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2018 NHL All-Star Game: Kucherov’s hat trick gets Atlantic to final, but Pacific wins All-Star Game 5-2

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Let’s do it all again next year in San Jose.

NHL: All Star Game
Can Prince Charming win it all? I hope so, anyway.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Details

When: 3:30 PM

How: NHL on NBC or NHL.tv (or HNIC if you dare)

What: Today we’ll be watching two twenty-minute games (ten minutes per period) and a final. Best of the East will face best of the West, and with any luck Brian Boyle wins it all. I’ll be liveblogging this again, with updates below as I watch along with you. I’ll be adding tweets and color from Raw Charge’s reporters in the stands, @GeoFitz4 and @torchramrod (JustinG).

So let’s settle back, have a drink, and watch the best that the NHL world has to offer!

Tournament rosters

Team Pacific Team Central
Team Pacific Team Central
Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings Brayden Schenn, St. Louis Blues
(Captain) Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars
James Neal, Vegas Golden Knights Eric Staal, Minnesota Wild
Rickard Rakell, Anaheim Ducks Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets
Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks John Klingberg, Dallas Stars
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes (Captain) P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators
Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas Golden Knights Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
Mike Smith, Calgary Flames Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
Team Atlantic Team Metropolitan
Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers Josh Bailey, New York Islanders
Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres Brian Boyle, New Jersey Devils
Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Captain) Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Lightning John Tavares, New York Islanders
(Captain) Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning Noah Hanifin, Carolina Hurricanes
Mike Green, Detroit Red Wings Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets
Carey Price, Montrel Canadiens Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

Central Division vs. Pacific Division, 3:30 PM

3:16 PM: I can’t believe I’m back, and yet I can, because literally nobody else at my site wanted the job of listening to HNIC.

Did you guys get a chance to catch the Mascot Games? Thunderbug won it in overtime for Team East, but salty Blackhawks reporter Mark Lazerus thinks it was unfair. Whatever, he’s just a sore loser.

3:33 PM: HNIC is interviewing Blake Wheeler about how he managed to make his kids cheer for him when he scores a goal. “My kids won’t look at me twice,” the HNIC guy admits. It’s fine, HNIC guy, you have fans cheering for you right here. Please be entertaining.

3:35 PM: By the way, we have a winner for our Raw Charge giveaway — @Mike__Perkins! He found Justin in the stands and got the swag. Congrats!

3:41 PM: Aww, I love this techno so much that I actually made it into a Spotify playlist. It’s over here in case you want to check it out.

3:47 PM: Central Division taking the ice to the sounds of country music electric guitar. And some good news to announce! Hedman is back as AEM. Let’s hope he gets Stamkos his towels and tape a little more swiftly than yesterday.

3:53 PM: If Brian Boyle doesn’t help Metro win it all after that ovation, I’ll be very sad. Why Metro, you ask? It’s been a struggle for me to cheer for a team that contains Brad “oops, my elbow slipped” Marchand.

3:59 PM: We have the moment in which patriotism and sports are conflated, the anthem. Like it or hate it, it’s beautifully done by the Lightning org. (By the way, don’t believe those Canadians who tell you the last line is “We stand on Gord for thee.” Nobody actually stands on Gord.)

4:03 PM: Um. I mean the Canadian national anthem was great, at least!

4:07 PM: Fleury starts for Pacific, Rinne for Central.

4:09 PM: Nathan MacKinnon gets Central on the board first, putting one top shelf on Fleury. Maybe he’s tired after yesterday’s save streak challenge?

4:14 PM: Interesting insight from Geo in the stands. We’ll keep our eyes on this in May.

4:17 PM: Less than two minutes left in the period — HNIC gets cutely excited every time someone backchecks.

4:18 PM: While I was typing, Rinne saved ridiculous shots from McDavid THREE TIMES -- FOUR TIMES. Goalies on point today.

4:20 PM: We come to first intermission with this gem from @BeccaH_JR:

4:28 PM: New goalies — Hellebuyck (Central) and Smith (Pacific) in net. I’ve enjoyed watching the chemistry between Wheeler and MacKinnon, two energetic kids with wheels. I wonder if Team Canada takes notice.

4:30 PM: Doughty gets one in for Pacific!

4:32 PM: Hilarious — Smith wants an assist in an All-Star Game pretty badly, skated almost to the blue line to send it over to Doughty. Sadly DD had to dump it along the boards.

4:34 PM: I finally got to hear the much-vaunted HNIC “let’s name all the junior teams the guy was on” goal call. James Neal, 2-1 Pacific.

Deep hockey thoughts during TV time out:

4:38 PM: PK Subban steps up as captain and evens it up.

4:39 PM: Boeser gets Pacific ahead! The story of this All-Star Game is absolutely about how much the youngsters want to show off. He won the accuracy contest too.

4:40 PM: While typing, Brent Burns noticed Central’s empty net and sent one in to make it 4-2 Pacific.

4:41 PM: Pacific really doesn’t want this to go to overtime, James Neal with yet another empty netter.

4:43 PM: Brock Boeser of the game-winning goal, is also a horrific interview. “I just wanted to come into the rink every day and work hard” is an actual thing he just said at the All-Star Game.

LMAO Henriques:

4:54 PM: Ron MacLean is grilling Mr. Bettman mercilessly about (1) the Flames arena, (2) the Senators’ arena, and (3) video review. Bettman yells at MacLean for not telling him when there was some video playing that he had to pay attention to. Aww, Bettman. He’s grumpily charming.

Results: Pacific beats Central, 5-2.

Metropolitan Division vs. Atlantic Division, 4:30 PM

5:02 PM: Kucherov, Stamkos, & Point starting — almost unfair against Lundqvist, but he stands strong in their shift.

5:03 PM: Ovechkin, Crosby and Hanifin score on their first shift. Poor Vasilevskiy. 1-0 Metro.

5:05 PM: Matthews on a breakaway can’t solve Lundqvist, but that’s fine. It was pretty and that’s the point.

5:07 PM: Vasy’s getting back into fighting shape, makes a nice stop on Giroux.

5:07 PM: Line blender at work: Kucherov-Stamkos-Karlsson. That seems familiar, hmmm, where did I hear about that?

5:08 PM:

Look at all those Americans on the ice at one time...

5:13 PM: Claude Giroux fakes out Vasilevskiy by staring back at Brian Boyle several times on the breakaway — and then just sends it in over Vasy’s shoulder. 2-1 Metro.

5:15 PM: Now it’s 3-1 Metro because Ovechkin and Crosby together on a line are SICK.

5:16 PM: Barely seconds later, Kucherov grabs a pass from Karlsson, decides to score and does. 3-2 Metro.

5:17 PM:

5:20 PM: First period over, whew, I’m sweating.

Intermission: This was a beautiful moment. Willie O’Ree was chosen as today’s Community Hero by Mr. Jeff Vinik, and recognized for all of his work.

5:27 PM: Second period is a go. Kucherov is showing off for Ovechkin. 3-3.

5:29 PM: Tavares to Letang, 4-3.

5:31 PM: Is it disturbing that Brayden Point is finding chemistry with Brad Marchand? Also do they call it the short line? 4-4.

5:34 PM: Ah so Carey Price at one end, Holtby at the other. Tavares scored but it was called back for offside. Jon Cooper giggling on the bench, Barry Trotz smirking.

5:40 PM: Eichel scores and does the Auston Matthews “It’s a good goal” celly after it goes in. Lol.

5:41 PM: Ugh. Marchand, 6-4 Atlantic, and the super confused crowd at Amalie Arena cheers.

5:42 PM: KUCHEROV HAT TRICK. 7-4 Atlantic.

I’d write this up but I’m a bit busy right now.

5:50 PM: Time to fold some laundry, back in about 20. We’ll return for Atlantic vs. Pacific.

Results: 7-4, Atlantic.

Pacific vs. Atlantic, 6:30 PM

6:30 PM: Puck Drop. During intermission I had a lot of free time due to Screen Guy needing to climb the rigging and manually detach or attach something, so I wrote up the honor to O’Ree.

6:31 PM: 1-0 Pacific, Rakell puts one in on Vasy. Matthews was trying to get his helmet on, couldn’t defend.

6:37 PM: Eichel at the end of a shift gave up the puck to Boeser, who capitalized right away.

6:39 PM: HNIC pans around to all of the hockey partners and kids. I also appreciate this because not enough credit is given to families for putting up with full-time hockey players. Maybe someday they’ll show a same-sex partner in the stands but I guess I’m not holding my breath.

6:41 PM: Point-Marchand-Green line converts, 2-1, Pacific still on top. Then Vasy makes a great save on Neal at the other end.

6:42 PM: Whew, that save on McDavid. VASY VASY VASY, etc.

6:44 PM: Drew Doughty solves Vasy and it’s 3-1 Pacific. Perhaps the three-forward combo isn’t great at defense, eh Jon Cooper?

6:46 PM: LMAO. Marchand sells a tripping penalty, tries to imply that he was “high sticked” by Wee Gaudreau. One-minute Power Play for Atlantic.

6:47 PM: No goal during the Power Play for Steven, but it was fun to watch.

Hard disagree with this take:

6:52 PM: Carey Price vs. Mike Smith now in goal.

6:54 PM: Despite a weird string attached to Eichel’s sweater that gets tangled in Gaudreau’s skate, the kid gets a goal.

6:56 PM: Marchand is the rat that stirs the drink, apparently. His line with Point and Green convert again, making it 4-2 with 6:20 left.

7:02 PM: Jon Cooper is not great at defense on 3-on-3, I am sensing.

7:03 PM: Rakell gets a second one. Good thing he’s a Duck and we won’t face him much. Whew. 5-2 Pacific, not looking good for Atlantic.

7:06 PM: Coop pulls Price! 4 on 3 to try to get a goal but it’s not looking good —

7:07 PM: Smith really, really wanted that empty net goal. Poor guy needs to practice his shot.

Results: Pacific wins, 5-2!

7:10 PM: Gallant sure has a middle finger up in the air to the Panthers org. Hope they were watching.

7:10 PM: Brock Boeser gets MVP, well deserved. He gets a Honda Clarity Hybrid. Neato.

Also 7:10 PM: I’m out. Thanks for sticking with me, y’all. This has sure been A Minute.