Fri, 31 Mar 2023

Blues' Vladimir Tarasenko paces Central past Pacific

Field Level Media
05 Feb 2023, 07:40 GMT+10

St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko collected one goal and three assists to lead the Central Division to a 6-4 victory over the Pacific Division in the first semifinal of the All-Star Game tournament on Saturday in Sunrise, Fla.

Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller recorded two goals and an assist and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Seth Jones added one and two, respectively.

Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche scored two goals for the Central.

The key for the Central was its goaltenders. Winnipeg Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck made seven saves and Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros turned aside 11 of 13 shots.

Elias Pettersson of the Vancouver Canucks scored two goals and San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson recorded a goal and an assist for the Pacific. Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid also tallied in the loss.

Logan Thompson of the the Vegas Golden Knights and Stuart Skinner of the Oilers each stopped four of seven shots.

The Central squad will face the winner of the second semifinal between the Atlantic and Metropolitan divisions in the championship game later on Saturday. The winning team will receive a $1 million prize.

The Pacific had the early momentum, but MacKinnon -- sprung on a breakaway by Colorado teammate Mikko Rantanen -- converted his side's first shot to open the scoring at the 3:15 mark.

McDavid replied 33 seconds later when he completed a give-and-go with Karlsson, but Jones restored Central's lead at 6:52 after taking advantage of a turnover.

Pettersson again tied the game by finishing a two-on-one rush pass from former teammate Bo Horvat 63 seconds later. MacKinnon added his second of the game with 1:21 remaining in the period put the Central ahead a third time.

Keller finished another odd-man rush 18 seconds into the second period to make it a 4-2. Moments after Saros made a flurry of stops, Tarasenko finished a rush up the ice at 5:32 to extend the Central lead to 5-2.

Pettersson and Karlsson both scored to make it a one-goal game with 2:33 remaining, but Keller rounded out the scoring by finishing a pass from Jones with 1:53 left.

--Field Level Media

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