Home / Sports / Islanders’ John Tavares wins accuracy contest for East

Islanders’ John Tavares wins accuracy contest for East

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Updated: Sunday, January 31, 2016, 1:00 AM

John Tavares (c.) talks with Lightning's Steven Stamkos before going out and winning the accuracy shooting contest for the East.Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

NASHVILLE — A Chewbacca mask and a Jaromir Jagr imitator were the highlights of Saturday night’s NHL All-Star Skills competition, but Islanders captain John Tavares represented New York well by winning the accuracy shooting contest for the Eastern Conference.

Bearded San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns donned a mask of the furry Star Wars character during the breakaway challenge, losing in a fan vote to Montreal Canadiens D-man P.K. Subban, who disguised himself with a wig and a Panthers jersey and had Jagr rolling with laughter.

Tavares lifted the East to a win in the accuracy shooting, though, by hitting four targets on just five shots in only 12.294 seconds — the fastest time among all the shooters. “Sometimes you’ve been sitting around for a half an hour and then you get that first puck and you’re not able to raise it,” Tavares said of how no player went 4-for-4. “The first shot or two you almost have to get yourself into it, at least for me today I missed the first one then got them all after that.”

Sharks center Joe Pavelski and Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin also hit the four targets on five shots but not as quickly as the Isles’ captain.

Tavares is also the captain of the Metropolitan Division’s team in Sunday night’s 3-on-3 All-Star Game. He received the “C” when Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin backed out of the weekend’s festivities at the last minute due to a lower-body injury.

With the help of Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh’s goal in the shootout, the East won the skills competition, allowing the Atlantic and Metropolitan divisions to play first in Sunday night’s inevitably tiresome event.

“We’re gonna play the first game. We’ve gotta keep Jags fresh,” McDonagh said with a laugh, mocking Jagr’s age.

McDonagh, who brought his family along to enjoy the nice weather and weekend festivities, credited his quick wrist shot past Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson to one of his most skilled Rangers teammates.

“I’ve kind of been picking it up in practice from Zuccarello over the years,” McDonagh said.

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