Not even a 3-on-3 setup featuring the NHL’s elite could snap the Central Division players out of the defensive struggle that’s headlined much of their play during a season in which only 13 points separate first from last.
The Pacific stars emerged with a 5-2 victory, and 20-year-old Burnsville native Brock Boeser was crowned MVP in front of a rowdy announced crowd of 19,092 after a three-point effort that included a pair of goals.
“We had fun,” said Staal, who aside from his slick defensive poke check had two shots on net in his fifth All-Star appearance but first without a point.
Chris O'Meara, Associated PressPacific Division goalie Mike Smith of the Calgary Flames made a glove save on a shot by the Atlantic Division's Auston Matthews (34) of the Toronto Maple Leafs, as Brock Boeser (6), of the Vancouver Canucks, watched during the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday in Tampa, Fla.
In previous World Cup years, the United States used its January training camp to evaluate young players for a tournament five months later.
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