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Skills Competition

Shea Weber wins Hardest Shot for third straight time

Canadiens defenseman gives Atlantic Division victory with shot of 102.8 mph

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Call it a three-peat for Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber.

Weber won the Oscar Mayer NHL Hardest Shot for the Atlantic Division with a shot of 102.8 mph, edging Winnipeg Jets rookie forward Patrik Laine's shot of 101.7 at the 2017 Coors Light NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Staples Center on Saturday.

It was a far cry from his wins when he was with the Nashville Predators. At last year's event in Nashville, Weber's shot was 108.1 and two years ago in Columbus, his 108.5 shot was the second-fastest in the history of the All-Star skills competition. Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara set a record of 108.8 mph in 2012.

"For whatever reason, the scores maybe weren't as high as they usually are," Weber said. "It's always fun to win. Obviously there's a competitive nature in a lot of us. We want to win whatever we're doing out there."

Video: Hardest Shot: Weber wins Hardest Shot competition

Apparently, he used a stick with a slightly different flex in the event Saturday. But Weber and Laine were the only two to break 100 mph.

The key to Weber's success?

"Lots of practice," he said. "Even when you get there you've just got to continue to practice. The best players in the world are continually working at their game … work hard to get there and work hard to maintain it."

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty's fastest shot was 94.6 mph. He said earlier in the day that he couldn't figure out why he was in the event and correctly anticipated he wouldn't break 95.

"I knew I didn't have a hard slap shot," Doughty said. "I knew all along it wasn't very hard. It's pretty accurate -- that's why I score on them sometimes."

Video: NHL Hardest Shot Competition Recap

Of Weber and Laine, Doughty said: "They're big boys. They've got probably 20 pounds on me and a couple of inches. They put all their weight into it."

P.K. Subban of the Predators was originally listed as an entrant, but Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche substituted. MacKinnon's two attempts were 92.3 and 89.9.

"I was a replacement. I wasn't supposed to be in it," MacKinnon said. "Subban, I don't know what happened. I didn't want to, that's not my thing. My stick isn't made for slap shots, it's really whippy. I don't take many slap shots."

He was asked why he didn't say no.

"There was no one else really to go," MacKinnon said. "I don't care, I'll take the heat."

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