The 2018 NHL Skills competition has come and gone, with some surprising winners. Maybe the biggest moment of the night came during the Save Streak competition, where Marc-Andre Fleury shut out the competition with a handful of acrobatic saves to take home the event.
Other moments, like Alex Ovechkin breaking the century mark and the new Puck Control Relay causing some fun times made the night quite the exciting one in Tampa Bay. Take a look below for all of the play by play of the event as we roll on through this All-Star weekend!
Accuracy Shooting - Brock Boeser wins!
And the last event of the night is here! The event is a bit different this year, as the LED targets make another appearance to randomize the event. The players have to hit all five targets before the timer stops, so the new wrinkle adds a bit of variety!
Surprisingly, Boeser — a rookie! — won the event for the first time ever! Not bad! Veteran Boyle was nearly the winner, but the young star beat him out by half a second.
- Brock Boeser: 11.136 seconds
- Brian Boyle: 11.626 seconds
- James Neal: 14.262 seconds
- Sidney Crosby: 15.851 seconds
- Steven Stamkos: 21.923 seconds
- Blake Wheeler: 22.531 seconds
- Brad Marchand: 44.692 seconds
- Anze Kopitar: 50.844 seconds
Hardest Shot - Alex Ovechkin wins!
One of the more popular All-Star events is the Hardest Shot. Three-time champion Shea Weber isn’t here, but there are still some heavy hitters in the lineup. The premise is easy: shoot the puck hardest on the net, and win!
It took until the last shooter, but Ovechkin broke the century mark! All of those slap shots from the circles on the power play have paid off!
Alex Ovechkin is the first forward to win the hardest shot contest since 2002 (Sergei Fedorov).— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) January 28, 2018
Alex Ovechkin wins the Hardest Shot Competition with a 101.3 MPH attempt! pic.twitter.com/laC4zWmEJY— Ian Oland (@ianoland) January 28, 2018
- Alex Ovechkin: 98.8 MPH
- John Klingberg: 96.6 MPH
- P.K. Subban: 95.5 MPH
- Steven Stamkos: 95.2 MPH
- Brent Burns: 88 MPH
- Alex Ovechkin: 101.3 MPH
- P.K. Subban: 98.7 MPH
- John Klingberg: 97.6 MPH
- Steven Stamkos: 95.9 MPH
- Brent Burns: 92.4 MPH
Puck Control Relay - Johnny Gaudreau wins!
Here’s a familiar event for all of you All-Star watchers. The puck control relay makes players dangle in and out of small spaces and weave through targets, but the new aspect involves gates and openings of different heights where players have to flip pucks through. Should be another fun and new experience!
Gaudreau, who went first, set a high bar of less than 25 seconds that no one could reach, despite there being some good attempts at cheating the system from Karlsson and Seguin.
- Johnny Gaudreau: 24.650 seconds
- John Tavares: 28.242 seconds
- Connor McDavid: 29.220 seconds
- Patrick Kane: 32.792 seconds
- Alexander Barkov: 33.233 seconds
- Erik Karlsson: 37.417 seconds
- Tyler Seguin: 39.078 seconds
- Auston Matthews: 44.344 seconds
Save Streak - Marc-Andre Fleury wins!
The goaltender event is here. Usually, a shootout or a breakaway challenge is in this spot, but this year the NHL is focusing more on giving goalies a chance to shine. Longest save streak by a goaltender wins this one, and we’ve got some stiff competition here.
P.K. Subban, of course, got in on the fun as a shooter, though Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t deterred.
Fleury won the night, literally and figuratively, by putting up 14 consecutive saves... with Let It Go playing in the background.
They say the goaltenders got to pick the music during this competition. Apparently Fleury picked the theme from "Frozen."— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) January 28, 2018
- Marc-Andre Fleury: 14 saves
- Pekka Rinne: 13 saves
- Henrik Lundqvist: 5 saves
- Connor Hellebuyck: 3 saves
- Andrei Vasilevskiy: 3 saves
Passing Challenge - Alex Pietrangelo wins!
This challenge has some new elements, with an LED light randomly changing at intervals and ending with everyone’s favorite mini net challenge! It’s quite a hard competition, with players having to thread the needle often.
To everyone’s surprise, Pietrangelo — a defenseman — had the most accurate shots of the night as he coasted to an easy win. Players got better as the event went on, with the exception of Drew Doughty, who posted a minute more than Pietrangelo.
P is for passing and also Pietrangelo pic.twitter.com/SGZeaWkaSJ— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) January 28, 2018
- Alex Pietrangelo, 46.610
- Eric Staal, 54.679
- Kris Letang, 1:00.015
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson, 1:04.530
- Brayden Schenn, 1:05.951
- Claude Giroux, 1:07.419
- Nikita Kucherov, 1:39.562
- Drew Doughty, 1:47.415
Fastest Skater - Connor McDavid wins!
8th round: Connor McDavid just barely beats it out with a 13.454 second time! The Oilers captain, of course, keeps his crown.
7th round: Jack Eichel has made it close, but a 13.828 second time won’t do it.
6th round: Nathan MacKinnon clocks a 14.056 second time.
5th round: Josh Bailey from the New York Islanders gives us a 14.413 second time.
4th round: Noah Hanifin clocks in at 14.317 seconds for the Hurricanes.
3rd round: Rickard Rakell goes at 14.181 seconds, sitting in second now.
2nd round: Columbus gets on the board with Zach Werenski and his 14.250 second pace.
1st round: Lightning forward Brayden Point got us started with a 13.579 second time.
- Connor McDavid: 13.454 seconds
- Brayden Point: 13.579 seconds
- Jack Eichel, 13.828 seconds
- Nathan MacKinnon, 14.056 seconds
- Rickard Rakell, 14.181 seconds
- Zach Werenski, 14.250 seconds
- Noah Hanifin, 14.317 seconds
- Josh Bailey, 14.413 seconds
Connor McDavid’s big event is the first event on the docket. Players were reportedly dropping out left and right because they felt they had no chance with the Edmonton Oilers captain skating. We will see, however, with seven other competitors matching up against McDavid if someone has what it takes to dethrone the reigning champion.
Before the game
Amalie Arena is filling up for what’s set to be quite a fun evening. We’ve already seen the Stanley Cup get captured by pirates, different ones than Erik Karlsson and Victor Hedman arrived as before the start of the event.
Karlsson was seen wearing his pirate hat, however, during warmups. Here’s hoping he keeps it throughout the night!
Brian Boyle, a late injury replacement for the New Jersey Devils, also got a real nice ovation from the Tampa Bay crowd. Boyle has had quite the season since returning from chronic myeloid leukemia, a rare yet treatable form of cancer, and he’s also a former Lightning player.
Game time information
The Skills Competition is here as we kick off the 2018 NHL All-Star Weekend in Tampa on Saturday. The night is split into six different events, all exercising different skills NHL players have and involving all 44 stars selected for the weekend.
They are as follows:
- Fastest Skater
- Passing Challenge
- Save Streak
- Puck Control Relay
- Hardest Shot
- Accuracy Shooting
The Passing Challenge and Save Streak are new additions this year in place of the Breakaway Challenge, Shootout, and Four Line Challenge events.
The Passing Challenge involves a series of drills challenging players’ ability to dish the puck, and whoever finishes them fastest wins. The Save Streak is a bit like the Shootout, although it’s focused on seeing which goaltender can record the longest consecutive save streak. That won’t be easy against many of the most skilled players in the NHL.
On the line is a prize of $25,000 for the winner of each event. You can watch the Skills Competition on NBCSN in the United States and on CBC, Sportsnet, and TVA Sports in Canada.
Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Lightning
Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets
Rickard Rakell, Anaheim Ducks
Noah Hanifin, Carolina Hurricanes
Josh Bailey, New York Islanders
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
Brayden Schenn, St. Louis Blues
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes
Eric Staal, Minnesota Wild
Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers, vs. Central Division
Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets, vs Pacific Division
Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators, vs. Metropolitan Division
Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas Golden Knights, vs. Atlantic Division
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Winnipeg Jets, vs. Central Division
Puck Control Relay
Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames
Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers
Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators
John Tavares, New York Islanders
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Brian Boyle, New Jersey Devils
Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets
James Neal, Vegas Golden Knights
Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks
Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins
Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning