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NHL All-Star Game 2017 final score: Wayne Simmonds, Cam Atkinson lead Metropolitan to exhibition glory

Another successful 3-on-3 tournament and weekend for the NHL.

NHL: NHL All Star Game Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

On a team headlined by Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and coach Wayne Gretzky, it was the underrated players that led the Metropolitan Division to a win in the 2017 NHL All-Star Game.

The Metropolitan took down the Atlantic and Pacific divisions in the 3-on-3 tournament on Sunday in Los Angeles to take home the $1 million prize, to be split between each of the team’s players.

Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds, a former Kings player himself, was named MVP.

Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson finished with five points and three goals in his All-Star Game debut. Simmonds finished with two goals and an assist. Tyler Seguin led the Central Division with two points, Nikita Kucherov and Vincent Trocheck both finished with four for the Atlantic, and Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau led the Pacific with five points.

Braden Holtby was the winning goalie for the Metro in the final.

Central vs. Pacific

To the delight of the home crowd, the Pacific opened the scoring first. Gaudreau dished to Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler on a 2-on-1 to give the Pacific an early 1-0 lead. The conflicted L.A. fans got to cheer again a minute later when Jeff Carter scored.

The Central, frankly, looked lifeless. But Jonathan Toews finally broke through before the first stoppage, ripping a snapshot over Mike Smith’s left shoulder to make it 2-1. Connor McDavid, Drew Doughty, and Brent Burns started piling on, and the Pacific entered intermission up 5-1.

P.K. Subban came to the rescue. Sort of. Seconds after the Predators defenseman scored, Gaudreau waltzed down the other way and beat Devan Dubnyk to restore a four-goal lead. Carter and Joe Pavelski combined to make it 7-2.

I stopped counting. The Pacific won, 10-3.


Metropolitan vs. Atlantic

Nobody scored immediately in the second game, so you knew we were in for a whole different brand of hockey.

With a little more defensive play mixed in, the Metropolitan broke through first with Simmonds scoring a beautiful breakaway goal. But it was Sergei Bobrovsky making jaws drop: the Atlantic goalie pulled off a fun spin-o-rama to retrieve a puck.

And then Trocheck scored on him to tie it up at 1-1. So.

That’s about when everything opened up. Simmonds broke in again ...

... Victor Hedman scored for the Atlantic and Erik Karlsson followed through for the Metro to restore the one-goal lead.

Then, much to the delight of Blue Jackets fans everywhere, Atkinson scored his first career All-Star goal to send the game into intermission tied at 3-3. Atkinson was a late replacement for the injured Evgeni Malkin.

Dynamic Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews scored his first career All-Star goal in the opening minute of the second period. Honestly, it was the most casual goal you’ll ever see in pro hockey.

Things kept snow-balling. We’re not sure if new goalies Tuukka Rask and Holtby tried very hard. Working to confirm. John Tavares, Taylor Hall, and Seth Jones all waltzed in untouched to give the Metro a 6-4 lead. And Gretzky was so proud.

Kucherov scored his second of the game to make things interesting again.

Also, I take it back. Holtby came to play.

The Atlantic went for broke, pulling the goalie late, and ended up getting burned. The Metro wound up with a 10-6 win and a trip to the final.


Pacific vs. Metropolitan

After a lengthy intermission in which Nick Jonas mesmerized Brad Marchand ...

... the All-Star Game final got underway with plenty of scoring. In less than a minute, Pavelski and Jones had scored to knot the game at 1-1.

Of note was Connor McDavid turning Bobrovsky into a burnt slice of bacon. (I don’t know what that metaphor means.)

And congrats to the one person who had Bo Horvat and Gaudreau making for the best combo in the tournament. Gaudreau curled around the net and found Horvat out front to give the Pacific a 3-2 lead in the final two minutes of the first period.

Ryan Kesler pulled off a veteran move to extend the home team’s lead, banking it off a defender and in.

But Gretzky challenged it for offsides and won! Because All-Star Games must be realistic.

And then Atkinson finished off his hat trick to tie the game up with minutes to spare. Quite a night for a replacement! It was Simmonds with the game-winner, as Holtby and company shut down the Pacific in the waning seconds to secure the win.