Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang represented the Metropolitan Division at the NHL’s All-Star Game tournament on Sunday afternoon at Amalie Arena, suffering a 7-4 loss to the Atlantic Division.
”It was fun. It was pretty tight for the most part, until the end,” Crosby said. “There were some big saves, some really nice goals, some nice plays. That’s what it’s all about.”
Crosby picked up a goal and assist in the contest while Letang notched a goal of his own.
“It’s a lot of talent. It’s a pretty open game,” Letang said. “You try to pass the puck more than you would. You also want to be careful with the goalies and players (for injuries). The fans paid money to come and see so you try to put a good show on and try different things.”
Crosby played with his longtime rival Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals. The two superstars set each other up for goals of their own. Crosby teamed with Ovechkin last season and the duo helped lead the Metro Division to a tournament victory. Though this year it wasn’t meant to be both players enjoyed the experience.
“It was good,” Ovechkin said. “We didn’t have a lot of time to play out there, only a couple of shifts. But it was fun.”
“He’s a pretty easy guy to play with,” Crosby said. “As soon as you get over the blue line you look for him.
“He makes it look pretty easy. It’s fun to play with someone like that.”
Letang scored one of the nicer goals in the game. He collected a pass from John Tavares – he played with the Islanders’ Tavares and Josh Bailey – and juked goalie Carey Price to the ice before pulling the puck around the prone goaltender.
“Tavares was dangling and they were focused on him,” Letang said. “I was just trying to get there and be open. I faked the one-timer and walked around Price.”
For Letang, it was his first fourth All-Star appearance, but his first in the 3-on-3 format. He is a big fan of the new setup and hopes the league keeps it.
“It’s way better,” Letang said. “The 5-on-5 there isn’t enough room. Guys are just coasting. This you have to skate and there’s something to win. So guys are trying hard.”