NASHVILLE, Tenn. - As the clock ticked down below one minute remaining in the first period of the Western Conference game at the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, John Scott and Patrick Kane found themselves at impasse at center ice. Kane had just received a pass from Central Division teammate Jamie Benn when Scott laid into him with a hit, and took the puck the other way for a breakaway.
"Well, I didn't mean to hit him," Scott explained after the All-Star Game on Sunday. "He kind of cut into me, and I knew I was going to him, so I finished it off. I definitely hit him."
It was just the second hit in any NHL All-Star Game since 2003, with the other one coming from Scott Hartnell in the 2012 All-Star Game. Kane said he did not see the hit coming.
"It was unexpected. I don't know if I expected too much hitting in the All-Star Game," Kane said, "let alone 3-on-3 in the All-Star Game, so he caught me off guard a little bit." Though he didn't expect the hit, Kane wasn't bothered by the physicality. "This whole weekend's about fun, and having a good time."
Following the hit, Scott took the puck for a breakaway on Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, who stopped him. The puck then went back up the boards to Kane, who took the puck down the ice and scored a goal to tie the game at three goals a piece. Immediately following Kane's goal, he charged at Scott, and the two dropped the gloves and wrestled around a little bit in a "fight"
"He came right after me after he scored," Scott said. "He's like, 'Let's go,' so we fought. We've wrestled around in the past, so I just kinda ducked a little bit. It was fun."
"I don't know if he was expecting me to drop the gloves with him, it was a fun little moment," Kane said. He later added, "I think that whole sequence with the [the hit] ... me going back the other way and scoring a goal, and the fight after will be something pretty cool for people to play over and over again."
It was another fun moment between the two former teammates from a weekend filled with them. During Friday's media day, Scott joked that Kane should "stay away from me" because "I don't like him." Then, during Saturday night's Skills Competition introductions, Scott laughed in Kane's face as the Nashville crowd booed him.
Other players enjoyed the fight as well. Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien joked after the game, "Kane would have suckered him good if they really went at it."
Kane said he was impressed with the way Scott handled the whole weekend, calling it great for his family. He said the way Scott handled the fans and media, and in addition to Scott's performance in the game were great. "I think a lot of the guys enjoyed him [being] here," Kane said. "I'm sure he went over with a lot of people and gained a lot of fans while he was here."
Scott had two goals in the Western Conference game, and his Pacific Division team won the championship game over the Atlantic Division, 1-0. Scott was chosen All-Star MVP by an overwhelming write-in fan vote, earning him a brand new Honda Pilot. He and the Pacific Division team also won a $1-million prize for winning the championship, but Scott said he and his teammates had not decided how they would split the money yet.
Scott's wife is pregnant with twins, and is expected to deliver on Tuesday. He will go back to the AHL's St. John's Ice Caps, but the AHL All-Star Break will allow him four more days off this week. He said with the All-Star Game win and the potential of two new children, this could be the best week of his life.
"I don't think you can top this."
Adam Hess is a staff writer at Second City Hockey. You can follow him on Twitter at @FeathersInDaHat.