Crosby, East win SuperSkills competition
DALLAS -- About the only part of the game in which Sidney Crosby has struggled this season is shootouts -- until the teen superstar was on the same ice with the rest of the NHL's best players.
(winners shooting over 100 mph)
|Zdeno Chara ('07)||100.4 mph|
|Adrian Aucoin ('04)||102.2 mph|
|Sergei Fedorov ('02)||101.5 mph|
|Fredrik Modin ('01)||102.1 mph|
|Al MacInnis ('00)||101.1 mph|
|Al MacInnis ('98)||100.4 mph|
|Al Iafrate ('94)||102.7 mph|
|Al Iafrate ('93)||105.2 mph|
Crosby, the 19-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins forward, scored on two of his three shots in the final individual shootout to deliver a victory for the Eastern Conference in the NHL All-Star SuperSkills competition Tuesday night.
The NHL's leading scorer, whose 72 points are five more than anybody else, is 0-for-5 in shootouts during the regular season.
"It was fun to be in that situation. I didn't ask for it, but I liked it," Crosby said. "Especially with all the ones that I missed this season, it was nice."
Crosby also scored on his only shootout attempt in the team competition, midway through the nine-event competition to tie the score 7-7.
The competition was tied 10-10 after Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo stopped all four shots in the final team shootout. Meanwhile, Colorado's Joe Sakic and Edmonton's Ryan Smyth scored against Buffalo's Ryan Miller to get even going into the final event.
But Luongo couldn't stop Crosby, the top All-Star vote-getter. Crosby made his first two shots and that gave the East squad a 15-11 victory over the West.
"Going against Luongo, you're going against the best, so if you don't score you've got an excuse," Crosby said. "I'm competitive. I want to win with the game on the line like that."
Anaheim's Teemu Selanne scored on his first attempt for the West but missed his next two -- the last a glove save by Miller to end the event.
Selanne, who will play in his 10th All-Star Game on Wednesday night, was impressed by Crosby.
"I've only seen him on highlights. It's great to watch a kid like that," Selanne said. "He's got the full package."
After Crosby's tying point in the team shootout, the East squad took the lead in the next event.
Carolina's Eric Staal and Atlanta's Marian Hossa both hit four targets in five shots to share the individual honors in shooting accuracy. Brendan Shanahan of the New York Rangers, on his 38th birthday, hit four of six for the East.
The tallest player in NHL history also has the hardest shot.
Boston's Zdeno Chara, the 6-foot-9 defenseman, fired a shot of 100.4 mph to win the hardest shot competition. Chara's first shot read 99.5 mph on the radar gun, and he increased that on the second shot from 30 feet.
Staal was part of the three-man East group, with Buffalo's Daniel Briere and Brian Campbell, that scored two goals in the team zone contest. They put two of their three shots by hometown goalie Marty Turco of the Dallas Stars.
Columbus forward Rick Nash won the individual puck control relay for the second straight time, beating Florida's Jay Bouwmeester after the East squad won the three-player team relay. The only other individual multiple winner was Paul Kariya, who won four straight from 1999-2002.
When Nash won at the last All-Star Game in 2004, he was 19 years old and the first teen All-Star since 1992. Now there's a new teen All-Star in Crosby.
The West went ahead 3-1 by sweeping the fastest skater, Anaheim's Andy McDonald winning the individual at 14.03 seconds -- only the fourth time in 13 the event has been held that the top time was slower than 14 seconds.
But the teams weren't wearing the new streamlined Reebok uniforms they'll unveil Wednesday night in the game.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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