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Skills Competition

Barzal wins Fastest Skater, upsets McDavid at All-Star Skills

Islanders center dethrones three-time defending champ with time of 13.175

by Mike Zeisberger @Zeisberger / NHL.com Staff Writer

Barzal wins Fastest Skater

Fastest Skater: Barzal dethrones McDavid to win title

Mathew Barzal posts a time of 13.175 to win the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater, as he dethrones three-time defending champion Connor McDavid

  • 00:42 •

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.

 

[RELATED: All-Star Skills resultsComplete 2020 NHL All-Star Game coverage]

 

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."

McDavid agreed.

"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."

Mission accomplished.

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.

 

Results

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

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