Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals will look to lead the Metropolitan Division to its second consecutive NHL All-Star Game title Sunday afternoon.
The defending champion of the three-on-three tournament, featuring a team from each NHL division, begins with the Central Division squaring off against the Pacific Division at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.
The Eastern Conference showdown between the Atlantic and Metropolitan Divisions will follow, and then the championship match will be held between the two victors.
The Metropolitan and Pacific have one title each since the three-on-three format was instituted in 2016. The Central is the only division that hasn't qualified for a final.
Date: Sunday, January 28
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Aleksander Barkov, Florida
Jack Eichel, Buffalo
Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay
Brad Marchand, Boston
Auston Matthews, Toronto
Brayden Point, Tampa Bay
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay
Mike Green, Detroit
Erik Karlsson, Ottawa
Carey Price, Montreal
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay
Patrick Kane, Chicago
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado
Brayden Schenn, St. Louis
Tyler Seguin, Dallas
Eric Staal, Minnesota
Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg
John Klingberg, Dallas
Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis
P.K. Subban, Nashville
Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg
Pekka Rinne, Nashville
Josh Bailey, New York Islanders
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia
Brian Boyle, New Jersey
Alex Ovechkin, Washington
John Tavares, New York Islanders
Noah Hanifin, Carolina
Zach Werenski, Columbus
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh
Braden Holtby, Washington
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Brock Boeser, Vancouver
Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary
Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles
Connor McDavid, Edmonton
James Neal, Vegas
Rickard Rakell, Anaheim
Brent Burns, San Jose
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona
Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas
Mike Smith, Calgary
Metropolitan vs. Atlantic
The Metropolitan roster contains some of the biggest stars in hockey, with Crosby, Ovechkin, John Tavares of the New York Islanders and Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers taking the ice Sunday.
However, a win won't come easy for the Met All-Stars, as they face the team with four players participating on home ice.
The quartet, headlined by Steven Stamkos and NHL points leader Nikita Kucherov, comes from the best team in the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Stamkos, Kucherov, Brayden Point and Andrei Vasilevskiy have plenty of motivation to succeed Sunday while putting on a show.
Goalie Vasilevskiy leads the NHL in wins, with 29. The 23-year-old boasts a 2.18 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage that the Atlantic hopes will translate to the three-on-three format.
Vasilevskiy's task won't be easy, as he will face the league's top scorer in Ovechkin and the fifth-best scorer in Tavares. Both of them are expected to pelt a flurry of shots at the net.
For all the star power the Metropolitan has, the Atlantic can match it and could pull out a win thanks to the chemistry between the three Lightning forwards on its roster.
The Buffalo Sabres' Jack Eichel and Toronto Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews are two of the top young stars in the NHL, and since they won't be able to break out on a bigger stage at the Olympics this year, they could use the All-Star Game as a catalyst to further their burgeoning stardom on a national level.
The key for the Jon Cooper-coached Atlantic is to stop the Metropolitan from getting out to a fast start that creates momentum. The Met All-Stars did that a year ago on the way to its 10-6 semifinal victory. Crosby, Tavares and Ovechkin all scored in the second period of the win, with Cam Atkinson and Wayne Simmonds contributing two goals apiece in the contest as well.
Prediction: Atlantic 6, Metropolitan 4
Central vs. Pacific
Despite having experienced stars on its roster in past years like the Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane and P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators, the Central has fallen to the Pacific in two straight years.
Kane and Subban are once again at the forefront of the Central roster, with Brayden Schenn of the St. Louis Blues, Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon and Dallas' Tyler Seguin among the supporting cast.
But there's one superstar who could rise above the rest in the battle of Western Conference foes, and that's Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid.
Subban and fellow defensemen Alex Pietrangelo of the Blues and John Klingberg of the Dallas Stars must focus on containing McDavid when they are on the ice. If that doesn't happen, the Oilers captain could win the matchup himself.
The Pacific also contains an edge in goal, with Marc-Andre Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights setting up in between the pipes. The former Penguin has a goals-against average of 1.77 and a .942 save percentage in 18 games for the expansion side.
Although McDavid and Fleury are expected to feature in key roles, the difference-makers in the Western Conference showdown could be the defensemen.
Five of the six defenders on the Central and Pacific rosters have 25 or more assists, with Klingberg leading the group at 42. The only player in that collection with under 25 assists is the Arizona Coyotes' Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Prediction: Pacific 7, Central 5
Final: Atlantic vs. Pacific
The NHL would love nothing more than to see some of its top young stars in Eichel, Matthews and McDavid showcased while the host team's division is in the All-Star Game final.
The duel for All-Star Game supremacy could create one of the top moments of the hockey season and give the NHL some positive press with the Olympics and its lack of NHL stars around the corner.
The slight edge goes to the Atlantic in this projected final because of the four Lightning players' efforts to win the first of what they hope will be many trophies on home ice.
Prediction: Atlantic 8, Pacific 6
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.