2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic®: Series History & What to Know
Oct 12, 2022
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.
The 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic® will feature the Pittsburgh Penguins facing off against the Boston Bruins.
This season, the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic® game will be played on January 2, 2023 at 2:00 PM ET.
The 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic® will be played at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.
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.
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.
|Year||Venue||Visiting team||Home team||Score|
|2024||T-Mobile Park||Vegas Golden Knights||Seattle Kraken||TBD|
|2023||Fenway Park||Pittsburgh Penguins||Boston Bruins||1-2|
|2022||Target Field||St. Louis Blues||Minnesota Wild||6–4|
|2020||Cotton Bowl||Nashville Predators||Dallas Stars||2–4|
|2019||Notre Dame Stadium||Boston Bruins||Chicago Blackhawks||4–2|
|2018||Citi Field||New York Rangers||Buffalo Sabres||3–2 (OT)|
|2017||Busch Stadium||Chicago Blackhawks||St. Louis Blues||1–4|
|2016||Gillette Stadium||Montreal Canadiens||Boston Bruins||5–1|
|2015||Nationals Park||Chicago Blackhawks||Washington Capitals||2–3|
|2014||Michigan Stadium||Toronto Maple Leafs||Detroit Red Wings||3–2 (SO)|
|2012||Citizens Bank Park||New York Rangers||Philadelphia Flyers||3–2|
|2011||Heinz Field||Washington Capitals||Pittsburgh Penguins||3–1|
|2010||Fenway Park||Philadelphia Flyers||Boston Bruins||1–2 (OT)|
|2009||Wrigley Field||Detroit Red Wings||Chicago Blackhawks||6–4|
|2008||Ralph Wilson Stadium||Pittsburgh Penguins||Buffalo Sabres||2–1 (SO)|
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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