The NHL All-Star Game is once again changing its format, and this time it will showcase the best players in the league in the new three-on-three format that has been used in overtime during regular-season games.
After captains selected their own teams in the 2012 and 2015 All-Star games, the NHL decided to go with a tournament comprised of All-Stars from the NHL's four divisions: the Metropolitan, Atlantic, Central and Pacific.
Each team has 11 members, consisting of six forwards, three defensemen and two goalies. The Atlantic Division and Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference will engage in a 20-minute battle, and the Central Division and Pacific Division of the Western Conference will also play a 20-minute game.
The two winners will play a championship game shortly thereafter. If any of the three games finishes with the score tied, winners will be determined by a shootout.
Here is everything you need to know about Sunday's action, as well as a look at some storylines worth keeping an eye on.
What: NHL All-Star Game
When: Sunday, Jan. 31, 5 p.m. ET
Where: Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee
Watch: NBC Sports Network
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Atlantic Division Roster
|F||Patrice Bergeron||Boston Bruins|
|F||Jaromir Jagr||Florida Panthers|
|F||Leo Komarov||Toronto Maple Leafs|
|F||Dylan Larkin||Detroit Red Wings|
|F||Ryan O'Reilly||Buffalo Sabres|
|F||Steven Stamkos||Tampa Bay Lightning|
|D||Aaron Ekblad||Florida Panthers|
|D||Erik Karlsson||Ottawa Senators|
|D||P.K. Subban||Montreal Canadiens|
|G||Roberto Luongo||Florida Panthers|
|G||Ben Bishop||Tampa Bay Lightning|
Metropolitan Division Roster
|F||Nicklas Backstrom||Washington Capitals|
|F||Claude Giroux||Philadelphia Flyers|
|F||Evgeny Kuznetsov||Washington Capitals|
|F||Evgeni Malkin||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|F||Brandon Saad||Columbus Blue Jackets|
|F||John Tavares||New York Islanders|
|D||Justin Faulk||Carolina Hurricanes|
|D||Kris Letang||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|D||Ryan McDonagh||New York Rangers|
|G||Braden Holtby||Washington Capitals|
|G||Cory Schneider||New Jersey Devils|
Central Division Roster
|F||Jamie Benn||Dallas Stars|
|F||Matt Duchene||Colorado Avalanache|
|F||Patrick Kane||Chicago Blackhawks|
|F||James Neal||Nashville Predators|
|F||Tyler Seguin||Dallas Stars|
|F||Vladimir Tarasenko||St. Louis Blues|
|D||Dustin Byfuglien||Winnipeg Jets|
|D||Roman Josi||Nashville Predators|
|D||Shea Weber||Nashville Predators|
|G||Devan Dubnyk||Minnesota Wild|
|G||Pekka Rinne||Nashville Predators|
Pacific Division Roster
|F||Johnny Gaudreau||Calgary Flames|
|F||Taylor Hall||Edmonton Oilers|
|F||Joe Pavelski||San Jose Sharks|
|F||Corey Perry||Anaheim Ducks|
|F||John Scott||Arizona Coyotes|
|F||Daniel Sedin||Vancouver Canucks|
|D||Brent Burns||San Jose Sharks|
|D||Drew Doughty||Los Angeles Kings|
|D||Mark Giordano||Calgary Flames|
|G||John Gibson||Anaheim Ducks|
|G||Jonathan Quick||Los Angeles Kings|
Top Storylines to Watch
Goaltenders Under Severe Pressure
All-Star games are noted for their lack of defense.
There's no reason to think it will be any different this time around.
In last year's All-Star game in Columbus, Ohio, Team Toews defeated Team Foligno 17-12. In the three previous All-Star games, the average score was 11.6-10.
There's little hitting in an All-Star game, and that part will likely not change in Nashville. It's simply too dangerous in a three-on-three game to try and lay a heavy body check on an opponent. If a player takes a run and misses, that makes it even easier for opponents to find enough open ice to create the scoring opportunities that are so frequent in three-on-three.
So the goaltenders are going to be under the gun.
The likelihood is they will have to face an array of breakaways and two-on-one opportunities.
Goalies Ben Bishop, Roberto Luongo, Pekka Rinne, Devan Dubnyk, Braden Holtby, Cory Schneider, Jonathan Quick and John Gibson may not get the same thrill out of playing in the All-Star Game the forwards and defensemen do because of the pressure they will be under.
How will Jaromir Jagr Fare?
The Florida Panthers have been one of the top stories in the league this year, rising from non-playoff performer last year to first place in the Atlantic Division this time around.
Panthers general manager Dale Tallon has assembled a team that includes many bright, young stars such as Aaron Ekblad, Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov, but it's the 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr who is second on the team in scoring with 43 points.
He is representing the Panthers along with Ekblad and Luongo. Playing two three-on-three games could wear him down.
Will Jagr give it his all, or will he just go through the motions? After all, he has the majority of the second half of the season still to play.
This format involves a lot of skating, and it could wear out Jagr quickly.
Kane's Time to Shine
No player has had a more dramatic or explosive season than Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Kane has always been known for his ability to make key plays in clutch situations, and he has been one of the most dangerous playoff performers in the league since entering in 2007.
The 2015-16 season has been his finest so far. Through 53 games, Kane leads the league in goals with 30, assists with 43 and is obviously heading the league's scoring list with 73 points.
He is also first in the league with an eye-opening 14 power-play goals, and he has had six game-winning goals for the Central Division-leading Blackhawks.
The three-on-three competition should be perfect for the Central Division captain. Look for Kane to put on a show with his dazzling moves and lightning-quick hands.
The John Scott Factor
John Scott should probably not be participating in an All-Star game because he does not have the kind of ability that warrants a place among the best players in the game.
However, he was voted as an All-Star captain by the fans, so he is set to take part in the showcase.
Scott was elected as a member of the Arizona Coyotes but was soon traded to the Montreal Canadiens. He has scored one assist in 11 NHL games this season.
Scott is an old-fashioned tough guy, and there are very few of his kind left in the league. While he may not have the talent of a top NHL player, he has shown he can handle himself with his fists and that he understands his role in the game.
He's also a smart and thoughtful man, as demonstrated by a recent Players' Tribune article, and he does not want to embarrass himself. Will he be able to keep up in a three-on-three game?
He may do better than most expect. Look for his Pacific Division teammates to help set him up as much as possible.
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