SAN JOSE -- Connor McDavid didn't use speed alone to win the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater and make history at the 2019 SAP NHL All-Star Skills at SAP Center on Friday.
He said a fresh haircut also helped.
"It would have been tough with my long hair," the Edmonton Oilers center said. "If I was skating it would be flopping around everywhere. I'm not sure how it would have been."
[RELATED: Complete 2019 SAP NHL All-Star Skills results | All-Star Game coverage]
McDavid became the first player to win the event three times and won it for the third straight year. The last of the eight participants, he completed his lap around the rink in 13.378 seconds, defeating Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (13.582) by .204 seconds.
"It's fun," McDavid said of making history. "It's always a fun event to participate in. You get to go as fast as you can. Some guys like doing it, some guys don't. Personally, I like doing it and it's always fun."
McDavid said he "absolutely" felt pressure to win again.
"There were some fast times tonight, actually," he said. "[Eichel] put up a pretty good time, so I knew I had to skate well."
McDavid said he was concerned when he saw Dallas Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen, the second skater, take a hard fall on the second turn and slam into the sideboards. Heiskanen got up and tried again, this time finishing his lap in 13.914.
"That was a bad fall," McDavid said. "It was really bad. It was awkward. We're all happy he's OK. Credit to him for going out there and putting up another pretty good time. For me, the first thing I do when I know I have to do the fastest skater is check my edges and make sure there's no nicks or anything like that."
McDavid said he drew inspiration watching Kendall Coyne Schofield, a forward for the U.S. Women's National Team, begin the event with a time of 14.346. She replaced injured Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon (bruised foot) and became the first woman to compete in the NHL All-Star Skills, finishing seventh.
"When she took off I was like, 'Wow!' I thought she might have won, the way she was moving. She was a really good skater and it's an amazing thing for the game when they can see her participate like that in an event like this."
Five other players have won the event twice: Sergei Fedorov (1992, '94), Mike Gartner (1993, '96), Scott Niedermayer (1998, 2004), Peter Bondra (1997, '99) and Sami Kapanen (2000, 2002).
McDavid skated faster than he did last year, when he won the event in 13.454. His time in 2017 was 13.02.
"I obviously want him to win," said Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, who won the Enterprise NHL Premier Passer. "I see him every day, so the All-Star Games in the past, it wasn't a fluke. You know, he is pretty fast."
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers, 13.378 seconds
Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres, 13.582
Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders, 13.780
Miro Heiskanen, Dallas Stars, 13.914
Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks, 13.930
Cam Atkinson, Columbus Blue Jackets, 14.152
Kendall Coyne Schofield, U.S. Women's National Team, 14.346
Clayton Keller, Arizona Coyotes, 14.526