Los Angeles (AFP) - Detroit Red Wings rookie center Dylan Larkin captured the Fastest Skater title, breaking the 20-year old mark set by Mike Gartner during the NHL all-star skills competition.
The 19-year-old American Larkin zipped around the Bridgestone Arena ice surface in 13.172 seconds, just 0.02 seconds ahead of Gartner's former record of 13.386. Larkin would have had an even faster time if he hadn't stumbled around the last turn.
"I was just happy I didn't fall. It is pretty cool -- the crowd was pretty nuts," Larkin said of his blazing lap around the rink.
Larkin's skate, in front of a sold out crowd of 17,006, highlighted the All-Star Weekend festivities ahead of Sunday's mid-season showcase game which is being hosted by the Nashville Predators.
Predators superstar Shea Weber defended his title by winning the popular Hardest Shot competition.
Weber just missed Zdeno Chara's four-year old record of 108.8 mph with a blast of 108.1 mph.
"The crowd was really into it," Weber said. "Sure, I was slightly disappointed that I didn't break the record. We're very competitive out there."
Pacific Division captain John Scott drew the loudest cheer of any non-Nashville player in pre-event introductions. Scott, who won a fan vote to claim his spot on the team and was then traded by the Arizona Coyotes to the Montreal Canadiens on January 15, was sent down to the lower level American Hockey League by Montreal, which the NHL said invalidated the fan vote.
But Scott's spot was restored after complaints about the way he was treated. Wearing a jersey that said NHL across the front, Scott defiantly took part in the Hardest Shot and Shootout competitions.
"It was really neat that it happened," said Scott, who has 542 penalty minutes in 285 games with six NHL teams.
"Very emotional. My heart was going boom-boom-boom. It was very touching."