Saturday night marked the fourth-annual NHL Winter Classic. The Winter Classic has become a staple of Jan. 1 sporting events ever since 2008 when the NHL played in its first outdoor regular season game since 2003.
In 2008 the Buffalo Sabers hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo. In 2009 the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in Chicago. In 2010 the Boston Bruins hosted the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park in Boston. This year the Penguins hosted the Washington Capitals at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
While weather has played a role in previous season’s winter classics, this is the first year a game was actually postponed because of weather. In Pittsburgh torrential rain caused the game to be postponed until the evening. However, despite to postponement, the game was still subject to quite a bit of rain.
In the game, the Capitals were able to beat the Penguins 3-1.
Evgeni Malkin got the scoring started for the Penguins when he scored a second period goal, his 14th. However, it was all Capitals from then on.
Mike Knuble tied up the game with a power play goal, his ninth. Eric Fehr then added two goals, one in the second period and one in the third, to put the game out of reach for the Penguins.
The attendance of the game as 68,111, which marks the second largest crowd in the history of the event.
While the venue for the 2012 Winter Classic is yet to be announced, rumors have been running wild, including the LA Kings playing against the Anaheim Ducks at Angels Stadium in Anaheim. It sure would be interesting to see how ice would hold up in the sunny Southern California weather if they did play the game there.