COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The NHL Foundation agreed to donate $200 for each shot on goal at the league’s All-Star game on Sunday night.
It ended up being a bonanza for charity.
In the biggest offensive display in the exhibition game’s 60-year history, the 92 shots cost the NHL $18,400.
John Tavares of the New York Islanders matched a record with four goals, and Team Toews beat Team Foligno 17-12 on Sunday in the highest-scoring NHL All-Star game.
The game likely will also cost the NHL’s goalies and defensemen a lot of sleepless nights.
In addition to the garish goal total, 25 players had at least two points and eight had at least four.
“We had so many good players on each team,” said Philadelphia Flyers forward Jake Voracek, who tied another record with six points. “There’s going to be a lot of goals.”
DEBATE FOR MVP: Tavares may have tied the goal output of legends Wayne Gretzky (set in 1983) and equaled by Mario Lemieux (1990) — and also tied by Vincent Damphousse (1991), Mike Gartner (1993) and Dany Heatley (2003) — but he wasn’t the game MVP.
That honor went to hometown favorite Ryan Johansen, the Blue Jackets’ center, who had two goals and two assists — for the losing team.
The MVP was determined by a vote of fans on Twitter. Apparently, Islanders fans weren’t paying attention on social media.
Tavares was gracious in not getting the new car that goes to the MVP.
“I didn’t come to the game trying to get the car,” he said. “You get four goals, and obviously you think you have an opportunity. But Ryan had a good game. He had a couple of nice goals, made some nice plays.”
BROKEN RECORDS: It was the most goals in an All-Star game, eclipsing the 26-goal burst in North America’s 14-12 victory over the World in 2001.
Voracek’s six points tied another mark set by Pittsburgh legend Lemieux.
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, 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.
QUOTE OF THE GAME: The Blue Jackets fire an ear-splitting salvo with their goal cannon — the franchise is named for the Union uniforms which were made in the city — after each goal by the home team. With Columbus’ Nick Foligno and Johansen playing together, Toews said he was thrilled to not have to hear more of the thunderous booms.
“It’s loud enough that it gets on your nerves pretty quickly and especially when they score 12 or so goals,” he said. “It gets you a little bit.”
BEST MOMENT: 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.
They sort of traded awkward hugs. Then everyone separated and cracked up as they skated to the benches.
A WINNING VISIT: NHL officials, players and the fans raved about the many activities surrounding the All-Star weekend in Columbus, a first for the city.
Johansen said he was touched by what he saw the past few days.
“It’s meant a lot, being a part of it — seeing the fans and how much they’ve been enjoying all the festivities,” he said. “We did a two-hour (autograph) signing. Everybody just seemed to be having a great time. All the kids were laughing and having a lot of fun.”
The players, at least those focused on offense, had a lot of fun of their own once the game started.
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