NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE | ALL-STAR GAME Metropolitans win All-star game
SAN JOSE — Sidney Crosby had two goals and three assists, and Henrik Lundqvist pitched a firsthalf shutout to lead the Metropolitan Division to a 10-5 victory over the Central Division in the championship round of the NHL All-star game Saturday night.
Selected the MVP, Crosby finished the night with four goals and four assists in two games on the same ice where he won the Conn Smythe Trophy and Stanley Cup three years ago for Pittsburgh. Lundqvist stopped 11 of 13 shots in his two games to give the Metropolitan Division its second title in four years of the three-on-three All-star format and the $1 million prize shared by the winners of the four-team divisional tournament.
Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders added two goals and three assists in the final game.
Mikko Rantanen had two goals and Colorado teammate Gabriel Landeskog added one for the Central. Landeskog finished with four goals and three assists, while Rantanen had four goals and two assists.
Crosby assisted on Barzal’s goal against Devan Dubnyk just 22 seconds into the championship game and then made it 5-0 in the closing seconds of the first half off a pass from Barzal. Crosby also assisted on Pittsburgh teammate Kris Letang’s goal in the first half and then helped seal the game with a goal in the second half that made it 6-2.
Lundqvist made big saves against Landeskog and Claude Giroux in the period one night after winning the save streak competition in the skills challenge.
The first time the Allstar game came to San Jose in 1997, hometown favorite Owen Nolan capped the night by calling his shot and pointing to the spot where he completed a hat trick that delighted the Shark Tank.
Sharks fans didn’t have as much to cheer for in the return, even though their three All-stars started the night on the ice together for the Pacific. The Central blitzed the Pacific early for its first win in four years in this format, scoring seven goals on nine shots against John Gibson in the first half of the period in a 10-4 victory.
Gibson, who plays for the rival Anaheim Ducks, drew derisive chants from the fans who later called for Vegas’ Marc-andre Fleury to take over.
“Anytime you play it’s a rivalry and the fans take it personally. That’s what makes it fun,” Gibson said. “You’re still at All-star game and you’re out there with some of the best players in the league. Stuff’s going to happen.”
LOS ANGELES — USC’S Bennie Boatwright wasn’t about to miss another game-winning 3-point attempt.
The senior forward gave the Trojans their third straight win on a jumper from the top of the key as they rallied for a 69-67 victory over Arizona State on Saturday. Boatwright scored 18 points as USC (12-8, 5-2 Pac-12) moved into a tie for second in the conference going into a Wednesday showdown against league-leading Washington.
“It was a big game for us. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs this year but we have been playing well the last month of the season,” USC coach Andy Enfield said. “Bennie has been playing like the MVP of our league.”
Boatwright came into the game third in the Pac-12 in scoring at 17 points per game. He had made 41 percent of his 3-pointers in conference play but missed a game-winning attempt in an overtime loss at Oregon State on Jan. 10.
“Derryck (Thornton) did a great job of bringing the man down, Jonah (Mathews) set me a good screen and I got a good look at it and was able to knock it down,” Boatwright said.
Arizona State (14-6, 5-3) led 67-66 with 24 seconds remaining when Zylan Cheatham missed the front end of a bonus. Kevin Porter Jr. got the rebound and passed it to Thornton, who brought the ball up court before Boatwright