ST. LOUIS--The Pacific Division scored five unanswered goals to close the matchup with the Central Division and win 10-5 in the second contest of the 2020 NHL All-Star Game on Saturday night at Enterprise Center.
The Central erased a 3-0 deficit in the first period, but the squad wasn't able to go on another run in the second frame. The Pacific advanced to the championship against the Atlantic Division All-Stars and went on to win the title by a 5-4 score.
Nathan MacKinnon was the Colorado Avalanche's representative at the midseason showcase and was voted as the captain of the Central Division by a fan vote. The Central was looking to reach the final game for the second year in a row after falling to the Metropolitan in the championship at the 2019 All-Star Game in San Jose.
"It was fun," said MacKinnon of his experience playing in this year's game. "Obviously it would have been nice to win, but it was fun out there with those guys."
MacKinnon finished with an assist and three shots on goal in 6:50 of ice time against the Pacific. He also won 2-of-3 faceoffs while being on a line with the Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane and the Minnesota Wild's Eric Staal.
"You put that rival stuff to the side for a night and enjoy it," MacKinnon said of his new teammates for one night. "I thought it was a lot of fun playing with those guys.
"We had some chances. It would have been nice to bury some more, but it was fun."
The 2020 NHL All-Star Game featured three, 20-minute contests, with players from each division making up the four teams: Atlantic, Central, Metropolitan and Pacific. The Eastern Conference squared off in the first game, while the Western Conference played in the second. The two winning divisions then met in the championship game, with a $1 million pool prize on the line.
Each game during the All-Star tournament was 20 minutes in length, split into two 10-minute periods. The teams changed ends of the ice after a brief intermission at following the first period. NHL rules applied to each contest.
The Pacific jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first five minutes of the contest, but the Central quickly battled back and tied the outing. Mark Scheifele, David Perron and Kane tallied in a matter of 2:09 to knot the contest, with Perron and Kane scoring in a 14-second span with similar wrist shots from the left circle.
Quinn Hughes gave the Pacific back the lead with 54 seconds remaining before the intermission, but Tyler Seguin buried his shot on a 2-on-1 with Scheifele with 21 seconds left before the break to knot the game at 4-4.
MacKinnon's assist came on Kane's second goal of the game at 1:37 of the second period that tied the contest at 5-5, but that was the last goal scored for the Central in the contest.
Tomas Hertl scored three of this four goals in the game during the Pacific's closing run. Draisaitl also had a hat trick and four points (three goals, one assist) in the contest, while Matthew Tkachuk (two goals, two assists) and Quinn Hughes (one goal, three assists) also had four-point outings.
Kane (two goals), Scheifele (one goal, one assist), Seguin (one goal, one assist) and Roman Josi (two assists) led the Central in scoring with each posting multi-point games.
While the Central fell short of its goal of a championship, a weekend with the best players in the world was the best part for MacKinnon.
"Just sharing it with my family and seeing friends from around the league, catching up," MacKinnon said. "We had some bus rides over here, which is fun to kind of talk with everybody. You hear from everyone around the league, it's always a good time."
GAME 1 - ATLANTIC (9) VS. METROPOLITIAN (5)
The Eastern Conference opened the night and saw the Atlantic Division defeat the Metropolitan 9-5.
The score was tied 4-4 at the half as the Atlantic scored the first two goals of the contest before the Metro tallied four straight to take the lead. Anthony Duclair and David Pastrnak scored in the final 3:40 of the frame for the Atlantic All-Stars to knot the contest at the break.
Nico Hischier gave the Metro the lead 2:50 early in the second period, but the Atlantic closed the game with five consecutive goals to take the win.
The Atlantic's Anthony Duclair (three goals, one assist), David Pastrnak (three goals, one assist), Victor Hedman (one goal, three assists) and Tyler Bertuzzi (four assists) all finished with four-point games, with Duclair and Pastrnak posting hat tricks. Seth Jones of the Metropolitan Division had four points in the contest as well with a goal and three assists.
The Atlantic outshot the Metro 22-16.
FINAL - PACIFIC (5) VS. ATLANTIC (4)
Tomas Hertl broke a tie with 2:36 remaining and the Pacific Division defeated the Atlantic Division 5-4 to win the 2020 NHL All-Star Game.
The Atlantic led 3-1 at the intermission, but the Pacific scored twice in the first two minutes of the second period to tie the game. Tyler Bertuzzi gave the Atlantic a 4-3 lead at 3:15 of the second before Elias Pettersson knotted the contest for the Pacific less than two minutes later.
The Boston Bruins' David Pastrnak of the Atlantic Division was named All-Star Game MVP. He had a goal and an assist in the final and finished the two games with four goals and two assists.
Pettersson had two goals, while Draisaitl (one goal, one assist), Hughes (two assists) and Tkachuk (two assists) had multi-point contests for the Pacific. Jonathan Huberdeau joined Pastrnak with a goal and an assist for the Atlantic.
The Pacific outshot the Atlantic 20-11 in the final.