Morning Chronicle - Blues forward Kyrou upstages McDavid as NHL's fastest skater

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Blues forward Kyrou upstages McDavid as NHL's fastest skater
Blues forward Kyrou upstages McDavid as NHL's fastest skater

Blues forward Kyrou upstages McDavid as NHL's fastest skater

St. Louis Blues speedster Jordan Kyrou upset three-time champion Connor McDavid on Friday to capture the fastest skater competition at the 2022 NHL All-Star Game weekend in Las Vegas.

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The 23-year-old Canadian finished in a time of 13.55 seconds to edge out runner-up Adrian Kempe of the Los Angeles Kings, who crossed the finish line in 13.58 at the T-Mobile Arena.

Edmonton Oilers superstar McDavid was the last skater to go and flashed across the line in 13.69. McDavid won the event in 2017, 2018 and 2019 but finished fourth on Friday.

Last year's winner Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders did not compete on Friday.

"It's always fun to do it," McDavid said. "It's a tough thing to go out there cold and skate as fast as you can go. But Kyrou did a great job."

The fastest skater event was one of seven events that kicked off the NHL All-Star weekend on Friday. The All-Star Game is scheduled for Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.

The All-Star Game was not held last season because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kyrou, who was drafted 35th overall by the Blues in 2016, is competing in his first All-Star Game.

Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin, who set an NHL record in 2016 with a time of 13.17, couldn't recapture the magic and finished with a time of 14.11.

New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider, who skated first, completed the course in 13.66. He also finished third in the event in 2020.

In the hardest shot event, Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman finished atop the four player field with a 103.2 mph blast on his second shot.

The players were given two shots from 30 feet using a glow in the dark puck and Hedman posted the two hardest shots of the event. His first shot was clocked at 102.7. Hedman is competing in his third all-star game.

"I was hoping for over 100," the big Swede said. "Usually it comes off a one-timer and it's pretty heavy so you can tell it's a good one. But when you have to step into one like that you can't really tell. I knew I had to bring it."

New York Islanders defenceman Adam Pelech finished second with a shot of 102.2. Pelech's first shot was 89.4 mph.

Defenceman Zdeno Chara holds the record of 108.8 mph set in 2012. Canadian Shea Weber shot one 108.5 in 2015.

- 'Had to bring it' -

"Still not close to 'Big Z' or Shea Weber but I'll take it and it was fun," Hedman said.

Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho won the accuracy shooting event, hitting all four targets in a time of 10.93 seconds.

"I was pretty nervous but to get the first one got me going. I got good passes so that really helped," said Aho.

Jake Guentzel of the Pittsburgh Penguins was second in 12.01.

Also, Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Zach Werenski easily won the first fountain face-off, defeating Nashville Predators defenceman Roman Josi in the final round.

Werenski had a time of 25.63 in the final. Josi's time was 47.45.