The pop star responded by showing off skills that would not have looked out of place in his native Canada during a celebrity exhibition game.
Bieber was driven into the boards in the first half by a laughing Pronger, who spent 18 years in the league as a hard-nosed defenseman. Pronger is 6ft 6in and was listed at 220lbs during his playing days, which ended in 2011. Bieber is 5ft 9in and considerably slimmer than Pronger.
The singer responded with an empty-net goal and an assist as Team Gretzky beat Team Lemieux 5-3 in the 2017 NHL All-Star Celebrity Shootout. Bieber did not look out of place while sharing the ice with current NHL stars Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and the Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane, along with a host of retired greats and hockey-loving entertainment figures.
Although he did miss two penalty shots, Bieber scored a goal as time expired, prompting actor Cuba Gooding Jr. to joke, “Twenty-five shots later, thank God he made it.”
“I was shocked at how good the kid can play,” said Gooding, who scored the winning goal. “He really has nice skills, and he’s a real sweet kid, too.”
Pictures posted to the NHL’s Instagram account showed a smiling Bieber with Wayne Gretzky in the locker room. Bieber will be back at Staples Center on 12 February as he is nominated for four Grammys, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year.
Local Southern California favorites including Luc Robitaille and Teemu Selanne wore patches on their jerseys honoring Canadian actor Alan Thicke, a longtime fan of the Los Angeles Kings who died in December while playing hockey.
|Justin Bieber gets a taste of the NHL in Los Angeles. Photograph: Mark J Terrill/AP|
CHRIS PRONGER CHECKS JUSTIN BIEBER'S MONEYMAKER INTO THE BOARDS
For almost two decades, former Flyer Chris Pronger was one of the most, if not THE most, feared players in the NHL.
The towering, bruising defenseman haunted opposing players parts of 18 seasons, three of which came in Philadelphia.
Though now retired, Pronger is still tormenting opponents in celebrity games.
His latest victim: Justin Bieber.
Pronger knocked one off most our bucket lists on Saturday afternoon during the NHL Celebrity All-Star Game when he mashed the Biebs, a former Flyer himself, mind you, into the glass for nothing more than his own personal enjoyment.
Here's quick vid the St. Louis Blues, another one of Pronger's former squads, put on Twitter.
If that's not enough for you, check out this awesome AP photo of the Biebs' moneymaker getting smushed into the glass.