NHL announces Las Vegas-themed skills competition events for All-Star Game

ByGreg Wyshynski ESPN logo
Monday, January 31, 2022

The NHL has unveiled its first-ever outdoor All-Star Game skills competition events, scheduled for Friday in Las Vegas.

The Discover NHL Fountain Face-Off will be staged at the Fountains of Bellagio. Eight participants will travel by boat to a "rink" in the fountain. They must successfully shoot pucks as quickly as possible into five targets placed in the water -- fighting through the spray of the nearby fountains. Qualifying players move to the head-to-head final.

One of the participants in this event will be three-time Olympic medalist Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, as the NHL continues its recent trend of getting more women's hockey players involved in All-Star Weekend events.

The Las Vegas NHL 21 in '22 skills competition will shut down part of Las Vegas Boulevard.

There will be full deck of oversized playing cards on a rack and essentially is hockey-as-blackjack: Players will try to build a hand that equals 21 in the least number of shots without going bust by shooting pucks at the cards. The player who wins two rounds is crowned "Puck Shark." It will be a five-player field.

Along with those events, the NHL All-Star Skills Competition will include traditional indoor competitions at T-Mobile Arena: Fastest Skater, Save Streak for goalies, Hardest Shot, Accuracy Shooting and the return of the Breakaway Challenge for the first time since 2016. The Breakaway Challenge is a "trick shot" competition in which participants get two shot attempts and a panel of judges rates them on a scale of 1 to 10.

The NHL announced a few guest stars for the Breakaway Challenge this year. Anaheim Ducks forward Trevor Zegras, whose highlight-reel goals and assists have made him a favorite for rookie of the year, will take part in this skills competition even though he's not part of the Pacific Division All-Star roster. Manon Rhéaume, the first woman to ever play in an NHL game, and actor Wyatt Russell will be the guest goaltenders for the event.

The individual winner of each event of the skills competition will earn $30,000. Participants in the events will be revealed later in the week, as selected by the NHL's Department of Player Safety.

The NHL All-Star skills competition is scheduled for Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The NHL All-Star Game will follow on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on ABC. Both events will be held at T-Mobile Arena.

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