Team Staal Wins NHL SuperSkills, As Zdeno Chara Steals Show with Record Blast to Retain Hardest Shot Crown

Team Staal Wins NHL SuperSkills, As Zdeno Chara Steals Show with Record Blast to Retain Hardest Shot Crown Final, Team Staal 33, Team Lidstrom 22: An entertaining night at the SuperSkills Competition is in the books, with the Carolina fans going home happy as Team Staal takes the victory.

Team Staal members Zdeno Chara and Tyler Seguin earn Bruins bragging rights over Tim Thomas, who was on Team Lidstrom, though Thomas did stone Chara in the Elimination Shootout.

Chara's not likely to be too upset, as he won his fourth straight Hardest Shot Competition, breaking his own record with a 105.9 mph blast.

The goalies ruled the final event, with Henrik Lundqvist stopping 10 of the 11 breakaways he faced, Marc-Andre Fleury and Jonas Hiller each stopping 9 of 11, Carey Price 8 of 11, Cam Ward 6 of 9 and Thomas 5 of 9.

Team Staal 33, Team Lidstrom 22: Just one shooter on each side for the final round. Thomas gives up a goal to Perry, while Cam Ward stops St. Louis to end it. Team Staal takes a comfortable win over Team Lidstrom.

Team Staal 32, Team Lidstrom 22: Each team scored just once in the second round, with Corey Perry scoring on Marc-Andre Fleury and Martin St. Louis scoring on Carey Price.

Team Staal 31, Team Lidstrom 21: The first round is complete, with the 10-point lead still intact.

Seguin was eliminated with a shot wide on Jonas Hiller, while Chara was denied by Thomas after faking a slapper. Thomas stopped five of the eight shots he faced.

Team Staal 25, Team Lidstrom 15: The final event is the Elimination Shootout. Every skater goes, taking breakaways until just one shooter remains. Shooters are eliminated if they don't score, advance to next round if they do.

Team Staal 25, Team Lidstrom 15: Chara does it again, breaking his own record with a 105.9 mph blast to win his fourth straight crown.

The record came on Chara's first attempt in the final. His second was 105 even, while Weber topped out at 103.4.

"I was actually not feeling that great tonight," Chara said after the win. "Thanks to the fans. They got me going, and obviously I'm happy."

Team Staal 23, Team Lidstrom 15: Dustin Byfuglien hits 102.4 to easily beat Rick Nash, and Steven Stamkos edges Alex Ovechkin.

Ovechkin had a tough time, tripping on a cord after his first shot, and breaking his stick on his second attempt. After two more attempts didn't register on the radar gun, his final try was just 97.2.

It's Chara and Weber in the final.

Team Staal 23, Team Lidstrom 13: Patrick Sharp earns another point for Staal against Anze Kopitar, but Shea Weber bests Chara in their round, 104.8 to 104.1. Chara is still alive to meet Weber in a rematch in the final and retain his title.

Team Staal 22, Team Lidstrom 12: Tyler Seguin gets that point back with an impressive debut, besting fellow rookie Cam Fowler with a 97.1 mph blast.

Team Staal 21, Team Lidstrom 12: Brett Burns earns a point for Lidstrom with a 98.4 mph shot to best David Backes.

Team Staal 21, Team Lidstrom 11: This is the big one for Bruins fan, as Chara tries to win the Hardest Shot for the fourth straight time. Seguin will also be competing in this event.

Team Staal 21, Team Lidstrom 11: Team Staal's second group managed just a 2:34, while Lidstrom's second group finished in 2:33. Lidstrom picks up four points for first place and one for third place, Chara's group earns three for Staal with a second-place showing.

Team Staal 18, Team Lidstrom 6: Chara was in the first group for Team Staal, performing the one-timer portion of the relay, which that group finished in 2:18.

Team Lidstrom's first group beats that with a time of 2:09 capped by Jonathan Toews' sharp shooting in the accuracy second to finish.

Team Staal 18, Team Lidstrom 6: Tim Thomas with the line of the night on his spill in the Fastest Skater: "Fortunately with my style I've had a lot of practice falling down."

Team Staal 18, Team Lidstrom 6: It's on to the Skills Challenge Relay. Zdeno Chara is scheduled to be in Group 1 for Team Staal, but there have been a number of changes from the official list of participants in the earlier events, so we'll have to wait to be certain.

Team Staal 18, Team Lidstrom 6: It's Kane and Daniel Sedin in the final, and Sedin again makes quick work of the targets with Bourque-like precision.

This one is a rout for Team Staal halfway through the events.

Team Staal 16, Team Lidstrom 6: Patrick Kane with an easy win over Eric Staal, then Daniel Sedin just as easily dominates Martin Havlat with four hits on four shots.

The players with two fastest times will now go head to head with two more points on the line.

Team Staal 15, Team Lidstrom 5: In a battle of Blackhawks, Team Lidstrom's Jonathan Toews beats Patrick Sharp after a do-over for a touch of controversy.

Rick Nash gets that point back against Phil Kessel, who finishes last once again.

Team Staal 14, Team Lidstrom 4: It's on to the Accuracy Shooting, the event that Ray Bourque once dominated.

New format is time-based, rather than number of shoots. Ryan Kesler is fastest in first round against Brad Richards and Logan Couture took the rookie matchup with Derek Stepan for two more points for Staal. 

Team Staal 12, Team Lidstrom 4: Ovechkin wins the fan vote and four points for Team Staal, Subban is second for three points and Eriksson third for one point.

Team Staal 5, Team Lidstrom 3: The veterans take over, with Perry and Kopitar getting creative on their approaches, but not many pucks actually going in.

Defending champ Ovechkin now takes center stage, and finished in style with a reverse stick approach, then tucks it in.

Henrik Sedin was scheduled to be the final participate, but Dallas' Loui Eriksson goes instead. He circles the cage twice for one goal, but not sure it will be enough to upstage Ovechkin or overcome Subban's pandering to Carolina crowd.

Team Staal 5, Team Lidstrom 3: Subban plays to the crowd by donning Skinner's sweater, and tries some fancy dribbling, but comes up empty on three attempts.

Dadonov can't even get a shot off on his first two tries, is stopped on the third, but does score between the legs on a fourth try.

Team Staal 5, Team Lidstrom 3: The second event will be the Breakaway Challenge, with P.K. Subban, Corey Perry and Alex Ovechkin of Team Staal going up against Evgeny Dadonov, Anze Kopitar and Henrik Sedin of Team Lidstrom.

Team Staal 5, Team Lidstrom 3: In a rookie rematch, Grabner earns the two points for Team Staal by beating Hall again.

Team Staal 3, Team Lidstrom 3: Matt Duchene evens it up with a win over Marc Staal. Now the two fastest skaters will go head to head with two points on the line.

Team Staal 3, Team Lidstrom 2: St. Louis gives Team Lidstrom its first point, and Tampa Bay teammate Steven Stamkos cuts the lead to one with a win over Mike Green.

Team Staal 3, Team Lidstrom 0: Thomas must have thought it was warm-ups, as he wipes out coming around the net and Ward takes that race.

Team Staal 2, Team Lidstrom 0: Grabner takes that one to double the lead, Thomas and Ward now ready for the goalie match.

Team Staal 1, Team Lidstrom 0: Team Staal takes the first race, with Letang edging Keith. Michael Grabner against Taylor Hall in the rookie matchup next.

Team Staal 0, Team Lidstrom 0: Team Staal wins the puck flip and defers, and Lidstroms opts to open with Duncan Keith, who will go against Kris Letang in the backwards skating round to kick things off.

7:20 p.m.: Team Staal now getting introduced. With all the Canes on Staal's squad, they're definitely getting the louder reception.

Tyler Seguin comes out to "Shipping Up to Boston" too, guess that was the only Boston song they could find in Raleigh.

I do like that better than listening to "Ole, Ole, Ole" when Montreal's Carey Price was introduced.

Hey, this really is a fun event. Zdeno Chara doesn't get booed in an away arena for once.

And as expected, Eric Staal gets the biggest ovation, though Jamie McBain, Jeff Skinner and Cam Ward come close. Nice touch with the Simpsons' "Skinner" sound bite when the rookie was introduced.

7:15 p.m.: Even with the new format, this is still pretty much an East vs. West matchup. Lidstrom pretty much stuck with the Western Conference guys he knows best, and Staal's team definitely has a lot of Eastern Conference flavor.

Tim Thomas gets a nice reception when introduced. Hard not to appreciate what he's done this year and gone through in his career to get to this point, no matter what market you're from. Thomas has "Shipping Up to Boston" playing when he comes out. Can't escape the Dropkicks anywhere these days.

Phil Kessel also gets some sympathy cheers after being picked last in Friday's draft.

7:10 p.m.: The introductions have begun, with Team Lidstrom coming out first. Carolina's Eric Staal gets the hometown treatment as his squad will be introduced last.

7:07 p.m.: So it's team jerseys in the skills competition, and All-Star sweaters in the game on Sunday. That's the opposite of baseball, which has the players wear All-Star jerseys for the home run derby and game uniforms in the actual game.

7 p.m.: And they're just about to get under way in Raleigh.

The Fastest Skater is scheduled to be the first event, with Michael Grabner, Mike Green, Patrick Sharp, Ryan Kesler, Marc Staal, Kris Letang and Cam Ward scheduled to participate for Team Staal and Duncan Keith, Taylor Hall, Matt Duchene, Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, Keith Yandle and Tim Thomas slated to go for Team Lidstrom.

6:45 p.m.: Asked who will be his biggest threats in the Hardest shot, Chara just answered Shea Weber and Dustin Byfuglien.

Apparently Chara isn't sweating what Seguin can do in that event.

6:05 p.m.: In addition to the regular events, this SuperSkills Competition will also feature a special challenge match.

Bruins goalie Tim Thomas and Carolina counterpart Cam Ward will go one-on-one in a netminders' version of the Fastest Skater event.

"I hope my legs don't turn to jelly and I don't bite it in the corner or anything like that," Ward told NHL.com. "I'm going up against Tim Thomas and that guy looks like a bull. He's probably pretty quick out there."

6 p.m.: The SuperSkills Competition will kick off in just about an hour.

The events will open with the Fastest Skater, which will feature Taylor Hall, Bay State native Keith Yandle and former Vermont star Marty St. louis among others.

The Breakaway Challenge is up next, followed by the Accuracy Shooting, which will include Phil Kessel, the Skills Challenge Relay, the Hardest Shot featuring Zdeno Chara and Tyler Seguin, and finally the Elimination Shootout with all skaters competing.

4:30 p.m.: The assignments for the skills competition have been released, and the most interesting item for Bruins fans is that Zdeno Chara and Tyler Seguin will both be competing in the Hardest Shot competition.

Chara is the three-time defending champ and set a new record with a 105.4 mph blast in Montreal in 2009, so his presence was expected. Having Seguin also shooting for Team Staal is more of a surprise.

Seguin seems more suited to the breakaway events with the shootout moves he's shown this season. He will get a chance to flash those skills with everyone else in the final Elimination Shootout, but first he'll show what kind of slap shot he can dial up against Chara and Co.

Chara will also be in Group 1 for Team Staal in the Skills Challenge Relay, a new event featuring segments for one-timers, passing, puck control, stick-handling and shooting accuracy. Phil Kessel will be in Group 2 for Team Lidstrom and will also compete in the Accuracy Shooting competition.

8 a.m.: Now that the teams have finally been set with Friday's fantasy draft, the actual All-Star competition can begin. First up on Saturday is the SuperSkills Competition, and that means it's Zdeno Chara's turn to shine.

The All-Star Game itself doesn't play to Chara's strengths as a shutdown defender, but he has dominated at least one of the events in the skills competition. Chara comes in as the reigning champion in the hardest shot competition.

Chara has actually won each of the last three hardest shots with victories in 2007, 2008 and 2009. That includes an NHL record 105.4 mph shot to win in the last All-Star Game in Montreal two years ago. That broke Al Iafrate's record of 105.2 mph that had stood since 1993.

The only other defending champ present for this year's festivities is Alex Ovechkin, who will try to retain the crown in the breakaway challenge.

New champions will be need to be crowned in the goaltending competition, shooting accuracy, elimination shootout and fastest skater, while Team Staal and Team Lidstrom will also compete in the challenge relay.

In addition to Chara, who was selected by Carolina's Eric Staal in the fourth round of Friday's draft, the Bruins will be represented by goalie Tim Thomas and forward Tyler Seguin. Thomas was the second goalie taken, going to Team Lidstrom in the fifth round after Staal opened the draft by taking Hurricanes teammate Cam Ward with the first overall pick.

Seguin is one of 12 rookies invited to compete in the skills competition alongside the veteran All-Stars. His group of six skaters will join Chara and Co. on Team Staal.

The SuperSkills Competition begins at 7 p.m., so check back throughout the day for updates on all the action.

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