lot I think in the last couple of months," Giordano said. "I’m really happy for him, I’m really excited for him and he deserved. He scored those two big goals for our team and had a couple of big hits out there.

"It was a fun All-Star game to be a part of and I was really happy with the way the weekend went."

Perry broke the scoreless tie with a low, far-side wrist shot from the right circle that eluded Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop's stick and blocker. Vancouver Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin delivered the pass to Perry, who got the puck at the blue line.

The fact that it took more than 13 minutes for a goal in the championship game was surprising considering the 15 goals that were scored in the second semifinal game between the Pacific Division and Central Division. There were seven goals scored in the Atlantic Division's 4-3 win against the Metropolitan Division in the first semifinal game.

The League introduced the 3-on-3 overtime format this season and has seen a significant rise in overtime goals.

Of the 171 games that have gone to overtime, 109 have been decided in the extra period (63.7 percent). Last season, using a 4-on-4 format, 44.4 percent of games that extended past regulation ended in overtime (136 of 306).

Perry thought he gave the Pacific a 2-0 lead at 17:07, but his goal was waved off on a coach's challenge because Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall was guilty of goalie interference. He bumped Bishop in the leg before the puck crossed the line.

Gaudreau had three chances, one before Perry's goal and two after, to give the Pacific Division a bigger cushion. He had a shot hit the post at 11:21, was stopped on a breakaway by Bishop with a blocker save at 15:20, and hit the post again at 17:22.

In total, Gaudreau hit three goal posts in the final game.

"I couldn’t find the net there," Gaudreau recalled. "I was unlucky there in the second game but got a chance to score in the first game and it was pretty cool."

The goalies stole the show, including Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers, who played the first 10 minutes for the Atlantic Division.

Luongo made sprawling saves with his stick and pads to keep it scoreless. He made 12 saves, two more than Quick on the other end for the Pacific Division.

Quick's best save came early, at 2:11, when he flung his glove hand up in the air to stop a tip attempt by Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov. Luongo was tested later and delivered with back-to-back pad saves on Hall and two remarkable stick saves on San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski, including one with the nob.

The Pacific outshot the Atlantic 7-2 in the final 4:26 before the five-minute break at the 10-minue mark.

Pavelski had five of the Pacific's 12 shots in the first 10 minutes.

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