The 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game at SAP Center in San Jose on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, CBC, TVAS) will feature a prize pool of $1 million to be split among the winning team. This is the fourth straight season the All-Star Game is a 3-on-3 tournament, with each of the four divisions playing in two semifinals and the winners advancing to the final.
The Pacific Division has won the tournament twice (2016, 2018) and lost the final once (2017). It has a 5-1-0 record, has outscored opponents 33-17 and will play the Central Division in the semifinals for the fourth straight season; the Pacific is 3-0-0 against the Central and has outscored it 24-11.
The Metropolitan Division, which won the event in 2017, is 2-2-0 and has outscored opponents 20-21.
The Atlantic Division is 2-3-0, and the Central (0-3-0) is the only division that has yet to win a game in the All-Star Game under the current format.
The average number of goals scored in the six semifinal games is 11.5; the average number of goals scored in the final is 5.0.
Seven players who have played in the three previous All-Star Games under the 3-on-3 format will participate this year: San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau, Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson and Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares.
Four players have captured multiple titles under the current format, including three participating in 2019: Burns (2016, 2018), Doughty (2016, 2018) and Gaudreau (2016, 2018). The other is New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall (2016, 2017), who was selected to play but has a lower-body injury.
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov leads all players with five goals under the current format. He also is the only player to score a hat trick in one game of the tournament, doing so in the 2018 semifinals.
Burns leads all players with seven assists. Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid owns the single-game record with four assists in the 2018 semifinals.
Gaudreau has the most career points with 10 (four goals, six assists). The single-game high is four points, achieved by six different players.
Youth is served
Nearly one-third of this year's all-stars are age 23 or younger (13 of 44, 29.5 percent): Dallas Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen (19); Arizona Coyotes center Clayton Keller and Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson (20); Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho, New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal, Ottawa Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot and Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (21); Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak, Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel, Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen and McDavid (22); and Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and Oilers center Leon Draisaitl (23).
In 1997, the last time the NHL All-Star Game came to San Jose, the percentage of 23-and-under players was less than 10 percent (4 of 46).
There are no skaters in the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game who have celebrated their 35th birthday. There were seven such players at the 1997 All-Star Game in San Jose.
Thirteen players are scheduled to make their NHL All-Star Game debuts: Keller, Pastrnak, Aho, Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog, Rantanen, Heiskanen, Draisaitl, Devils forward Kyle Palmieri, Barzal, Chabot, Pettersson, Capitals defenseman John Carlson and Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele.
All-Star Game back in San Jose, 22 years later
The first time the NHL All-Star Game was in San Jose was in 1997 when the Eastern Conference defeated the Western Conference 11-7. Sharks forward Owen Nolan had a hat trick, including his called shot on his third goal of the game in the third period against Dominik Hasek of the Sabres. Forward Mark Recchi (three goals) of the Montreal Canadiens was named MVP.