Le Pays De France - Giroux named MVP as Metropolitan Division wins NHL All-Star Game

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Giroux named MVP as Metropolitan Division wins NHL All-Star Game
Giroux named MVP as Metropolitan Division wins NHL All-Star Game

Giroux named MVP as Metropolitan Division wins NHL All-Star Game

Claude Giroux scored twice and Tristan Jarry stopped 14 of 15 shots as the Metropolitan Division defeated the Central Division 5-3 to win the 2022 NHL All-Star Game in Las Vegas.

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Philadelphia Flyers forward Giroux scored on a one-timer in the first period and then finished off a give-and-go with Jake Guentzel in the second for his second goal of the game at T-Mobile Arena.

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Jarry stopped all but one shot, including a couple of clutch saves off Kirill Kaprizov and Jordan Kyrou in the final moments of the game. Frederik Andersen played goal in the first half for the Metropolitan, making seven saves.

The 11 players on the Metropolitan team split $1 million in prize money.

Canada's Giroux, who was competing in his seventh All-Star Game, was also named the Most Valuable Player.

All-Star festivities began Friday night with the skills competition and included Sweden's Victor Hedman winning the hardest shot and St. Louis Blues forward Kyrou being crowned the fastest skater.

They were followed by Saturday's three-on-three tournament featuring the four divisional teams playing games lasting two periods of 10 minutes each.

The All-Star Game was not held last season because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Canada had the most players in the game with 17 followed by the USA, which had 16. Sweden and Russia both had three each.

In the first game of the three-on-three tournament, Jack Hughes scored two late goals as the Metropolitan Division defeated the Pacific 6-4.

The Metropolitan led 3-1 at the end of the first on goals by Tom Wilson, Giroux and Sebastian Aho. Timo Meier scored the only goal for the Pacific and Andersen stopped Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid on a breakaway to preserve the lead.

The Pacific came back to tie the score 3-3 in the second period on goals by Jonathan Marchessault and Jordan Eberle but the Metropolitan pulled away with the help of Hughes' markers.

Eberle's goal was the first ever at an All-Star Game by a Seattle Kraken player, the expansion club only debuting this season, as he beat Jarry on a breakaway with a shot high to the glove side.

In the second semi-final, Alex DeBrincat, Kyrou and Kyle Connor had two goals each as the Central Division punched a ticket to the final with a 8-5 shootout victory over the Atlantic Divison.

Connor scored both his goals in the second period while Kyrou opened the scoring early in the first.

The second semi-final was much more wide open than the first as the teams combined for eight goals in the second period.

NHL players were originally to have followed the All-Star Game with some top names playing in the Beijing Winter Olympics but that plan was scrapped after more than 100 games were postponed due to Covid-19, forcing the league to use February to play postponed games rather than allow top stars to compete in China.

There was no shortage of star power on the four teams but a number of skilled players were glaring omissions.

- Crosby snub -

The biggest All-Star snub was superstar Sidney Crosby, who has been leading the Pittsburgh Penguins in scoring since returning from an injury that caused him to miss the start of the season. Crosby had six points in the three games leading up to the All-Star Game break.

Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand was also not invited. Marchand is seventh overall in points and leads the Bruins with 19 goals and 40 points.

New York Rangers would have liked to see goaltender Igor Shesterkin compete this weekend. The Russian has the lowest goals-against average in the league but couldn't beat out eight other goalies.

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin was also missing after testing positive for Covid-19.

Nathan MacKinnon was set to become the third Colorado player in the contest, but didn't play after breaking his nose last week against the Boston Bruins.

Wayne Gretzky is the all-time leader in career All-Star Game points with 25 in 18 games and Gordie Howe has played in the most career All-Star Games with 23.