2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic®: Series History & What to Know

As the snow falls and cold air circulates the arena, players and fans, two lucky teams begin the new year with the outdoor regular-season game known as the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic®. This season, on January 2, 2023, the Pittsburgh Penguins® face off against the Boston Bruins® at historic Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. This will be the fourth NHL Winter Classic® for the Boston Bruins® and the second time the event has taken place at Fenway Park. The previous NHL Winter Classic® game at Fenway Park in 2010 had a miraculous ending, with Marco Sturm of the Boston Bruins® scoring the overtime goal to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers® 2-1. This year, the game will be broadcasted nationally via TNT.

2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic® FAQ

Who's playing in the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic®?

The 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic® will feature the Pittsburgh Penguins facing off against the Boston Bruins.

When is the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic®?

This season, the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic® game will be played on January 2, 2023 at 2:00 PM ET.

Where is the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic®?

The 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic® will be played at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Mother Nature and Outdoor Hockey

Despite snow, rain or frigid temperatures, all of the NHL Winter Classic® games have pushed through and played on. The 2022 Discover NHL Winter Classic® in Minneapolis between the St. Louis Blues® and the Minnesota Wild® was the coldest game in NHL® history; the temperature was -6 degrees Fahrenheit at the puck drop with a -18 degrees wind-chill factor. The temperature for this game was so cold, the grounds crew at Target Field had to heat up the ice to 22 degrees. According to NHL.com, “The floor of the Winter Classic ice rink is made of 283 aluminum ice pans. A mobile refrigeration unit pumps glycol through pipes to the pans and back to the truck to transfer heat.”

During the 2014 game between the Toronto Maple Leafs® and Detroit Red Wings® at Michigan Stadium, a snow storm was so bad, the game had to be continuously paused in order to shovel snow off the ice. The snow and the cold are not the only problems that can result from the NHL Winter Classic® games being outside; in 2012 it rained during the second period when the New York Rangers® beat the Philadelphia Flyers® 3-2 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Even though cold weather temps are the norm for NHL Winter Classic® games, the heat has also been a problem. during the 2020 NHL Winter Classic® between the Nashville Predators® and the Dallas Stars® in Dallas, the temperature was 55 degrees Fahrenheit when the game started, causing the top layer of the ice to melt, erasing the white paint and NHL® logo. Luckily, the NHL® had planned for this possibility during the creation of the rink, and so the ice was designed to be 2-2.5 inches thick as opposed to the standard 1-1.5 inches thick so the game was able to be played, leading to a 4-2 Dallas victory.

Seating map of Fenway Park for the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic®

NHL Winter Classic® History

Beginning in 2008, the NHL Winter Classic® has been an outdoor, regular-season game on or around New Year’s Day. The first NHL Winter Classic® was between the Pittsburgh Penguins® and the Buffalo Sabres® at Ralph Wilson Stadium (now Highmark Stadium) in Orchard Park, New York, on January 1, 2008, with the Penguins winning 2-1 after defeating the Sabres in a shootout. Since the debut, the NHL Winter Classic® has been played every year (excluding 2013 due to the lockout and 2021 due to COVID-19). The outdoor event has been a NHL® fan favorite, leading fans to embrace the temperatures and flock to the stadiums in record numbers. The 2014 NHL Winter Classic® between the Toronto Maple Leafs® and Detroit Red Wings® at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor holds the record for the largest NHL® crowd with 105,491 tickets sold. Many teams have played in the NHL Winter Classic®, but the Chicago Blackhawks® have the unfortunate record of the most games played, and most games lost — being 0-4 since their 2009 debut at Wrigley Field in Chicago. There have been a number of rule changes throughout the years in order to keep the game fair, including: teams are to switch sides halfway through the third period; if overtime occurs, teams are to switch sides during the 2.5 minute mark; and if a shootout occurs, goalies are allowed to decide which goal they would like to defend.

Past NHL Winter Classic® Results

YearVenueVisiting teamHome teamScore
2024T-Mobile ParkVegas Golden KnightsSeattle KrakenTBD
2023Fenway ParkPittsburgh PenguinsBoston Bruins1-2
2022Target FieldSt. Louis BluesMinnesota Wild6–4
2020Cotton BowlNashville PredatorsDallas Stars2–4
2019Notre Dame StadiumBoston BruinsChicago Blackhawks4–2
2018Citi FieldNew York RangersBuffalo Sabres3–2 (OT)
2017Busch StadiumChicago BlackhawksSt. Louis Blues1–4
2016Gillette StadiumMontreal CanadiensBoston Bruins5–1
2015Nationals ParkChicago BlackhawksWashington Capitals2–3
2014Michigan StadiumToronto Maple LeafsDetroit Red Wings3–2 (SO)
2012Citizens Bank ParkNew York RangersPhiladelphia Flyers3–2
2011Heinz FieldWashington CapitalsPittsburgh Penguins3–1
2010Fenway ParkPhiladelphia FlyersBoston Bruins1–2 (OT)
2009Wrigley FieldDetroit Red WingsChicago Blackhawks6–4
2008Ralph Wilson StadiumPittsburgh PenguinsBuffalo Sabres2–1 (SO)

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NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and the NHL Winter Classic logo is a trademark of the National Hockey League. NHL and NHL team marks are the property of the NHL and its teams. © NHL 2022. All Rights Reserved.


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