The whole NHL All Star weekend has been a showcase for Tampa Bay. From the fan fests, to the skills competitions, to the musical performances; there was something for everyone. Sunday afternoon was the main event though. The NHL All Star game took place at Amalie Arena. The Pacific division defeated the Central to get things going. Then, the hometown fans had something to cheer for as Nikita Kucherov’s hat trick lead the Atlantic Division past the Metropolitan. Brock Boeser and Drew Doughty took over in the final game to lead the Pacific to a 5-2 victory. Boeser was awarded the MVP.
The Western Conference got things going with a showdown of the Central and Pacific divisions. With the 3-on-3 format it didn’t take long for the scoring to open up. Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche got it past Marc-Andre Fleury for the 1-0 lead. After that the goalies took center stage. Pekka Rinne made a fantastic save on Connor McDavid to keep his division in the lead after the 1st 10 minutes. In the second half of the game it was a Los Angeles King who would tie it up. Drew Doughty knotted things up with just under 6 minutes to go. Then it was time for Vegas to shine. James Neal put his team in front with just 3 minutes to go. That score seemed to open up the floodgates. P.K. Subban tied it up on a breakaway, but that tie didn’t last long. Brock Boeser’s great weekend continued as he put his team back in front with a fantastic shot. The Pacific didn’t let up there. Brent Burns added an empty-netter and James Neal scored again in the 5-2 victory.
It was then time for the hometown boys and the Atlantic division to take on the Metropolitan division. Jon Cooper had the Lightning contingent of Stamkos, Kucherov, Point, and Vasilevskiy start it out on the ice. Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin didn’t make the home crowd happy as the Capital fed the Penguin for the 1-0 lead. The teams went back and forth a bit as Auston Matthews tied it up, but was shortly followed up by goals from Claude Giroux and Ovechkin. 10 seconds later the roof was blown off the building. Nikita Kucherov made the home fans very happy and made it a 3-2 game going to the second 10-minute half. Kucherov struck again early in the 2nd half to tie it thanks to a beautiful pass from Jack Eichel. Kris Letang was able to get the puck past Carey Price to put his team back in front. Brayden Point would have none of that. The 2nd year player tied it back up as the teams continued to go back and forth. It looked like Erik Karlsson put his team in front, but the call was overturned by the refs. That wouldn’t deter the boys from the Atlantic. Jack Eichel, Brad Marchand,and Kucherov scored 3 unanswered goals to send the Atlantic to the finals against the Pacific.
The final game started off with young guns showing off for the Pacific. Rickard Rakell of the Anaheim Ducks and Boeser scored within the 1st 5 minutes of the half to get their squad a 2-goal advantage. Mike Green cut that deficit in half, but Drew Doughty’s big night continued to put the lead back at 2 goals after 10 minutes. The Atlantic did their best to make it a game in the 2nd half, but they couldn’t get it closer than 2.
1. Central - Mackinnon - (Wheeler) - 1:47
1. Pacific - Doughty - (McDavid) - 4:13
2. Pacific - Neal - (McDavid, Burns) - 6:57
3. Central - Subban - (MacKinnon) - 7:29
4. Pacific - Boeser - (Ekman-Larsson, Gaudreau) - 8:14
5. Pacific - Burns - (McDavid, Smith) - 8:38
6. Pacific - Neal - (McDavid) 9:18
1. Metropolitan - Crosby - (Ovechkin) - 1:09
2. Atlantic - Matthews - (Eichel, Barkov) - 5:30
3. Metropolitan - Giroux - (Werenski) - 7:43
4. Metropolitan - Ovechkin - (Crosby) - 8:16
5. Pacific - Kucherov - (Karlsson, Stamkos) - 8:26
1. Atlantic - Kucherov - (Eichel, Karlsson) - 2:13
2. Metropolitan - Letang - (Tavares, Bailey) - 3:17
3. Atlantic - Point - (Marchand, Price) - 4:33
4. Atlantic - Eichel - (Barkov, Matthews) - 6:40
5. Atlantic - Marchand - (Point, Green) - 7:41
6. Atlantic - Kucherov - (Stamkos, Karlsson) - 7:56
1. Pacific - Rakell - (Doughty, Kopitar) - 0:59
2. Pacific - Boeser - (Gaudreau) - 5:05
3. Atlantic - Green - (Marchand, Point) - 6:08
4. Pacific - Doughty - (Kopitar, Rakell) - 8:35
1. Pacific - Gaudreau - (Boeser) - 1:51
2. Atlantic - Green - (Marchand) - 3:26
3. Pacific - Rakell - (Burns) - 7:24