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Central Division Falls Early At All-Star Game

Team Metropolitan skates away with the win

by Ryan Boulding @rboulding / ColoradoAvalanche.com
PACIFIC (10) vs. CENTRAL (3)

Team Central Division's 2017 NHL All-Star Game hopes were dashed in a one-sided drubbing in the first semifinal game at the event at STAPLES Center on Sunday.

All nine skaters for Team Pacific Division scored in the 10-3 victory, which saw a 22-12 shot differential turn the tide against the Central.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler kicked off the scoring, and Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter followed suit to give the Pacific a 2-0 lead just 3:39 into the first half of the two-period contest.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews added one for the Central, but goals from Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid, San Jose Sharks rear guard Brent Burns and Kings blueliner Drew Doughty pushed the lead to 5-1 at the halftime buzzer.

Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban attempted to jump start a comeback in the second half when he scored 2:14 into the frame, but Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau and Sharks center Joe Pavelski kept any hope of an equalizer off the table.

St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko made it 7-3, but markers from Ducks center Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks forward Bo Horvat and another from Gaudreau pushed the lead to seven tallies ahead of the final horn.

Fowler led all skaters with four points (one goal, three assists), and every member of the Pacific squad finished with at least two points.

Team Pacific moved on to face Team Metropolitan in Sunday's All-Star Game Final.

Final Stats


METROPOLITAN (10) vs. ATLANTIC (6)

Team Metropolitan moved on to face the Pacific Division in the All-Star Game Final after topping the Atlantic Division 10-6 in the second semifinal game.

Both clubs entered the halftime intermission tied 3-3 after Wayne Simmonds (Philadelphia Flyers) scored twice and Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay Lightning), Victor Hedman (Lightning), Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators) and John Tavares (New York Islanders) tallied for their respective squads.

After the break, the ice started to tilt in favor of the Metropolitan players. Tavares, Seth Jones (Columbus Blue Jackets), Taylor Hall (New Jersey Devils), Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins), Cam Atkinson (Blue Jackets) and Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) registered markers for the winning club, while Kucherov, Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Vincent Trocheck (Florida Panthers) scored for the Atlantic team.

Final Stats
 

METROPOLITAN (4) vs. PACIFIC (3)

The final match of the day was the closest, hardest fought of the three on the day, and Team Metropolitan skated away with NHL bragging rights and $1 million in prize money.

The Pacific Division All-Star team got on the board first and often in the first half, with Pavelski (Sharks), McDavid (Edmonton Oilers) and Horvat (Canucks) tallying. Jones (Blue Jackets) and Justin Faulk (Carolina Hurricanes) countered for Team Metropolitan in the first 10 minutes to take a 3-2 deficit into the halftime break.

Atkinson tied the game nearly five minutes into the second half when he buried his own rebound to put his squad back in the game, and All-Star Game MVP Wayne Simmonds scored the eventual game-winner just five seconds later.

Final Stats

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