SAN JOSE -- Sidney Crosby couldn't even leave his hotel room the past few days. A bad stomach flu had the Pittsburgh Penguins captain basically quarantined.
He finally got out Saturday and made the most of his healthy escape, with eight points (four goals, four assists) for the Metropolitan Division, enough to win an online fan vote for the most valuable player of the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game.
Crosby had two goals and an assist in the Metropolitan's 7-4 win against the Atlantic Division in the first game. He had two goals and three assists in its 10-5 win against the Central Division in the final. The NHL gave him a 2019 Honda Passport Elite for winning MVP.
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"I was just excited to be able to get out there, get out of the room and exercise a bit," said Crosby, whose illness forced him to skip the 2019 SAP NHL All-Star Skills on Friday. "Once I got out there, I felt better than I thought. This morning, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel, but I felt a lot better than I expected. To be honest, it was just nice to get out there. The last few days have been pretty long, sitting around."
Crosby said he didn't start thinking about the MVP honor until midway through the second period of the second game, when the NHL revealed he was one of four finalists for the award that fans could vote for, joining New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal, St. Louis Blues center Ryan O'Reilly and Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog.
Video: Breaking down Crosby's All-Star Game MVP performance
He had received 49 percent of the votes at the time the NHL closed the online poll because it was time to name the MVP.
"Maybe he is still sick. He could have had like 10 goals tonight, I don't know," Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang said. "That's how special he is."
Barzal, who played with Crosby and Letang in both games, said he was basically mesmerized by No. 87.
Video: MET@CEN: Crosby puts home Barzal's backhand pass
"I was literally laughing on the ice because it was almost too easy," Barzal said. "He was just always open, and you just hand it off to him when you're in trouble."
Crosby became the fourth player from the Penguins to win the All-Star Game MVP, joining Mario Lemieux (1985, 1988 and 1990), Syl Apps Jr. (1975) and Greg Polis (1973). He also became the sixth player in NHL history to win the All-Star Game MVP and the Hart and Conn Smythe trophies, joining Lemieux, Jean Beliveau, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr and Joe Sakic.
"It's cool," Crosby said. "I mean, you play in it, you watch it as a kid growing up and you see that presentation, and it's pretty cool. I had a lot of fun today. I didn't need to win the car to have a good time, but it's certainly fun."
It also wasn't lost on Crosby that he dominated the All-Star Game in a building where he had one of his greatest triumphs.
Video: MET@CEN: Crosby tips home his second of the game
Crosby and the Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2016 by winning Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the San Jose Sharks in SAP Center on June 12, 2016. Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for the first time that night. He also won it the following year when he helped the Penguins repeat as Stanley Cup champions.
"I've got some great memories here, for sure," Crosby said. "Obviously, when you win in a rink and you have those memories, it's something you think about every time you go to it. Being in that dressing room, it's automatic that it brings you back to some of those moments of playing here. That was the same when we just played here a week and a half ago and it was the same when I walked in today. That doesn't change."
Neither does the crowd's reaction to him. Crosby was, as he expected, booed by the San Jose fans.
Video: MET@CEN: Crosby crowned 2019 NHL All-Star MVP
"I watched last night, and I saw the ovation [Letang] got; I was half expecting that," Crosby said. "They're great fans here. Playing in the playoffs here and even during the regular season over the years, it's a tough place to play. They love their team here, and I thought they showed a great weekend here with the All-Star Game, great support. I don't hold it against them. Obviously, I'd rather get cheered than booed, but I know they're passionate fans and they've got a good memory."