The first event of the 2012 NHL Skills Competition in Ottawa is in the books. For tonight, rookie Carl Hagelin is the fastest skater among the NHL's best.
The first race, a backwards skate down the length of the ice, was won by Kris Letang of the PIttsburgh Penguins. Letang put some distance between he and Brian Campbell on the first turn to take the win home for Team Alfredsson. In the second race between goalies, the LA Kings Jonathan Quick defeated Jimmy Howard of the Red Wings by a stride to put Team Alfredsson up two points to none.
The rookie race was won by Michigan alum Carl Hagelin, who's had a tremendous season with the first place New York Rangers. Hagelin went hard into the last turn and almost took a spill, but he held on to edge out Colin Greening. In a race between two Americans, Phil Kessel beat out Keith Yandle after the Coyotes' Yandle slipped on the final turn to give Kessel an opening.
The hometown hero Erik Karlsson, a defenseman, blew by veteran Marian Hossa in the final race of the first round. Karlsson took a big lead on the turns to give the Ottawa crowd a thrill.
Hagelin and Greening posted the fastest times for their teams, and the rookies raced again in the final. Hagelin once again beat Greening, as he burst through the final turn to win comfortably. After the first event, Team Alfredsson has a 4-2 lead.
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