The Central Division beat the Pacific 10-4 in the first semifinal of the 2019 NHL All-Star Game, so they’ll await the winner of the Atlantic vs. Metropolitan Divisions on Saturday night.
With Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns, and Joe Pavelski suiting up for the Pacific, the Sharks-heavy roster certainly stood as the hometown heroes. That made for a fun moment when Karlsson scored the first of his two goals:
Of course, the Pacific team also includes some of the Sharks’ most hated rivals, including the Anaheim Ducks. With that in mind, John Gibson‘s not-quite-Vezina-caliber period (seven goals allowed, just two saves) inspired jeers and Bronx cheers from the Sharks-loving crowd.
The Central Division’s goalies, meanwhile, were pretty fantastic. Pekka Rinne stopped eight of nine shots during his period of play, while Devan Dubnyk authored a ton of impressive stops, including this bit of glove greatness against Connor McDavid:
The Predators probably aren’t thrilled that Rinne had to make this save off of his mask, which opened the door for a Mark Scheifele goal.
As you’d expect from a team that scored 10 goals, the Central sported plenty of standouts, but Gabriel Landeskog might have had the best time, generating a hat trick and one assist. One of his goals was especially impressive:
Can the Central carry that over to win the final round? We’ll find out.