Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The third edition of the new NHL All-Star Game format takes place Sunday at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. 

The NHL switched to a three-on-three tournament involving teams representing each of the four divisions in 2016, with the Pacific Division winning the inaugural contest in the new format. The Metropolitan Division coming out victorious in 2017.

Eastern Conference foes Metropolitan and Atlantic will square off in the first semifinal before the Western Conference semifinal between the Pacific and Central.

The winners of the two semifinals will face off in the final, which will be the third of three 20-minute games.


Date: Sunday, January 28

Time: 3:30 p.m. ET


Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra



Atlantic Division

Aleksander Barkov, Florida

Jack Eichel, Buffalo 

Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay 

Brad Marchand, Boston 

Auston Matthews, Toronto 

Brayden Point, Tampa Bay 

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay 

Mike Green, Detroit

Erik Karlsson, Ottawa 

Carey Price, Montreal 

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay


Central Division

Patrick Kane, Chicago

Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado

Brayden Schenn, St. Louis

Tyler Seguin, Dallas

Eric Staal, Minnesota

Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg

John Klingberg, Dallas

Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis

P.K. Subban, Nashville

Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg

Pekka Rinne, Nashville


Metropolitan Division

Josh Bailey, New York Islanders

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh

Claude Giroux, Philadelphia

Brian Boyle, New Jersey 

Alex Ovechkin, Washington

John Tavares, New York Islanders 

Noah Hanifin, Carolina 

Zach Werenski, Columbus 

Kris Letang, Pittsburgh 

Braden Holtby, Washington 

Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers 


Pacific Division

Brock Boeser, Vancouver

Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary 

Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles

Connor McDavid, Edmonton 

James Neal, Vegas

Rickard Rakell, Anaheim

Brent Burns, San Jose

Drew Doughty, Los Angeles

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona

Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas 

Mike Smith, Calgary


Metropolitan Makes Pair of Late Roster Changes

Right as most of the All-Stars were arriving in Tampa, two alterations were made to the Metropolitan Division roster. 

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones will miss the festivities because of an illness, per the team’s official website. 

Zach Werenski will make his first All-Star appearance in place of his teammate and will be the team’s lone representative at the All-Star Game. Werenski offered up his thoughts of being named to the Metropolitan Division team via the Blue Jackets’ official Twitter account.

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 08:  Zach Werenski #8 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on December 8, 2017 in Newark, New Jersey. The Blue Jackets defeated the Devils 5-3.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Imag

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The other replacement named to the squad was Brian Boyle of the New Jersey Devils, who will take teammate Taylor Hall’s position on the roster. Hall has been dealing with a hand injury. 

The 33-year-old’s story is one of the most inspirational in sports, as he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia at the beginning of Devils training camp.

Boyle, who didn’t play his first game until November 1, is returning to Tampa Bay, where he spent two-and-a-half seasons with the Lightning. 

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 13: Brian Boyle #11 of the New Jersey Devils uring warm ups prior to taking on the Philadelphia Flyers at the Prudential Center on January 13, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

Adam Hunger/Getty Images

Lightning head coach Jon Cooper, who will be behind the bench for the Atlantic Division Sunday, expressed his joy in seeing Boyle on the All-Star roster and noted the reaction he will receive from the fans, per Bryan Burns of the Lightning’s official website.

A total of four changes have been made to the original rosters, with Calgary’s Mike Smith replacing Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick as one of the Pacific Division goalies and the Lightning’s Brayden Point taking teammate Victor Hedman’s place in the Atlantic Division squad.


Central Division Looking to Make 1st All-Star Final in New Format

Since the NHL switched the All-Star Game to a three-on-three tournament, with teams representing each of the four divisions, only the Central Division hasn’t won a game.

In 2016, the Central lost a 9-6 semifinal game to the Pacific Division, with James Neal scoring two goals on home ice as a then-member of the Nashville Predators. 

A year ago at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Central team dropped a 10-3 result to the Pacific, as only P.K. Subban, Vladimir Tarasenko and Jonathan Toews found the back of the net. 

Subban, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane and the Dallas Stars’ Tyler Seguin are the experienced All-Stars looking to exact revenge on the Pacific for their losses in previous seasons.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 29: Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks handles the puck against the Pacific Division All-Stars during the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game Semifinal #1 (Central vs. Pacific) at Staples Center on January 29, 2017 in Los Angele

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Despite the star power on its roster, the Central only has one player in the top 10 in points in the Colorado Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon, who is second to Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov.

What the Central lacks in top-10 scoring, it more than makes up for in goaltending, as it has the best combination of netminders in terms of goals-against average, and that’s without league leader Carter Hutton of the St. Louis Blues and Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Winnipeg Jets’ Connor Hellebuyck is sixth in the league with a 2.35 goals-against average, while the Nashville Predators’ Pekka Rinne is seventh with the same average.

ST PAUL, MN - OCTOBER 31: Connor Hellebuyck #37 of the Winnipeg Jets defends the net against the Minnesota Wild during the game on October 31, 2017 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. The Jets defeated the Wild 2-1. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

After giving up 19 goals to the Pacific in the past two years, look for Hellebuyck and Rinne to keep the score down and help the Central move into its first All-Star final under the new format. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

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