"The last ride, I guess," said Elias Pettersson when asked about lining up alongside Bo Horvat for the Pacific Division at the NHL's All-Star Weekend.
Pettersson and Horvat were together on the same line for the Pacific with Kevin Fiala of the Los Angeles Kings and clearly wanted to give their time as teammates a proper send-off.
Horvat was mic'd up and the microphone caught Horvat and Pettersson saying, "One last time?" to each other before their 3-on-3 game against the Central Division.
"Let's at least try to connect for one goal," said Horvat. They connected for three.
Well, sort of.
Horvat set up Pettersson in front of the net early in the game and Pettersson made a fantastic move, faking between his legs to draw a pokecheck from Connor Hellebuyck, then going to his backhand to hoist the puck upstairs.
It was a fantastic goal and there was so much joy on the faces of both Pettersson and Horvat as they celebrated.
That's what made it particularly frustrating when Peter DeBoer, coaching for the Central, challenged the goal for offside.
It turned out Fiala barely stepped over the blue line before the puck and the goal was overturned, but it's embarrassing that there was even a coach's challenge at the All-Star Game. Offside challenges are one of the most frustrating elements of NHL games — bringing that frustration to the All-Star Game, which is supposed to be a celebration of the game, shouldn't happen.
Fortunately, Pettersson and Horvat weren't done. They tied up the score 2-2 on a 2-on-1 not long after, making sure that there was no doubt about whether it was offside or not.
Horvat sent the saucer pass over to Pettersson, who neatly picked the puck out of the air to send it past Hellebuyck.
“We talked about it: no matter what happens let’s make sure we score a goal together, and we did it,” said Pettersson after the game.
"I'm glad we got to connect on a goal today and give it one last shot. I'm going to miss him a lot," said Horvat.
As an added nice touch, the arena played the Canucks' goal song, "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds.
Pettersson added one more goal, though Horvat didn't get an assist this time. Instead, he was the decoy, going to the net on the 2-on-1. With the passing lane taken away, Pettersson instead kept and sniped, sending a snap shot over the blocker of Juuse Saros.
Pettersson's goals weren't enough for the Pacific Division to beat the Central, as they fell 6-4 in the shortened two-period game. That meant the end of the night for Pettersson and Horvat and the end of their one last ride.