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On Tuesday night, the National Hockey League held the annual Dodge Nitro/NHL Super Skills competition at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas, with the Eastern Conference posting a 15-11 win over the West.
Phoenix Coyotes center Yanic Perreault, who is making his first career All-Star appearance, participated in two skills events for the Western Conference.
Perreault's first event was the "Shooting Accuracy," in which players are allowed to take up to eight shots from the slot, trying to hit four stationary targets in the corners of the net. Perreault turned in an impressive performance, needing only six shots to hit all four targets. While Perreault finished the event tied for fourth place individually, the Eastern Conference won the event scoring on 14 of the their 24 shots (58%) compared to the Western Conference's 12 goals on 27 shots (44%).
"At first, you don't know how things are going to go for you in an event like that," said Perreault. "But I was able to hit a couple (targets) early and get some confidence. It was a great event."
Perreault joined fellow Coyotes' All-Star Ed Jovanovski, in his second skills event as the two teamed up with Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash for the "In The Zone" event. In the event, the three shooters take positions in both face-off circles and the slot where they then take a total of three shots on an opposing goaltender. Perreault, Jovanovski and Nash faced Montreal Canadiens' netminder Cristobal Huet. Each shooter took one shot but Huet stopped all three helping the East capture victory in the event.
For Jovanovski, who was making his fourth career appearance at the Supers Skills competition, part of the fun was having a teammate and family there to share the event with.
"Just being out there with a teammate made it a lot easier," said Jovanovski. "Having my family here for the whole event was great too."
While the Western Conference was unable to capture victory on Tuesday night, for veterans like Jovanovski and Perreault, it was a chance to share the game's center-stage with some of the most talented players in NHL history and nothing can compare to that.
"It's always nice to be rewarded with an appearance at the All-Star Game," said Jovanovski. "Then having the chance to see the young guys, the future of the game like (Sidney) Crosby and (Alexander) Ovechkin, it's just great to be a part of it."
"It was just a fun night," said Perreault. "It was great to be around all those great players and everyone there was really nice to me."
For complete results from all the Dodge Nitro/NHL Super Skills events, click here.