The 2016 NHL Skills Competition pitted stars from across the league against each other in a battle between conferences. Players showcased their speed, strength and shot in a variety of challenges. Team East pulled away with an early lead and never looked back, cruising to a 29-12 victory over the West.
Fastest Skater: Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings
Detroit's Dylan Larkin blew past Roman Josi in his heat and went on to break Mike Gartner's record during a solo lap as well. Larkin also earned an extra point for Team East by recording the fastest time in the heats. It was certainly a memorable All-Star debut for the young rookie.
Head to Head Results: East 5 - West 1
- East: Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings - 12.8 secs vs West: Roman Josi, Nashville Predators - 13.5 secs
- East: Brandon Saad, Columbus Blue Jackets - 13.6 secs vs Matt Duschene, Colorado Avalanche - 14.0 secs
- East: Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators - 14.6 secs vs Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers - 13.6 secs
- East: Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins - 14.0 secs vs West: Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets - 14.2 secs
NHL Breakaway Challenge: P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens
This was arguably the best event of the night and each participant brought something different to the plate.
Subban impressed the crowd on his first attempt by demonstrating excellent hand eye coordination on a move that involved juggling, kicking and then back handing the puck on net. He then wowed the fans in Nashville with his creativity, channelling his inner Jagr on his second try.
It was funny:))) I didn't know he's going to do it. P.K.-my little brother :) pic.twitter.com/XFvVjbigWh— Jaromir Jagr (@68Jagr) January 31, 2016
Other memorable moves, included James Neal assist on Dierks Bentley's goal, Evgeny Kuznetsov replicating Alex Ovechkin's memorable All-Star move (complete with hat and sunglasses), a goalie fight which allowed Jagger Burns to score off a nifty pass from Nathan Pavelski and a surprise appearance from Chewbacca.
YES BRENT BURNS. YES. pic.twitter.com/huPUI5SV0r— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) January 31, 2016
The score was 6-1 Team East, after the second event.
Accuracy Contest: John Tavares, New York Islanders
The Islanders captain made quick work of blasting through all four targets and earned an extra point for Team East by putting up the fastest time in the heats. Only Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin came close to beating Tavares mark at this event.
Team East took a 9-3 lead, after the third event.
Head to Head Results: East 3 - West 2
- East: John Tavares, New York Islanders - 12.2 secs vs West: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks - 20 secs
- East: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins - 23.3 secs vs West: Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks - 14 secs
- East: Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers - 17.2 secs vs Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks - 13.7 secs
- East: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins - 16.1 secs vs West: Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars - 16.6 secs
Skills Challenge Relay: Team West
Players had to shoot, skate and stickhandle their way through the NHL's classic obstacle course. Team West made up lost ground in this event, taking two out of a possible three points, to narrow the deficit between them and Team East.
The team of Matt Duchene, Mark Giordano, James Neal, Vladimir Tarasenko, Jamie Benn, Roman Josi, Tyler Seguin and Devan Dubnyk posted the fastest time, completing the challenge in 1:27.6.
Head to Head Results: East 1 - West 2
- East, Relay Result One: 1:38.4 and Relay Result Two: 1:44.4
- Team East One: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins; Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers; Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators; Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning; Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals; Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes; Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers; Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals
- West, Relay Result One: 2:15.3 and Relay Result Two: 1:27.6
- Team West One: Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers; Shea Weber, Nashville Predators; Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings; Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks; Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks; Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames; Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
Team West cut the lead to five, but Team East lead 10-5 after the fourth event.
Hardest Shot Contest: Shea Weber, Nashville Predators
The rest of the competition was no match for Shea Weber. The Predators' captain blasted home the winning shot at a speed of a 108.1 mph. The home town crowd's cheers won Weber an extra shot to try and break his own mark, but his third attempt clocked in at 107.8 mph.
Both the fans and players also gave John Scott a rousing applause and a standing ovation, when it was his turn to shoot.
Head to Head Results: East 2 - West 3
- First Attempt
- Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers - 91.9 mph vs West: Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets - 99.6 mph
- East: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins - 97.0 mph vs West: Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars - 91.2 mph
- East: Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning - 98.5 mph vs West: John Scott - 92.6 mph
- East: P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens - 102.3 mph vs West: Shea Weber, Nashville Predators - 105.3 mph
- Second Attempt
- East: Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers - 93.4 mph vs West: Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets - 99.4 mph
- East: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins - 94.1 mph vs West: Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars - 95.0 mph
- East: Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning - 103.9 mph vs West: John Scott - 95.9 mph
- East: P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens - 101.3 mph vs West: Shea Weber, Nashville Predators - 108.1mph
Team East still lead by a score of 12-8.
The NHL shootout was utter chaos, with every player taking at least one shot against the opposing conference's goalie. Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo was exceptional at this task, stopping every single shot that came his way.
Meanwhile, John Scott pulled off a superb spinorama that nearly beat a sliding Cory Schneider.
Luongo's perfect outing combined with Team East's lack of mercy towards the Anaheim Ducks' John Gibson, led to a dominating win for Team East by a final score of 29-12.