Hertl helps Pacific edge Atlantic in NHL all-star showdown


Los Angeles (AFP)

San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl scored the game winner on a breakaway to lift Team Pacific to a 5-4 win over Team Atlantic in the 2020 NHL all-star game on Saturday.

Swedish forward Elias Pettersson, of the Vancouver Canucks, scored twice in the victory and Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist.

"It was an amazing time," said Hertl, a first time all-star. "I can't even realize what just happened. My first all-star experience and we won. It was an amazing two days."

Pettersson scored at 5:04 to tie the game 4-4, beating Andrei Vasilevskiy with a wrist shot from the left face off circle.

Czech Hertl gave the Pacific a 5-4 lead at 7:24, scoring on a breakaway off a pass from German star Draisaitl.

"I know I was open, so I knew he would pass it to me," Hertl said. "I was thinking I might shoot it, but I changed and somehow it got through. I'm happy for that."

David Pastrnak and Canadian Jonathan Huberdeau had each a goal and an assist for Atlantic.

Pastrnak was named the game's MVP through a fan vote with four goals and two assists over his two games.

"If it was voted in by fans, I appreciate the love," Pastrnak said. "Probably wasn't any fans from St. Louis' building, but whoever voted in, I appreciate it and I appreciate the love."

The event featured four divisional teams playing three-on-three games with two 10-minute periods.

The title game was more tightly contested than the semi-final games, which had very little defence and goaltenders who looked like they forgot to warm up.

For awhile it appeared the most competitive game the St. Louis' fans were going to see all weekend was Friday's spirited Canada versus USA women's game that Canada won 2-1.

In Saturday's men's semi-finals, the Atlantic defeated Team Metropolitan 9-5, and the Pacific beat Team Central 10-5.

In the first semi-final, the Metropolitan forged a 5-4 second-period lead, then the Atlantic scored five unanswered goals to advance to the final.

In the second semi, the Pacific broke a 4-4 tie with a dominant second period -- outscoring the Central 6-1 to reach the final.