ST. LOUIS -- Mathew Barzal picked the ideal time to skate the best lap of his life.
The New York Islanders center won the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater at the 2020 NHL All-Star Skills presented by New Amsterdam Vodka, upsetting three-time defending champion Connor McDavid at Enterprise Center on Friday.
Barzal completed the course in a time of 13.175 seconds, then had to wait to see how McDavid, the final skater, would fare.
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The Edmonton Oilers center came up just short with a time of 13.215. New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider was third at 13.509.
"I told Connor when we were just talking that I couldn't have skated a better lap," Barzal said. "I don't know if I could do it again.
"It was exciting. I mean, obviously you want to try to win. There are a lot of fast skaters out there. To skate a lap like that out there, it was fun, it was cool."
Video: Barzal speaks on winning Fastest Skater Competition
It was also nerve-wracking watching McDavid's lap.
"Even when Connor was in the last turn and he was at eight or nine seconds I was saying, 'I don't think I'm holding up.' But I did, and it's pretty cool.
"I remember growing up watching the fastest skater, and to be in it and win one, it's pretty exciting."
McDavid had not played since a 7-3 Oilers win against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. Barzal had a far shorter layoff with the Islanders, who defeated the Rangers 4-2 on Tuesday.
"He was on a break, his break actually happened for a few days, so he hadn't been on skates for a while," Barzal said. "I was fresher."
"I think you're trying not to get hurt, obviously, but you're sitting on your bum for six days and you hop in and try to go 100 [miles per hour], so it's tough," McDavid said. "What are you going to do?
"But we try to do it for the fans and try to put on a good show."
McDavid last year became the first player to win the event three times. His time in San Jose in 2019 was 13.378, which would have placed him third on Friday.
Video: Clutch Performance: Barzal wins Fastest Skater event
Barzal said he admires the way McDavid skates.
"You watch him out there, his stride is picture-perfect," Barzal said. "He never stops moving."
On this night, it just wasn't enough to beat Barzal.
Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders -- 13.175 seconds
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers -- 13.215
Chris Kreider, New York Rangers -- 13.509
Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres -- 13.540
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche -- 13.895
Anthony Duclair, Ottawa Senators -- 14.005
Travis Konecny, Philadelphia Flyers -- 14.113
Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks -- 14.263
Video: Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater Recap