The ending wasn't ideal, but Mathew Barzal still had a spectacular time at his second NHL All-Star Weekend, as he and the Metropolitan Division fell 9-5 to the Atlantic Division during Saturday's 3-on-3 tournament at Enterprise Center in St. Louis.
"It's always fun being here," Barzal said. "Coming out and trying to entertain the fans and have a good time. The whole weekend has been great."
Barzal registered two assists in the game, dishing helpers on John Carlson and T.J. Oshie's first period strikes, as Barzal was paired with the Washington Capitals duo. Barzal set up John Carlson for a one-timer near the high slot to give the Metro team its first goal of the night and cut the Atlantic's lead down 2-1. Barzal helped the Metro team gain its first lead of the evening as he set up Oshie, who sniped his shot top shelf over Frederik Andersen.
With two games of the season series having been decided by one goal between the Islanders and Capitals, the Caps skaters know how lethal Barzal can be on offense and relished the opportunity to share the ice with him for once.
"His skill level is off the charts," Oshie said. "His skating, stick handling, vision on the ice. Would have liked to put up some more goals, but it's nice trying to get open and to have him find me instead of having him chase me around the ice and not get made a fool of."
With the score tied 4-4 heading into the second period, the Metro relinquished five straight goals as the Atlantic advanced to the championship game.
"It was kind of a back and forth game there," Barzal said. "They kind of broke free. There's so much skill out there. It can really go either way. It's fun. We're trying to entertain the fans, score some nice goals out there and we did."
Video: 2020 All-Star Game: Mat Barzal
While Barzal and the Metropolitan Division team were hoping to repeat their championship title, the game still capped off a riveting experience for the All Stars.
"You battle in season," Barzal said of sharing the experience fellow Metro teammates. "You get here you laugh and talk about some of the things that maybe happened in season and what not. Other than that, you don't come to the All-Star Game in a bad mood. Everyone's having a good time and enjoying themselves. It's easy to get along."
GAME 2: PACIFIC 10, CENTRAL 5
The Pacific Division all-star team advanced to the championship game with a 10-5 victory over the Central Division. San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl powered the Pacific with four goals while Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl compiled three assists.
CHAMPIONSHIP: PACIFIC 5, ATLANTIC 4
The Pacific Division all-star team defeated the Atlantic Division 5-4 to become the 2020 NHL All-Star Champions. Tomas Hertl broke the tie late in the second period as he scored on a partial breakaway to give the Pacific first and only lead of the game that was the eventual game-winner. Hertl and the rest of the Pacific team will split the one million dollar prize.
David Pastrnak was name the MVP of the tournament with six points (4G, 2A) through two games. Pastrnak had three goals and one assist in his first game against the Metropolitan Division and registered one goal and one assist in the championship game. With the MVP honors, Pastrnak was awarded a brand new Honda car.