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Green hears from Golden Knights' Fleury during skills competition

Wings defenseman has fun watching the different events

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

TAMPA -- The last thing Red Wings defenseman Mike Green expected when he skated toward Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was to hear Fleury talking to him.

Fleury was the last goaltender standing at the end of the GEICO NHL Save Streak when he made 14 consecutive saves to beat out Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, who had 13.

"He's great," Green said. "You know what's interesting, he always talks to you when you're coming down on him and I didn't realize that until tonight. He's always talking in the net."

What was Fleury saying?

"Just kind of reacts to whether he saved it or not," Green said. "He's just talking, which is funny."

Fleury kind of chuckled when he was asked about why he was talking while the shooters were heading at him.

He said he doesn't always do that.

"Maybe more in practice, I think," Fleury said. "I don't talk too much in the games usually. But practice I like to give it to the players a bit."

Fleury stopped Green twice during the event so he probably had something fun to say.

Fleury also stood out with his choice of song during his time on the ice, "Let It Go" from the movie "Frozen."

"It keeps you stress-free, just let it go," Fleury laughed. "It was my pick. They (kids) were around me when I was picking. Little influence. It was like, I don't think anybody else is going to pick this song."

New York's Henrik Lundqvist, Winnipeg's Connor Hellebuyck (Commerce) and Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy were the other competitors in the event.

Green's former teammate, Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, won the PPG NHL Hardest Shot event with a blast at 101.3 miles per hour.

"He's got a heavy shot so it didn't surprise me at all," Green said.

Green said he did have a chance to chat with Ovechkin during the day.

"Yeah, we kind of caught up a little bit, as much as we could," Green said. "It was nice also."

Green said he was glad he didn't have to participate in the other events, the Enterprise NHL Fastest Skater, won by Edmonton's Connor McDavid for the second year in a row at 13.454; the Dunkin' Donuts NHL Passing Challenge, which St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo won in 46.610; the Gatorade NHL Puck Control Relay, won by Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau in a dazzling 24.650; and the Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting, won by Vancouver Canucks rookie Brock Boeser in 11.136.

Red Wings center Dylan Larkin still holds the record for fastest skater at 13.172, set in 2016.

Green tried the event in 2011 when he was with the Capitals.

"I was up against (New York Islanders forward Michael) Grabner so not very well," Green said.

Grabner ended up winning the event that year.

This skills competition was a little different from that year, which Green appreciated.

"It was good, it was great," Green said. "It was obviously a lot different with some of the events, which was good for the guys. You couldn't really prepare. It made it interesting."

Although he didn't necessarily want to try it, there was one event that intrigued Green the most.

"I liked one of the first ones where you had to sauce them into the nets and go through the center ice," Green said of the passing challenge. "I liked that one."

Now Green will get ready for Sunday's game, which is in the 3-on-3 format and pits the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division against the Metropolitan Division and the Western Conference's Central Division against the Pacific Division in the first two games.

The final game will be the Eastern Conference champion versus the Western Conference champion.

"Obviously a lot of skill so it'll be tough to play sound defense but it'll be exciting for sure," Green said.

The Wings have played in plenty of of 3-on-3 overtimes this season so perhaps Green has learned something from that.

"Not to let guys get behind you really, just try to keep them in front," Green said. "It's tough with 3-on-3 though because nobody plays a specific position. But again, it's just all fun."

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