Athletes from numerous sports leagues have been participating in various video game competitions in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the NHL has thrown its hat into the ring with the NHL Player Gaming Challenge.
In the third matchup of the challenge, Nashville Predators wing Filip Forsberg swept Colorado Avalanche center J.T. Compher in a three-game series on Saturday:
Forsberg won the first game 5-2 before taking down the next two by scores of 5-3 and 6-4.
He got on the board early in Game 1 due to a turnover:
Compher held his own on the offensive end, including this goal from Joonas Donskoi to even the score:
But Forsberg's offensive onslaught was too strong, most notably when he finished Game 1 with three goals in the final 6:10. That effort helped Forsberg win Game 2 despite letting up three third-period goals that turned a comfortable 5-0 lead into a tenuous 5-3 edge. Game 3 went Forsberg's way after two goals in a 28-second span midway through the third period led to a 6-4 advantage.
Per Sam Ficarro of Sporting News, Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk won the first matchup over Noah Hanifin and older brother Matthew Tkachuk of the Calgary Flames.
The Dallas Stars' Stephen Johns and Jamie Oleksiak defeated Zach Aston-Reese and Bryan Rust of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second series.
Much like the NBA2K Players Tournament and the MLB the Show 20 Players League, the NHL Player Gaming Challenge's goal is to bring athletes together, play their respective sport's most notable game (in this case, NHL 20) and donate money to charity.
The NHL Public Relations team released the following information on tournament logistics on April 23:
"Over the course of four weeks, beginning April 30, each Club will be represented by one or two current players and featured in a one-time matchup against another Club. Weekly matchups, storylines and broadcast details will be revealed at the beginning of each week."
Furthermore, a combined $100,000 donation will be made to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 relief efforts by the National Hockey League Foundation and Electronic Arts.
Los Angeles Kings play-by-play announcer Alex Faust is serving as the challenge's host. All games are airing with NHL Network on-air programming or the league's Twitch. Games are also streaming on the NHL's digital and social platforms.