NHL All-Star Skills Competition 2020: Results, Winners, Highlights and Reaction

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2020

ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - JANUARY 24: Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders reacts after competing in the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater during the 2020 NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Enterprise Center on January 24, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The 2020 NHL All-Star Skills Competition took place Friday night as the best hockey players in the world put their talents on display at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid saw his three-year reign in the fastest skater competition end to the New York Islanders' Mathew Barzal. There was also women's rivalry game between the United States and Canada.

Let's take a closer look at some of the event winners and highlights on the eve of the 65th NHL All-Star Game.

                

Fastest Skater: Mathew Barzal (13.175 seconds)

Barzal admitted in his post-event interview he likely benefited from the Oilers' recent bye, which meant McDavid hadn't skated in a game since Jan. 18. Nevertheless, it was an impressive showing from the Islanders star, who used a blistering first half of the race to give himself the edge.

The fact that McDavid, who leads the NHL in points with 76 at the All-Star break, never seemed to hit top gear and still came within four-hundredths of a second of winning showcases his ridiculous speed. He'll be the favorite to regain his crown next year, but for one night, Barzal is the king.

                

Save Streak: Jordan Binnington (10 saves)

Binnington, playing at his home rink in front of a St. Louis-heavy crowd, gave the fans a reason to celebrate. He was the last goalie to take the ice for the save streak competition and proceeded to rack up 10 straight stops for the win.

Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning finished second with nine.

                   

Accuracy Shooting: Jaccob Slavin (9.505 seconds)

The San Jose Sharks' Tomas Hertl nearly put on one of the best displays in the event's history as he hit his first four shots in rapid succession. The final target in the top right corner eluded him, however, and opened the door for Slavin.

Although the Carolina Hurricanes defenseman isn't a household name, even in hockey circles, he continues to prove himself as one of the NHL's best two-way blueliners.

                             

Elite Women's Three-on-Three Game: Canada (2-1)

Intensity usually isn't the name of the game during All-Star Weekend, but that changed for at least 20 minutes Friday as All-Stars from the United States and Canada faced off. It was the latest battle for teams that have played each other numerous times in the Olympics and at the World Championships.

Rebecca Johnston and Melodie Daoust scored to give the Canadians a 2-0 lead. Hilary Knight brought the Americans back within a goal midway through the second half.

Amanda Kessel had an opportunity to tie the game for the U.S. in the final seconds, but her one-time slap shot found the glove of Canadian goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens as the buzzer sounded.

Given the excitement the game generated in St. Louis, it could become a staple of the skills contest.

              

Hardest Shot: Shea Weber (106.5 mph)

Former Calgary Flames and St. Louis Blues star Al MacInnis, a seven-time winner of the event, started the proceedings with a 100.4 mph slapper at the age of 56. It was an impressive feat but not quite enough to keep up with the top shooters of the modern era.

Weber's first attempt was good enough to win the title (105.9), but he took another attempt for fun and beat it. It's the fourth time the Montreal Canadiens defenseman won the event.

The Washington Capitals' John Carlson finished second at 104.5 mph.

                           

Shooting Stars: Patrick Kane (22 points; 2 in tiebreaker)

This was a new event to the skills challenge. It featured players going into the stands to shoot for targets at center ice that each had designated point values.

Kane and the Toronto Maple Leafs' Mitch Marner were tied at 22 points after the initial round, which led to a one-shot tiebreaker. Marner missed completely, giving the longtime Chicago Blackhawks standout the opportunity to hit a two-point target for the win.

The crowd favorite aside from the Blues' Ryan O'Reilly, who received some help from Hall of Famer Brett Hull, was the Flames' Matthew Tkachuk, who donned a St. Louis Cardinals Yadier Molina jersey while taking his shots.

                     

What's Next?

The 2020 NHL All-Star Game will take place Saturday at Enterprise Center. The league will once again utilize the three-game, three-on-three tournament, with the first matchup featuring the Eastern Conference's Metropolitan and Atlantic Divisions. The action starts at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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