Pittsburgh Penguins Outdoor Game History
2008 Amp Energy NHL Winter Classic / Jan. 1, 2008
Pittsburgh Penguins 2 – Buffalo Sabres 1 (SO)
This was the NHL’s first regular-season outdoor NHL game in the U.S. A crowd of 71,217 fans – the most-ever to watch an NHL game – packed Buffalo’s Ralph Wilson Stadium and its success led to the league making New Year’s Day outdoor games an annual event, and in recent years multiple outdoor games have been staged each season. Played through a steady afternoon snowfall, the event took on a magical feel and was a tightly contested game (one of only two outdoor NHL games that went to a shootout). Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby ended it with his winning shootout goal — a forehand deke before sliding the puck between the pads of Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller. Colby Armstrong scored (off an assist from Crosby) during the game’s first minute, and Kris Letang also scored in the shootout. Ty Conkin made 36 saves in regulation and overtime and another two in the shootout.
2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic / Jan. 1, 2011
Washington Capitals 3 – Pittsburgh Penguins 1
The 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic was the most-viewed NHL regular-season game in the U.S. in 36 years, with an average of 4.5 million viewers watching in primetime as the Capitals defeated the Penguins in front of more than 68,000 at sold-out Heinz Field, the first outdoor game played in Pittsburgh. The game, originally scheduled for the afternoon, was played at night under the bright lights of Heinz Field after a storm brought rain and forced the delayed start time.
Eric Fehr had the final two goals of the game for Washington, which won despite no points from superstar Alex Ovechkin. Evgeni Malkin had the lone Penguins’ goal and Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves in his first outdoor start. Washington’s John Erskine and Pittsburgh’s Mike Rupp dropped the gloves in the second period and earned the first fighting majors in Outdoor Game history.
For Pittsburgh fans, the game will be most remembered for a David Steckel hit absorbed by Crosby as time expired in the second period. Although at the time no one knew it, the incident led to a concussion that denied Crosby of the second half of the season as well as most of the 2011-12 season.
2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series / March 1, 2014
Pittsburgh Penguins 1 – Chicago Blackhawks 5
Snow fell throughout the game, providing a winter wonderland for the finale of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Soldier Field. More than 60,000 fans – the fourth-largest crowd in NHL history – braved the elements to watch the Blackhawks defeat the Penguins 5-1.
In some of the most trying conditions for an NHL outdoor games to date, the Penguins were barely competitive against the reigning Stanley Cup champions. The Blackhawks tallied 40 shots. Chicago’s Jonathan Toews had two goals and an assist, and Corey Crawford’s shutout was ruined only when teammate Brent Seabrook inexplicably shoveled the puck into his own net early in the third period. Pittsburgh’s James Neal was credited with the goal.
2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series / February 25, 2017
Pittsburgh Penguins 4 – Philadelphia Flyers 2
Sidney Crosby sparkled in his return to Heinz Field, the scene of his career-altering concussion in the 2011 Winter Classic game. Crosby opened the game’s scoring with his league-leading 34th goal in the first period. Nick Bonino added a power play goal in the second and Matt Cullen and Chad Ruhwedel scored in the third to drop the Flyers.. Pittsburgh’s rookie goaltender Matt Murray made 36 saves.
After a week’s worth of record-breaking warm weather, a cold front moved through western Pennsylvania and brought colder temperatures and swirling, 20 mph winds. 67,318 fans packed Heinz Field for it’s second outdoor game.