The 2015 NHL Winter Classic was an outdoor regular season National Hockey League (NHL) game played on January 1, 2015 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
The game garnered an attendance of 42,832 and was televised nationally in the United States on NBC and in Canada on CBC.
The 2015 Winter Classic marked the Capitals' second victory in as many outdoor games (the first being in the 2011 NHL Winter Classic) and the Blackhawks' second loss in three outdoor games (the previous two being a loss in the 2009 NHL Winter Classic and a victory in the 2014 NHL Stadium Series).
However, the 2013 NHL Winter Classic was postponed by a year due to the 2012–13 NHL lockout and the Capitals therefore had to wait until at least 2015 to host the Winter Classic.
The Baltimore–Washington metroplex has several stadiums that meet the NHL's criteria for hosting the Winter Classic and speculation included RFK Stadium and Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.; FedExField in Landover, Maryland; and Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.
A desire to keep the game in the city proper and Nationals Park's more modern amenities made Nationals Park the early favorite. On September 10, 2014, the NHL confirmed the game would be played at Nationals Park.
On June 20, 2014, nine months after the Capitals were named as hosts, the media reported they will play the Chicago Blackhawks although the NHL did not immediately confirm the reports until they announced the 2014–15 regular season schedule two days later.
This marked the second Winter Classic appearance for both the Capitals and the Blackhawks.
In the 2009 Winter Classic, the Blackhawks lost to the Detroit Red Wings 4–6 and in the 2011 Winter Classic, the Capitals defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3–1.
Chicago's jerseys were based on their 1957 jerseys, white with red and black striping on the bottom, lace-up collars and the tomahawk logo near the elbows.
Washington's jerseys represented a combined look back at hockey in D.C.: red sweaters (in a darker shade of red than the team's normal uniforms) with white stripes atop the shoulders and along the bottom, the front featuring the team's name in white over a large blue 'W' with the center of the 'W' stylized like the Washington Monument.
|1st||WSH||Eric Fehr (11)||Unassisted||07:01||1–0 WSH|
|WSH||Alexander Ovechkin (18)||Mike Green (15) and Jack Hillen (3)||11:58||2–0 WSH|
|CHI||Patrick Sharp (7) – pp||Duncan Keith (18) and Patrick Kane (23)||13:36||2–1 WSH|
|2nd||CHI||Brandon Saad (9)||Jonathan Toews (19) and Marian Hossa (17)||03:15||2–2 TIE|
|3rd||WSH||Troy Brouwer (11) – pp||Alexander Ovechkin (14) and Mike Green (16)||19:47||3–2 WSH|
|WSH||Tom Wilson||Goaltender interference||09:18||2:00|
|Shots by period|
- Power play opportunities
- Three star selections
|1st||WSH||Alexander Ovechkin||1 Goal, 1 Assist|
|2nd||CHI||Patrick Sharp||1 Goal|
|3rd||WSH||Troy Brouwer||1 Goal|
The 2015 NHL Winter Classic was the second least watched Winter Classic to date. NBC reported a 2.3 overnight rating and 3.47 million viewers while CBC barely crossed the 1 million viewer line.