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2015 Winter Classic

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 matched the Chicago Blackhawks against the Washington Capitals; the Capitals won, 3–2 after scoring the go-ahead goal with less than 13 seconds remaining in regulation play.

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).

The game is one of two to be held outdoors during the 2014–15 NHL season, the other being the 2015 NHL Stadium Series in February.

Game BackgroundEdit

Bidding ProcessEdit

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman promised before the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals in Chicago that the Capitals would get to host the Winter Classic within two or three years.

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.

Stadium SelectionEdit

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.

Opponent SelectionEdit

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.

UniformsEdit

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.

Game SummaryEdit

Scoring summary
Period Team Goal Assist(s) Time Score
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
Penalty summary
Period Team Player Penalty Time PIM
1st CHI Daniel Carcillo Roughing 05:41 2:00
WSH Tom Wilson Roughing 05:41 2:00
WSH Nicklas Backstrom Holding 13:29 2:00
CHI Bryan Bickell Hi-sticking 17:41 2:00
WSH Troy Brouwer Boarding 18:33 2:00
2nd WSH Jason Chimera Holding 03:57 2:00
WSH Tom Wilson Goaltender interference 09:18 2:00
WSH John Carlson Hi-sticking 09:47 2:00
3rd CHI Andrew Shaw Tripping 08:21 2:00
WSH Matt Niskanen Boarding 16:49 2:00
CHI Jonathan Toews Hooking 18:47 2:00
CHI Brandon Saad Slashing 19:47 2:00
Shots by period
Team 1 2 3 Total
Chicago 13 13 9 35
Washington 15 7 13 35
Power play opportunities
Goals/Opportunities
Chicago 1/6
Washington 1/4
Three star selections
Team Player Statistics
1st WSH Alexander Ovechkin 1 Goal, 1 Assist
2nd CHI Patrick Sharp 1 Goal
3rd WSH Troy Brouwer 1 Goal

Television RatingsEdit

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.