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Smith Scores Amazing Goal at All-Star Skills Event

Coyotes goalie Mike Smith stole the show at Staples Center on Saturday

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

LOS ANGELES -- Coyotes goalie Mike Smith stole the show at the 2017 NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday by making a full-rink shot into a tiny slot at the Staples Center.

Competing for the Pacific Division, Smith, appearing at his first NHL All-Star Game, made his shot as part of the inaugural Four Line Challenge event. Hoping to snag 20 bonus points, team captain Connor McDavid substituted Smith into the event, which was designed to test the shooting accuracy of skaters, not goalies.

The crowd inside Staples Center playfully booed Smith during introductions because he plays for a rival of the host Los Angeles Kings. But those same fans were standing and cheering Smith after he shot the puck - using a goalie stick - from one goal all the way down the ice and into an on-ice five-hole slot cut into a board protecting the other goal.

Video: Four Line Challenge: Smith nets incredible long shot

"It was pretty cool," Smith said. "The look on (Vancouver All-Star) Bo Horvat's face when I looked over at him was pretty priceless. I'm sure mine was, too, to see it go in. But it was something I'll remember for a long time. My family was here to witness it, too, so they can believe me ... I didn't really have a strategy, I was focused on just hitting the board, but it kind of curled in at the last second. I couldn't believe it, to be honest. I was just as shocked as everyone else was. It was pretty flukey, but we'll take it."

The goal was somewhat reminiscent of a goal Smith scored into an empty net during a game vs. the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 19, 2013.

A reporter asked Smith to estimate how many times out of 100 he could score that Skills Competition goal.

"I wouldn't even hit the net again let alone slide it into a slot like that," Smith said with a smile.

Later in the Skills Competition, Smith denied three of five shootout attempts by other All-Stars. Only Boston's Brad Marchand and Montreal's Shea Weber got the puck past him - ironically through his five-hole - as part of the shootout event.

"There were a lot of good shooters that I had to face and I'm enthused that I got three out of the five (shots)," Smith said. "The whole evening was a lot of fun ... I'm here for a good time. It's been fun so far. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, too."

The Atlantic Division won the Skills Competition. As for Smith's Pacific Division, it will play the Central Division in the first of two All-Star Game semifinals on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Arizona time on NBC. The Atlantic will play the Metropolitan Division in the other semifinal. The two semifinal winners will play for the All-Star Game championship.

Video: Smith discusses his amazing Skills Competition goal

 

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