NASHVILLE -- The Eastern Conference All-Stars had plenty of fun at the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday, but they'll be battling against each other in the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).
2016 HONDA NHL ALL-STAR GAME
Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban put on a Jaromir Jagr disguise to win the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge. New York Islanders captain John Tavares won the DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting event and Detroit Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin broke Mike Gartner's 20-year record in the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater competition.
With their 29-12 win in the skills competition, the Eastern all-stars earned the choice and opted to play the first 3-on-3 semifinal Sunday, a game that will pit the Atlantic Division stars against the Metropolitan Division. The second game will see the Pacific Division play against the Central Division. The two winners will meet in the final.
"Talking to the guys, I think everyone wants to win," said Ryan O'Reilly of the Buffalo Sabres. "I don't expect a hard-hitting, physical game, but it's still guys making plays, trying to score. It's not going to be too lackadaisical."
Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry said the new format will make the game that much more exciting.
“I think the fans have really embraced the 3-on-3 in the regular season. The guys like it. There's a lot of goals scored in overtime now," Perry told NBC Sports Network. "It's going to be a long period, but it's going to be fun."
"Fun" has been a theme all weekend, with outdoor concerts at Bridgestone All-Star Winter Park, the 2016 NHL Fan Fair presented by Bridgestone, the IntelliCentrics Ice Rink all with the vibrant Music City as the backdrop.
Defensemen Shea Weber and Roman Josi, forward James Neal and goalie Pekke Rinne are representing the host Nashville Predators. They were asked if they were going to take it easy Saturday night and rest up for Sunday.
"Big game. I think we've got a curfew," joked Weber.
Said Rinne: "Next question."
A good night's sleep may not be a bad idea with the 3-on-3 format on tap for Sunday, but Perry said the players need to just "do their thing."
"Obviously it could be taxing, but at the same time you just got to have fun with it," said Perry.
Brandon Saad of the Columbus Blue Jackets said he is excited for Sunday.
"It's been a great night and I'm looking forward to [Sunday]," he said.