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Perry bests teammate Hiller to win Shootout

by Dan Rosen
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Anaheim forward Corey Perry first said he had nothing on the line but pride when he went head-to-head with Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller in the Discover NHL Elimination Shootout.
Perry then realized by beating his goalie with a low blocker shot, a move he said is new for him, he owns bragging rights for a long, long time.
He also owns the title of the NHL's "shootout king."
Perry outlasted the other 47 participants in the Elimination Shootout that capped Saturday's Honda SuperSkills competition. He beat Hiller in the first round, embarrassed Marc-Andre Fleury in the second round with a move that forced the Penguins goalie to fall over, and then finally beat Boston's Tim Thomas in the third and final round with a shot that banged in off the crossbar after going over the catching glove.
Martin St. Louis, who also made it to the third round, was stopped by Carolina's Cam Ward on the final attempt of the night.
"As a team we probably practice (shootouts) a couple of times a month and it's a huge part of our game now," Perry said. "Those points are crucial."
They weren't for Team Staal on Saturday night. The home team held a 10-point lead going into the final event. That meant Team Lidstrom had to score 10 more shootout goals than Team Staal in the Elimination Shootout just to break even.
Only 12 of the 48 shooters made it past the first round, and just half of them were from Team Lidstrom.
Team Staal won the event, 33-22.
"I think it's good for the fans and the NHL makes some new skills competition," said Alex Ovechkin, who was stoned on his only attempt of the Elimination Shootout but helped Team Staal's win by being voted as the BlackBerry NHL Breakaway Challenge champion for the third straight time. "It's pretty fun."
Not surprisingly, the goalies owned the Elimination Shootout.
The average success rate for shootout attempts this season is a shade better than 32 percent, but it was less than 25 percent Saturday night. Only 15 goals were scored on 62 attempts.
"Yeah, they did steal the show," Perry, the champion, admitted.
For someone like Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who was good on 10 of the 11 shots he faced, it was fun to get into the action in the competition's final event.
"I was standing there for a couple of hours just watching, but, to get some action in there in the end was good," Lundqvist told "You know what, though, these guys, every time you have a shootout these are the guys they send out because they're the best guys. I didn't know the moves, but you have a lot of respect for them because they can make you look pretty stupid if you're not ready. I tried to be patient. It was definitely a great challenge."
Fleury seemed to be enjoying himself the most. He at times was doing push-ups and jumping jackets as the guys were breaking in on him.
"He always acts like that," Penguins defenseman Kris Letang said. "He's having fun and that's what is great about Flower. He's got a great personality."
"Usually a shootout is serious, unless you're in Pittsburgh," Fleury told "I get to do it often and they told me to have some fun, but let the guys do their move. Every practice before a game we do a shootout so we do it so often that I have to switch it up on them once in a while."
Fleury stopped nine of the 11 shots he faced, including Letang's attempt in the first round.
"I was already laughing, and I couldn't focus on it," Letang said. "We were both looking at each other and we were smiling, and he knew my move so there was no way I was going to score."
Ovechkin, who was stuffed by Thomas in the first round, said he enjoyed seeing Fleury put on his act up close and personal.
"I saw it when I was watching HBO; he did it all the time," Ovechkin said. "It makes it fun."
Fun was the word of the night at the RBC Center. The fans had a blast and the players joined in with them.
"It's great for us and great for the kids," Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle told "Hopefully the fans liked it. We're just out to promote the game and enjoy ourselves, and hopefully we did that."

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