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Quick Strikes: Nikita Kucherov wins scoring race at All-Star Weekend with hat trick

Willie O’Ree honored by the Lightning organization.

2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game - Atlantic v Metropolitan
Nikita Kucherov #86 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates a goal during the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game between the Atlantic Division and the Metropolitan Divison at Amalie Arena on January 28, 2018 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Bolts

Tampa Bay Lightning sniper Nikita Kucherov led the All-Star tournament in goal scoring with a hat trick in the Semi-Finals against the Metro Division.

First goal: a classic writer from a breakaway pass by teammate-to-be Erik Karlsson.

Second goal: Karlsson was replaced by Steven Stamkos on the play but it still looked good, I guess.

Third goal: Kucherov sccored a goal on a move I didn’t think was possible for him. He sccored without taking a shot! (He previously did this on a shootout goal.)

After spending the weekend with the AHL Syracuse Crunch, Louis Domingue is heading back up to back up in Tampa Bay. [CBS Sports]

“As anticipated, Domingue will rejoin the team after the All-Star break, and serve as the backup to Andrei Vasilevskiy while Peter Budaj (leg) remains on injured reserve. Still, it’s unlikely the 25-year-old is given the starting nod very often, as Vasilevskiy’s play has been among the best in the NHL.”

Willie O’Ree was honored at the All-Star Game with the Lightning Foundation’s Community Hero grant for breaking the hockey color barrier in 1958. [Raw Charge]

“Although O’Ree is not a resident of Tampa Bay, this award was given in honor of his service to the game of hockey, awarding him for the perseverance to break into an all-white sport as the very first black player in 1958, playing for the Boston Bruins.”

Kucherov’s hat trick may have propelled the Atlantic Division to the Final round of the All-Star tournament, but Detroit Red Wing Mike Green’s two goals weren’t enough to beat the eventual winner, the Pacific Division. [NHL dot com]

“The Pacific Division, however, won the 3-on-3 All-Star Tournament for the second time in three years, downing the Atlantic 5-2 in the Final.

“Vancouver rookie Brock Boeser captured MVP honors in an online fan vote, joining Mario Lemieux (1985 in Calgary) as the only rookie to do so at an All-Star Game. Boeser tallied the game-winning goal in the Pacific’s 5-2 semifinal win over the Central and added a goal and an assist in the Final.”

Psst. read the comments!

The best and worst of the All-Star Weekend by friend-of-the-site Greg Wyshynski. [ESPN]

“The New Jersey Devils forward was the beating heart of All-Star Weekend, as a late addition to the team after Taylor Hall injured his hand. Boyle, who has battled chronic myeloid leukemia since last September, was celebrated by his teammates and received roaring ovations from the Tampa Bay Lightning fans in attendance, as he played for the Bolts for three seasons.”

The Prospects

On the night of the NHL’s All-Star Game, it was also the first day of the AHL’s All-Star Weekend festivities. Sunday: the Skills Competition.

Here are some highlights of Mitchell Stephens representing the blue, orange, and white.

Hustle!

Meep! Meep!

Sneaky.

And finish it off with an interview! (Hi, Lukas!)

(Keep your eyes open for some Syracuse Crunch recaps at 9am today... You didn’t hear it from me!)

The Game

The NHL announced a few things during the All-Star Weekend, the first of which being that the fine city of San Jose will be hosting the 2019 All-Star festivities. More sun!!! [Fear the Fin]

“As announced during the current All-Star Weekend, San Jose will be hosting the 2019 NHL All-Star Game at SAP Center. The Sharks have only hosted once previously, more than 20 years ago in 1997. The All-Star weekend festivities will run Jan. 25-27, 2019.”

P.K. Subban mic’d up at the All-Star Weekend concert. Enough said.

Wes McCauley was back with his elaborate calls at the All-Star Game, and his used his powers for evil against future Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Karlsson. [SB Nation]

Jaromir Jagr will be placed on waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract. Sad face. [SB Nation] [Matchsticks and Gasoline]

“The Calgary Flames have placed forward Jaromir Jagr on waivers Sunday, reports TSN’s Bob McKenzie. His NHL career is likely over unless another team steps up to claim the forward, who is on a one-year, $1 million contract. The other 30 teams will have until noon ET on Monday to decide whether to place claims on the future Hall of Famer.”

Highlight of the Night: two good American boys showing off the NHL’s review policy with an amazing goal celebration. Auston told Jack to do the move if he scored right after Karlsson’s no-goal.