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Johansen lifts Team Foligno in Breakaway Challenge

by Dan Rosen /

COLUMBUS -- The entertainers were on display in the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge on Saturday, but Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen stole the show with three unique attempts that were good enough to sway the fans who voted for the winner on Twitter.

Johansen got Team Foligno the point available in the Breakaway Challenge to give Team Foligno a 6-0 lead in the Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition.

Johansen used a prop, six fellow all-stars, and even the son of Blue Jackets trainer Mike Vogt to win the event.

Before going in for his first shootout attempt, Johansen played to the Columbus crowd by pulling off his Blue Jackets sweater to reveal an Ohio State football jersey. The No. 5 he wore belongs to Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller.

Johansen scored on that attempt with his Blue Jackets sweater tied around his waist.

For his second attempt, he skated the puck toward the net and left it there so he could wheel back and find Cole Vogt, the son of the Blue Jackets' trainer, who was on skates, wearing a helmet, and had a stick in his hand. Johansen carried Cole to the puck and helped him stickhandle his way in to beat Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford.

Johansen got Blue Jackets teammate Nick Foligno, Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings, Duncan Keith of the Blackhawks and Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers to help him with his third attempt.

They set up at center ice in the "Flying V" formation and dished the puck around while skating toward the net in unison. Eventually, Johansen got the puck between the hash marks but his shot rang off the crossbar and hit off the protective netting.

The fact that he didn't score didn't ruin it for the fans, who gave Johansen the victory.

But Johansen wasn't the only all-star who pulled some tricks out of his bag.

Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek, formerly of the Blue Jackets, mimicked Johansen's use of Cole Vogt by using Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau in the same fashion. Voracek left the puck between the hash marks, tossed his stick and glove, raced back to the gathering of the players, picked out Gaudreau and pretended to help him stickhandle in and score on St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott.

Elliott also had fun with the event, particularly when Blues teammate Vladimir Tarasenko was shooting. Elliott pulled out a cell phone to take a selfie of him and Tarasenko coming down the middle on Tarasenko's first attempt. He wore a blindfold on Tarasenko's second attempt and held up a target in his glove on Tarasenko's third attempt. Tarasenko hit the target.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tried to score by using his stick as a bat to swing and hit the puck into the net off a high pitch from Tarasenko. He swung and missed on his first two attempts and acted as if he was finished trying. The crowd urged him on, so Ovechkin came back out for a third attempt, but this time holding Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo's stick.

Ovechkin swung and missed again.


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