Coyotes’ Ekman-Larsson nets assist in high-scoring All-Star game
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson recorded an assist for Team Foligno, but John Tavares of the New York Islanders matched a record with four goals to lead Team Toews to a 17-12 victory on Sunday in the highest-scoring NHL All-Star game.
The wild, no-defense exhibition even featured a fake fight to go with goals in bunches.
The 29 goals were the most in the event’s 60-year history, eclipsing the 26-goal burst in North America’s 14-12 victory over the World in 2001.
Ekman-Larsson, making his first All-Star appearance, and Steven Stamkos assisted on Bobby Ryan’s third-period goal that pulled Team Foligno within four goals. Ekman-Larsson was a minus-five in his 17 minutes on the ice.
Ryan Johansen, of the hometown Columbus Blue Jackets, had two goals and two assists for the losing team but still won the MVP award in voting by fans on Twitter.
Philadelphia Flyers forward Jake Voracek — formerly of the Blue Jackets — scored three goals and tied a game record with six points for Team Toews. That mark was set by Mario Lemieux.
Tavares’ four goals gave him a share of the All-Star record that was established by Wayne Gretzky in 1983, and equaled by Lemieux (1990), Vincent Damphousse (1991), Mike Gartner (1993) and Dany Heatley (2003).
Captain Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks had a goal and four assists, as did Boston’s Patrice Bergeron. Dallas’ Tyler Seguin had two goals and two assists, Filip Forsberg of Nashville, and Rick Nash of the New York Rangers — another former Columbus star — both scored twice, and Florida’s Aaron Ekblad and St. Louis’ Vladimir Tarasenko each had four assists.
For Team Foligno, led by Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno, Chicago’s Patrick Kane and Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist apiece, Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux had a goal and two assists, and Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin added three assists.
The NHL has determined the teams by a number of geographic and divisional setups over the 60 years. Just like on ponds around the globe, these lineups were determined by a player draft on Friday night.
The fake fight provided some energy to a capacity crowd of 18,901 on the game’s first visit to Ohio’s capital city. Late in the second period, during a scrum in front of the net, Ovechkin and Foligno pretended to mix it up with Calgary’s Mark Giordano and Chicago’s Brent Seabrook.
All of the players were laughing after they grabbed and hugged each other.
It was fitting that Toews scored the goal that shattered the record. He held off defenseman Brent Burns of San Jose to find the net with a rising shot with 5:39 left.
With the game tied at 4 after a period, Team Toews broke it open with six goals in 9 1/2 minutes — and a record seven in the frame.
The teams scored twice within 8 seconds in the opening minute and three goals in a 58-second span, as the arena announcer stacked up goal announcements and was three behind at one point.
Tavares had two goals, Voracek notched his second, and Ryan Suter, Nash, Forsberg and Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf each notched their first for Toews.
Steve Stamkos tallied twice in the period for Team Foligno, which trailed 11-8 heading into the third and never came close to catching up.
Nash, a former Blue Jackets captain who was booed every time he touched the puck, provided the go-ahead goal 4:08 in.
Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury, the only Penguins player on either roster after Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin stayed home due to injuries, had a particularly forgettable period. He gave up six goals on the first 10 shots he faced.
Johansen tallied twice in the opening period, once on a wrister while coasting from left to right across the high slot, and the other on a wicked one-timer at the left dot off a cross-ice pass from Ovechkin.
NOTES: Fall Out Boy performed during the first intermission and O.A.R., made up of former Ohio State students, took over after the second period. Locksley, which provides the Blue Jackets’ goal song "The Whip" played during the opening introductions. … Calgary’s Johnny "Johnny Hockey" Gaudreau was promoted earlier Sunday from the list of four rookies to Team Toews, giving each side 21 players. … The NHL season resumes Tuesday night with 11 games.