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Skills Competition

Ovechkin wins hardest shot at Skills Competition

Capitals forward surprises self by reaching 101.3 mph

by Bill Price @BillPriceNHL / Editor-in-Chief

TAMPA -- Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals had already won the PPG NHL Hardest Shot event during the 2018 GEICO NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Amalie Arena on Saturday before he took his second, final attempt.

His first shot, at 98.8 mph, was enough to make him the first forward to win since Sergei Fedorov of the Detroit Red Wings in 2002 (101.5). But with a chance to reach triple digits and nothing to lose, Ovechkin went for it.

"Why not break 100?" said Ovechkin, who got to 101.3 on his second shot, the last of the event. "And I did it. I was pretty happy."


[RELATED: All-Star Skills Competition Results | Complete 2018 NHL All-Star Game coverage]


Happy and surprised. Ovechkin said he thought Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban would win and that he would have been happy to break 90 mph.

"Honestly, I was nervous," Ovechkin said. "I told [Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green] and [New York Rangers goalie] Henrik [Lundqvist] I wanted to be over 90, which is impressive."

Video: PPG NHL Hardest Shot Recap

Subban finished second at 98.7. Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg was third at 97.6.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber, who is not at the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend, had won the event the past three seasons.

The record for hardest shot is 108.8 mph, set by Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara in 2012.

"It's special, nice to get that kind of win," said Ovechkin, who joked on television that he worked hard all summer preparing for the event. "Obviously, Chara's not here. Weber's not here. Those guys probably don't even have to try."

Video: Alex Ovechkin on winning the Hardest Shot event

Each of the five players took two shots, one in each round. Ovechkin never trailed. Only Subban got close, reaching 98.7 on his second attempt.

Ovechkin became the second Washington player to win the event; defenseman Al Iafrate won in 1993 (105.2) and 1994 (102.7).

Video: NHL Tonight breaks down the hardest shot competition

The win was the latest highlight this season for Ovechkin, who leads the NHL with 30 goals and whose Capitals (29-15-5) are in first place in the Metropolitan Division, six points ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"I'm happy, friends are happy, wife is happy," Ovechkin said. "So it's a good thing."



Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals, 101.3 mph

P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators, 98.7

John Klingberg, Dallas Stars, 97.6

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning, 95.9

Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks, 92.4

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