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Skills Competition

Sidney Crosby wins duel with Auston Matthews

Metropolitan captain defeats Atlantic forward in Accuracy Shooting, has fastest time

by Abbey Mastracco / Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- The torch hasn't been passed yet.

Toronto Maple Leafs rookie forward Auston Matthews, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, is poised to be one of the next faces of the NHL. But during the 2017 Coors Light NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Staples Center on Saturday, the old guard reigned supreme in the DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby edged Matthews, hitting the four targets in 10.73 seconds and earning a point for the Metropolitan Division. He also got a bonus point for the fastest time in the competition.

"He put the pressure on me," Crosby said. "I knew when we were going up against each other, that the way he shoots the puck, he's a sharpshooter. So I knew I was going to have to be quick and accurate if I wanted to have a chance to get him." 

Video: Accuracy Shooting: Crosby takes the lead

Matthews, his opponent in the event from the Atlantic Division, finished with the second-best time of 12.28. Each hit the four targets in five shots.

Matthews, the fifth shooter, was briefly the leader. Crosby outdid him one turn later. 

"He made me look bad there," Matthews said jokingly. "I was feeling good about myself after and then he goes and does that. That's why he's the best player in the world." 

He also can be a bit of a jokester. During the first event, the Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay, Crosby chirped Matthews, causing him to fumble with his equipment. 

"I was joking around," Crosby said. "I asked if he picked the [stick] I sawed in half earlier."

Video: Accuracy Shooting: Matthews goes four-for-five

Crosby said he remembers what it was like to be a first-time All-Star in 2007, and that Matthews was impressive in his first Skills Competition appearance. 

"It's tough when you get out there," Crosby said. "You're thinking you do it a million times in practice, but when you get up closer to those pucks, it's not as easy as it looks, especially when you have 20,000 [people] watching you."

As for Crosby, he said he enjoyed putting on a show for the crowd.

"It was fun just to kind of be out there with the guys and see everyone showing off their skills," he said. "And to see the crowd get it into it. You could tell that the building was pretty impressed and that's what it's about -- it's about entertaining the fans and them seeing up close skills that all the guys have." 

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