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Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov is the NHL’s leading scorer with 63 points.Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

The NHL All-Star Game once again consists of a three-on-three tournament featuring the league’s four divisions.

The idea behind the tournament is for the most skilled players in the league to show off their skills in the same manner that is used to decide regular-season overtime games.

The All-Star Game will be played Sunday in Tampa at 3:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by NBC.

The Atlantic and Metropolitan Division teams of the Eastern Conference will meet in a 20-minute game that consists of two 10-minute periods. The Central and Pacific Division teams will also compete in a 20-minute game and the two winners will meet in the championship game, and the winners of the title game will take home $1 million in prize money.

Here’s a look at the rosters for each of the divisions:

Atlantic Division

F Aleksander Barkov, Panthers (1st ASG selection)
F Jack Eichel, Sabres (1st)
F Nikita Kucherov, Lightning (2nd)
F Brad Marchand, Bruins (2nd)
F Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs (2nd)
F Steven Stamkos, Lightning (5th)
D Mike Green, Red Wings (2nd)
D Victor Hedman, Lightning (2nd)
D Erik Karlsson, Senators (5th)
G Carey Price, Canadiens (6th)
G Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning (1st)
F Brayden Point, Lightning-Injury replacement for Hedman
Coach: Jon Cooper, Lightning (1st)

Metropolitan Division

F Josh Bailey, Islanders (1st)
F Sidney Crosby, Penguins (3rd)
F Claude Giroux, Flyers (5th)
F Taylor Hall, Devils (3rd)
F Alex Ovechkin, Capitals (7th)
F John Tavares, Islanders (5th)
D Noah Hanifin, Hurricanes (1st)
D Seth Jones, Blue Jackets (2nd)
D Kris Letang, Penguins (4th)
G Braden Holtby, Capitals (3rd)
G Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers (4th)
F Brian Boyle, Devils-Injury replacement for Hall
D Zach Werenski, Blue Jackets-Injury replacement for Jones
Coach: Barry Trotz, Capitals (3rd)

Central Division

F Patrick Kane, Blackhawks (7th)
F Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche (2nd)
F Brayden Schenn, Blues (1st)
F Tyler Seguin, Stars (5th)
F Eric Staal, Wild (5th)
F Blake Wheeler, Jets (1st)
D John Klingberg, Stars (1st)
D Alex Pietrangelo, Blues (1st)
D P.K. Subban, Predators (3rd)
G Connor Hellebuyck, Jets (1st)
G Pekka Rinne, Predators (2nd)
Coach: Peter Laviolette, Predators (3rd)

Pacific Division

F Brock Boeser, Canucks (1st)
F Johnny Gaudreau, Flames (4th)
F Anze Kopitar, Kings (4th)
F Connor McDavid, Oilers (2nd)
F James Neal, Golden Knights (3rd)
F Rickard Rakell, Ducks (1st)
D Brent Burns, Sharks (5th)
D Drew Doughty, Kings (4th)
D Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Coyotes (2nd)
G Marc-Andre Fleury, Golden Knights (3rd)
G Jonathan Quick, Kings (3rd)
G Mike Smith, Flames-Injury replacement for Quick
Coach: Gerard Gallant, Golden Knights (2nd)


The Atlantic Division team features four members of the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning, including Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Brayden Point, who was named as a replace for Hedman (lower body).

This should give the Atlantic team more cohesiveness than the others, and Kucherov may be the most explosive player of all with 27 goals and 36 assists. 

The red-hot Boston Bruins (14-0-4 in their last 18 games) are sending controversial Brad Marchand to the All-Star festivities, and he will play in the game. Marchand was recently suspended for five games for delivering a blow to the head of New Jersey’s Marcus Johansson, but that ban did not include the All-Star game. Marchand has scored 21 goals and 29 assists for the Bruins in 38 games. 

Montreal goaltender Carey Price will play in his sixth All-Star game even though he has struggled much of the year with 14-17-4 record, a 3.02 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage.

Alex Ovechkin has already scored a league-best 30 goals.

Alex Ovechkin has already scored a league-best 30 goals.Joel Auerbach/Associated Press

The Metropolitan Division is led by high-scoring Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, who has scored 30 goals and has also added 23 assists. Nine of Ovechkin’s goals have come on the power play, and five of them have been game-winners.

Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins is one of Ovechkin’s teammates, and those two could see action on the same line from time to time. Crosby has scored 17 goals and 38 assists, although Crosby has a minus-nine rating to this point in the season.

Washington goalie Braden Holtby and the Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist will split the time in net, and the Metropolitan Division may have the best goaltending tandem in the competition.


Nathan MacKinnon of the resurgent Colorado Avalanche may be the key to the Central Division’s chances of winning the tournament. The explosive MacKinnon is one of the fastest players in the league, and he has scored 24 goals and 36 assists through 48 games. MacKinnon has already scored seven game-winning goals this season.

Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars will be playing in his fifth All-Star game, and he has scored 23 goals and 20 assists for head coach Ken Hitchcock’s team. Seguin’s ability to strike suddenly in the offensive zone and jump on loose pucks and create scoring opportunities makes him quite dangerous.

Patrick Kane is Chicago’s lone representative, and he is one of the most skilled players among all the competitors in this game. Kane’s quick-strike ability may be the key to whether the Blackhawks make the playoffs or not this year. He has scored 20 goals and added 29 assists.

Connor McDavid in full flight is one of the game's great sights.

Connor McDavid in full flight is one of the game’s great sights.David Becker/Associated Press

Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers is the captain of the Pacific Division team, and he is well on his way to becoming the game’s most dynamic player. McDavid won the league’s Hart Trophy last year as the Most Valuable Player as well as the Art Ross Trophy for leading the league in scoring. When McDavid turns on the jets in the offensive zone, he is basically an unstoppable force and he has 15 goals and 39 assists this season.

Vancouver rookie forward Brock Boeser has been a top offensive force, and the 20-year-old has scored 24 goals and 19 assists. James Neal and Marc-Andre Fleury represent the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. Neal has scored 22 goals and 12 assists, and five of his goals have been game-winners, while Fleury has a 12-4-0 record with a 1.77 GAA and a .942 save percentage.

       

Prediction

The Atlantic Division should have an advantage since it has four players from the Lightning, but the Metropolitan Division has the better goaltending with Holtby and Lundqvist, along with a pair of superstars in Ovechkin and Crosby. The Metropolitan Division will advance to the championship round.

The matchup between the Central and Pacific Division appears to be close, but it’s difficult to see a team with McDavid, Johnny Gaudreau and Brent Burns getting stopped. The Central Division has star power, but not as much as the Pacific, and give McDavid’s team the edge.

McDavid and Crosby could matchup in the championship game, and while the younger McDavid may be faster than Crosby, he’s still not better. Crosby, Ovechkin and John Tavares will have the edge over the Pacific Division team and find a way to win the three-on-three tournament and split the $1 million.



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