With the task to prove that their collective stars shine the brightest the Colorado Avalanche trio of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar had one last task to complete and that is to represent the Central Division at the All-Star Game.
The Central all-stars took on the Pacific to begin the game with two ten-minute periods in each match. It was the stars from the Avalanche who put on a show in the first half as Rantanen and MacKinnon connected for the game’s opening goal at 3:15 and then their chemistry showed again as Rantanen found MacKinnon again on the back door at 8:38 with Makar picking up the other helper, perfection.
The all-star game can’t even avoid an offside challenge as Dallas Stars head coach Pete DeBoer successfully challenged to wipe out a goal for the Pacific. The Central held on after a push from the Pacific in the second half to take the first game 6-4 and move on to the final match.
Next up the Metro and Atlantic divisions squared off to earn the right to face the winners from the Central in the finals game.
"Do some pre-scout here, for this game, then we got a sick Fall Out Boy concert, and we got the Finals"— Jesse Montano (@jessemontano_) February 4, 2023
Nathan MacKinnon is the best interview in the NHL.
It was a back-and-forth affair for the members from the East but ultimately the Atlantic pulled away with an explosive second half to finish their game with a 10-6 final score. But that was not before Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby made some magic together for the Metro Division.
"Beautiful passing by two of the all-time greats"— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 4, 2023
Sid and Ovi working together? It's just not fair! pic.twitter.com/S5wfLxOrB2
The stage was set, Central vs Atlantic in the final game.
Looks like it's going to be the Atlantic and the Central in the final. Since the NHL went to 3-on-3 in 2016, neither division has won the All-Star Game. The Metropolitan and Pacific have each won three.— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) February 4, 2023
The third game looked a lot like how Colorado’s third periods have gone lately — lacking energy and scoring. MacKinnon hit the crossbar but the Central Division stayed off the board until Rantanen got his first goal of the contest at 4:09 of the second half. Rasmussen Dahlin received a penalty shot and missed but he scored immediately after on a breakaway anyway, In the last 30 seconds both MacKinnon and Makar scored but it was too little, too late as the Central fell 7-5 to the Atlantic division. Hometown boy Matthew Tkachuk was named MVP despite Dylan Larkin scoring a hat trick in the final game.
The Avalanche reconvene for a Sunday afternoon practice and a flight to Pittsburgh on Monday to face the Penguins at 5 p.m. MT on Tuesday, February 7th.