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BLOG: Hall tops Karlsson in Fastest Skater

by Marc Ciampa / Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall won his heat in the Fastest Skater event at the NHL Skills Competition with a time of 13.654, defeating Ottawa's Erik Karlsson. It was an even race until Karlsson stumbled and got spun around on the final turn, resulting in lost time for the Sens defenceman. Hall didn't expect the format to be the way it was where he had to battle Karlsson directly.

“I didn’t expect that. Kind of find out right before the event. It was still fun to go out there and to see the record being broke. That was pretty cool. He can fly,” Hall said after the competition.

Hall was the only Western Conference skater to win, with the other three heats going to the East. Dylan Larkin also broke Mike Gartner's 20-year-old record of 13.3, coming in at 13.1 in his final full-rink lap. After the Fastest Skater event, East had a 5-1 lead over West.

Overall, Hall had the fourth-fastest time among all skaters.

Hall also passed the puck in the one-timer challenge as part of the relay. He fed pucks to Shea Weber, Drew Doughty and Corey Perry. It took them a shade under 45 seconds to complete the task.

In the Shootout event, Hall did not score on either of his two attempts on Capitals netminder Braden Holtby.

One of the highlights of the night was the Breakaway event, where Brent Burns was dressed in a Chewbacca mask and P.K. Subban dressed up as Jaromir Jagr among other antics.

“I thought that was hilarious. The crowd was amazing tonight and really boosted everyone. Sometimes that breakaway challenge can be a little bit corny but I was laughing the whole time. It was great,” said Hall.
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