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Western Conference defeated in Skills Competition

by Jason Johnson / Calgary Flames

-- The Eastern Conference dominated the Western Conference in the Discover Shootout, the final event of the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skills competition at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

Johnny Gaudreau demonstrated strong skating and puck-handling skills in the puck control relay while Mark Giordano balsted some one-timer slappers into the net during the left-shot one timer portion of the Skills Challenge Relay.

"I got a little dizzy there towards the end but last year I did that same thing and I ended up messing up going the wrong way," Gaudreau said. "Thankfully this year I did it right."

Both Flames' players failed to score in their chances during the Discover Shootout event.

The Breakaway Challenge was the highlight of the entire event with the players showcasing all kinds creative ways to get down the ice and score.


Montreal Canadiens defenceman PK Subban paid homage to Jaromir Jagr wearing aling wig with a Jofa helmet. Brent Burns donned a Chewbacca mask in light of his nickname "Chewy" along time lapse video played in-game showing his facial hair growth over the years.

Burns then brought his young son on the ice along with Joe Pavelski and his son as the foursome skated together to score a shootout goal bringing the Bridgestone Arena crowd to their feet.

PK’s was kind of cool but I thought Burnsies shootout was kind of cool and it fit right in with his character," said Giordano, who brought his two-year-old son Jack on this ice. "To have my little guy out there was cool and to have him out there on skates one day would be even better."

The Eastern Conference won the Skills Competition 29-12, which allowed it to choose the order of play in the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday (3 p.m. MT; CBC). Captains Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers and John Tavares of the New York Islanders chose to play first.

PK’s was kind of cool but I thought Burnsies shootout was kind of cool and it fit right in with his character. To have my little guy out there was cool and to have him out there on skates one day would be even better.

The Eastern goalies -- Roberto Luongo of the Panthers, Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals, and Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils -- stopped 26 of 28 Western shots. Eastern shooters scored 17 points.

Both Gaudreau and Giordano will suit up for the Pacific Division tomorrow when they face the Central Division for a chance to play the winner of the Metropolitan and Atlantic Divisions in the finals.

"Last year at the Skills Competition I think we lost pretty bad and it was pretty much the same thing this year so hopefully we win tomorrow," said Gaudreau.

The East took control in the second round, when it scored six times on Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson.

Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins was the only player to score among 18 shots in the first round; Luongo stopped all nine attempts he faced.

There were three rounds of two minutes each; six skaters and one goalie participated in each round. A goal using a game puck was worth one point; a goal scored with a special Discover puck was worth two points.

The All-Star Game will pit divisions within the same conference against each other (Metropolitan vs. Atlantic; Central vs. Pacific) in a 20-minute period, with the winners playing each other in another 20-minute period for a $1 million prize.

Skills Competition Final Scores

Fastest Skater: East 5, West 1

Breakaway Challenge: East 1, West 0

Accuracy Shooting: East 3, West 2

Skills Challenge Relay: West 2, East 1

Hardest Shot: West 3, East 2

NHL Shootout: East 17, West 4

Final score: East 29, East 12


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