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2023 NHL All-Star Game/Sunrise

Matthew Tkachuk: MVP of Hometown NHL All-Star Game

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Matthew Tkachuk of the Florida Panthers scores against Metropolitan goaltender Ilya Sorokin (New York Islanders) during the NHL All Star Game in Sunrise on Saturday afternoon. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

SUNRISE — Matthew Tkachuk of the Florida Panthers played gracious host throughout NHL All-Star in his new backyard.

Only he was not all that hospitable on Saturday afternoon.

Tkachuk helped lead the Atlantic Division team to the championship with four goals in the two games played at FLA Live Arena.

In the title game, Tkachuk scored the first goal of the game against the Central Division as the Atlantic won 7-5.

Afterward, he was named MVP and given the keys to an electric blue Honda Pilot which appears to match the Panthers’ reverse retro jerseys.

Tkachuk started off playing with his younger brother Brady and Florida teammate Sasha Barkov on his line.

”Being able to play with Barky and with Brady on the same line, it was fun from the start,” Tkachuk said. “We had a pretty funny group on the bench and that made for a pretty fun day. … For (Barkov) to be able to put up with myself and Brady all day, he should have been MVP.”

Matthew Tkachuk ended up with four goals and seven points in the two games played; Barkov had no goals and four assists.

In the opening game against the Metropolitan, Tkachuk had a hat trick as he scored on the first shift of the game off a pass from Barkov.

The duo connected for an early goal to open the second game as well.

“It was actually fun, and I wasn’t expecting that,” Barkov said as Tkachuk recoiled in mock exasperation.

“Two great guys — off ice especially they are great guys, but on the ice it was fun. There were no nerves because we were having so much fun. I think all of my passes were just to give them the puck. I don’t think I touched the puck in the offensive zone.”

PANTHERS ON DECK

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING AT FLORIDA PANTHERS

  • When: Monday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM 2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
  • Season Series (Tampa Bay leads 2-0): Lightning 3, @Panthers 2 OT (Oct. 22); Lightning 4, Panthers 1 (Dec. 10)
  • Last season: Split four regular season games; Tampa won second-round playoff series 4-0
  • All-time regular season series: Florida leads 73-50-19, 10 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Thursday vs. San Jose Sharks, 7 p.m.

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