Pacific Wins 2020 All-Star Game

The 2020 NHL All-Star Game took place tonight in St. Louis. As usual, there was plenty of offense and a lot to get to, so let’s have at it.

The first “period” featured an Eastern Conference showdown between the Metropolitan Division and the Atlantic Division.

To begin with, both the Devils’ Nico Hischier and Mat Barzal of the Islanders were wearing number 13 for the Metro Division tonight.

The Atlantic won the Eastern matchup to advance to the finals, 9-5.

David Pastrnak of the Bruins kicked off the scoring en route to an MVP night for him. HE scored 26 seconds into the first to make it 1-0 Atlantic.

Shea Weber of the Canadiens scored to make it 2-0 before John Carlson of the Capitals got the Metro on the board 2:13 in.

Nico then tied things with a nice individual effort. He skated, protecting the puck for about 15 seconds and made a finesse move by goaltender Frederick Andersen. This even had the NBC announcers taking notice and would be the first of two in the game for Nico.

Former Blue and current Capital made the fans happy when he scored to give the Metro the lead at 3-2. Seth Jones of the Blue Jackets then doubled their lead over the Atlantic when he scored. Nico had the secondary assist on his goal.

But the Atlantic would tie things before the end of the first half. Anthony Duclair of the Senators scored to make it 4-3 and then Pastrnak scored his second to tie things at four.

The second “half” was kicked off with Nico notching his second 2:50 in. He tapped in a pass from the Flyers’ Travis Konecny to give the Metro a brief 5-4 lead.

From there, it was all Atlantic. Jonathan Huberdeau of the Panthers tied things and then Victor Hedman of the Lightning gave them the 6-5 lead. This was followed by Duclair’s second, Pastrnak’s third and Duclair’s third to give the Atlantic the ticket to the finals with a 9-5 win.

The Metro were the defending champions of the All-Star Game, but would not get a chance to defend their title. The Atlantic have one victory in the current All-Star format while the Metro has the other three wins.

In the second game, the Pacific Division faced the Central Division. The Pacific won this one 10-5 to advance.

The gamae began with Nathan MacKinnon of the Avalanche being denied on a breakaway by goaltender Jacob Markstrom of the Canucks, proving that there can be goaltending in a hockey all-star game!

From there, though, the offense took over. St. Louis native and Calgary Flame Matthew Tkachuk gave the Pacific the early 1-0 lead. His Alberta rival, Leon Draisaitl of the Oilers made it 2-0 and the Sharks’ Tomas Hertl made it 3-0.

The Central finally got on the board when Mark Scheifele of the Jets scored. David Perron of the Blues excited the hometown fans next when he made it 3-2. The Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane then tied it at three.

Quinn Hughes (brother of Jack and Vancouver Canuck) gave the Pacific back the lead and the Central briefly tied things again. This one came off the stick of the Stars’ Tyler Seguin.

Draisaitl notched his second early in the second half of the game to give the Pacific back the one-goal lead at 6-5. Kane then tied it again before the Pacific really took control.

Draisaitl completed his hat trick to make it 7-6, then Hertl scored to make it 8-6. Hertl got his hat trick when he made it 9-6 and he made it four goals by scoring the tenth for the Pacific.

That win by the Pacific Division set up a finals matchup between the Atlantic and Pacific, a cross-continental battle for NHL supremacy.

And the final was a close one with the Pacific winning their first All-Star Game by a score of 5-4.

Hedman and Huberdeau gave the Atlantic a quick 2-0 lead. Then Max Pacioretty of the Golden Knights cut the lead in half before Pastrnak made it 3-1, Atlantic.

In the second half, Elias Pettersson of the Canucks cut the Atlantic lead to one when he scored and then Draisaitl scored his fourth of the All-Star Game when he tied it at three.

Tyler Bertuzzi of the Red Wings scored to give the Atlantic a 4-3 lead and then was promptly stopped on a breakaway in his bid to make it two goals on the night.

Finally, the Pacific put it away when Pettersson tied it at four and then Hertl scored his fifth of the night to notch the game-winner and give the Pacific the 5-4 win and the million dollar prize money.

With another exciting NHL All-Star Game in the books, we now look ahead to tomorrow and coverage of the AHL Skills Competition and the Devils coming back on Monday against the Senators. See you tomorrow night!

NHL All-Star Skills Competition Takes Place in St. Louis

It’s the day before the 2020 NHL All-Star Game which means that the annual skills competition was on the docket. This year’s event was from the Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

Nico Hischier, the Devils’ lone representative in this year’s festivities, competed in the shooting accuracy event. Kyle Palmieri, the Devils’ 2019 all-star and the man that Nico replaced on this year’s team, competed in the same event last year.

The night kicked off (following a speech from Wayne Gretzky) with the fastest skater competition. Mat Barzal of the Islanders dethroned Connor McDavid of the Oilers as the NHL’s fastest skater. McDavid had actually won the event the last three years.

Barzal won with a time of 13.175. Competitors skated one lap around the entire rink. McDavid came in second with a time of 13.215.

The next event was the Save Streak and focused on goalies. Hischier participated in this one too, shooting twice for the Metropolitan Division against Atlantic Division goaltenders.

His first try was against Frederick Andersen of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He missed wide in what was the second save of seven straight for Andersen. Nico also got a chance against Andrei Vasilevskiy but was stopped by the Tampa Bay goalie. Jordan Binnington of the hometown Blues won the competition with ten straight saves made.

The Accuracy Shooting event was next and Nico had to wait a little while. There is a new system that features a plexiglass board in front of a computerized video board with targets on it. The targets had the player’s name in the upper right corner, their team’s logo in the lower right, the All-Star Game logo in the middle, the player’s number in the lower left corner and the number of All-Star appearances in the upper left (left-right from the goalie’s point of view).

The plexiglass broke just prior to Nico shooting and needed to be replaced. When things were finally settled, Hischier took his shots, “breaking” all five targets in 19.550 seconds. That finished him eighth out of eight shooters in the event with Jacob Slavin of the Hurricanes winning by breaking all of the targets on eight shots (9.505 seconds).

Next was the Elite Women’s Three-on-Three game between the USA and Canada. Canada came away with the win 2-1. This was part of the barnstorming tour that the two teams have been doing across North America. It was a good way to showcase women’s hockey with a lot of hockey fans tuned in to the All-Star festivities.

The next event was the Hardest Shot competition. Shea Weber of the Canadiens was looking to win this event for a fourth time and he did.

He won with a shot of 106.5 MPH, the fourth hardest shot in the history of the event, which dates back to the beginning of the Skills Competition.

Next up was the Shooting Stars event. This was kind of a bizarre competition that saw the participants firing foam pucks from a platform 30 feet above the ice surface. They shot the pucks at targets worth two, four or ten points.

Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks and Mitch Marner of the Leafs tied in “regulation” with 22 points. Kane won it in “overtime” to take the crown in the inaugural Shooting Stars competition.

It was a great night in St. Louis with a lot of exciting moments in this year’s Skills Competition. We will be back with you tomorrow night for the All-Star Game itself, featuring Nico playing for the Metro Division, who are looking to win their third title in a row.