Nashville is well-known for being the center of the country-music scene, but for one weekend, it was the center of the NHL's universe, as it played host to the 61st All-Star Game.
The league decided to mix things up this year, and deviate from the successful Captain-vs.-Captain format that had been successful in recent All-Star Games. Instead, the ever-popular 3-on-3 overtime format was utilized, with 11 players each representing their respective divisions.
The Eastern Conference divisions each met for a brief 3-on-3 semifinal matchup, followed by a 3-on-3 Western Conference division matchup. Each winner proceeded to the championship round, with $1 million on the line. All three games were split into two 10-minute periods, with the league's best given plenty of room to showcase the talents that got them to the All-Star game.
Metropolitan vs. Atlantic
Thanks to second-period goals from Aaron Ekblad and P.K. Subban, the Atlantic Division All-Stars were able to come back and top the Metropolitan Division All-Stars, 4-3.
Kris Letang gave the Metro a 1-0 lead just 1:01 into the game, while Erik Karlsson tied it at 3:47. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jaromir Jagr traded goals before the first period ended, while Evgeni Malkin gave Team Metro a 3-2 lead just 25 seconds into the second period with a ridiculous spin-o-rama goal.
Cory Schneider saved 10 of 12 pucks, while Braden Holtby saved 8 of 10. Roberto Luongo made eight saves on 10 shots, while Ben Bishop saved 11 of 12.
Claude Giroux was held off the scoresheet for the Metro, but he recorded a takeaway and two shots on goal in 7:52 of ice time.
Pacific vs. Central
The All-Star Game lived up to its high-offensive reputation in the second game, as the Pacific Division All-Stars cruised to a 9-6 win over the Central Division All-Stars.
Taylor Hall, Daniel Sedin and John Scott each scored two goals for Team Pacific, while James Neal netted two for Team Central. Patrick Kane, Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Seguin and Roman Josi also scored for Team Central, while Joe Pavelski, Johnny Gaudreau and Drew Doughty all scored for Team Pacific.
As Kane scored his goal with 33 seconds to play in the first period, he and Scott tangled up and dropped the gloves, in a mock fight. The two previously served as teammates during Scott's time with Chicago from 2010 through 2012, and Scott had been seen laughing when Kane was booed during player introductions at Saturday's skills competition.
Jonathan Quick saved 4 of 7 shots for Team Pacific, while John Gibson saved 7 of 10. Pekka Rinne saved 5 of 8 for Team Central, while Devan Dubnyk made eight saves on 13 shots.
Atlantic vs. Pacific
Corey Perry scored the lone goal in Team Pacific's 1-0 win over Team Atlantic in the championship round, with Sedin and Brent Burns each earning assists.
Luongo saved all 12 shots he faced for Team Atlantic, while Bishop saved three of four. Quick saved all 10 shots he faced for Team Pacific, while Gibson saved all seven shots he faced.
Scott earned the All-Star MVP honors, thanks to his two-goal performance in Team Pacific's first game. He was rewarded with a 2016 Honda Pilot, while he and the other 10 members of Team Pacific earned $1 million to divide among themselves.
Rob Riches is a contributor to Flyerdelphia and Sports Talk Philly. Follow him on Twitter @Riches61