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GIRGENSONS WINS FASTEST SKATER HEAT AT SKILLS COMPETITION

by Chris Ryndak / Buffalo Sabres

COLUMBUS – Zemgus Girgensons and Team Foligno came out on top Saturday night at Nationwide Arena during the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition.

The Buffalo Sabres’ lone representative at All-Star Weekend competed in three events, helping Team Foligno beat Team Toews 25-19.

Girgensons was in on the first event of the night, the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater, where he went head-to-head with Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues.

Tarasenko stumbled out of the gate, but it was still a close race. Girgensons won the heat in 14.101 while Tarasenko finished in 14.386. Of the eight skaters involved in the competition, Girgensons and Tarasenko recorded the seventh- and eighth-fastest times, respectively.

Girgensons didn’t even notice Tarasenko slip because he was too busy keeping his own balance.

“I didn’t really see that, but I took a bad turn on the first one too,” he said. “I thought I was done already at the first turn.”

During the race, Girgensons wore a GoPro camera on his helmet.

“Actually, the camera was pretty heavy and it was going side to side but it was fun to try something like that on,” he said.

He was also a member of the second heat during the Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay. He potted both of his one-timers from the right-wing faceoff hashmarks on four attempts.

Over the course of the night, he most enjoyed watching his peers go through the relay challenges.

“That was the most fun, seeing the guy put the puck in the little net and then the goalies shoot over [the barrier],” he said. “That’s not too easy.”

Finally, he participated in the first round of the Discover NHL Shootout. He ended up with only one opportunity and was stopped by Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak.

“I didn’t really know what I was going to do,” he said when it came to picking out a deke. “Everything went quickly there.”

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