February 18, 2021
* All four teams involved were among the top four in their conference in 2019-20: Colorado (No. 2) and Vegas (No. 3) in the Western Conference, and Boston (No. 1) and Philadelphia (No. 4) in the Eastern Conference. They all advanced to at least the Second Round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* These four teams are led by two of the longest-serving and two of the newest captains in the NHL. Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux and Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog each received the “C” in 2012-13; their nine seasons as captain trail only Sidney Crosby (14), Jonathan Toews (13), Alex Ovechkin (12) and Ryan Getzlaf (11) for the longest active tenures. Vegas’ Mark Stone and Boston’s Patrice Bergeron each received the distinction this season – Stone became the first captain in Golden Knights history, while Bergeron became the first player other than Zdeno Chara to where the “C” for the Bruins since Joe Thornton in 2005-06.
* Nevada will become the 13th different state (plus the District of Columbia) to host an NHL regular-season outdoor game. In 2018, Nevada became the 16th different state to host a Stanley Cup Final game since the NHL was founded in 1917-18.
* The two games in the NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe series will be played at 6,224 feet above sea level, second-highest for an NHL regular-season outdoor game behind the 2020 Stadium Seriesbetween the Avalanche and Kingsat Falcon Stadium (6,621 feet). Colorado also competed in the outdoor game with the third-highest such figure (5,200 feet; 2016 Stadium Series at Coors Field vs. Detroit).
* The Flyers and Bruins will become the third set of teams to have an outdoor rematch (also PHI vs. PIT and DET vs. TOR), following the 2010 Winter Classic – a 2-1 comeback win by Boston at Fenway Park. David Krejci set up the tying goal, while Patrice Bergeron had the primary assist in overtime.
* Nine players who dressed in the 2010 Winter Classicremain in the NHL, with five still with the Bruins (Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Tuukka Rask) or Flyers (Claude Giroux, James van Riemsdyk). The others: Jeff Carter (LAK), Zdeno Chara (WSH), Braydon Coburn (OTT) and Blake Wheeler (WPG).
* The backup goaltenders from the 2010 Winter Classic were current NBC analyst Brian Boucher for the Flyers and Tuukka Rask for the Bruins.
* The Golden Knights (Marc-Andre Fleury, Robin Lehner) and Avalanche (Philipp Grubauer, Pavel Francouz) each have two goaltenders with outdoor experience, though all are seeking their first such victory. The Vegas tandem is a combined 0-2-1 outdoors (Fleury: 0-2-0 in 2 GP w/ PIT; Lehner: 0-0-1 in 1 GP w/ BUF), while the Avalanche duo is 0-1-0 after Francouz recorded a loss in relief of Grubauer in the 2020 Stadium Series.
* Bridgestone NHL Outdoors Saturday is to be the third of four straight games between Vegas and Colorado. NHL teams had never faced the same opponent more than three straight times in a regular season before 2020-21.
* A team participating in an NHL regular-season outdoor game has advanced to the Stanley Cup Final later that season in each of the past four years. The Penguins defeated the Flyers 4-2 in the 2017 Stadium Series at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh and less than four months later captured their second consecutive Stanley Cup. The Capitals defeated the Maple Leafs 5-2 in the 2018 Stadium Series at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md., and went on to win the first title in franchise history. The Bruins skated past the Blackhawks 4-2 in the 2019 Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium before falling to the Blues in Game 7 of the Final. The Stars staged a 4-2 comeback win against the Predators in the 2020 Winter Classic at Cotton Bowl Stadium before navigating through a pause in the season to reach Game 6 of the Final nearly nine months later.
* In addition to the above, the Flyers reached the 2010 Stanley Cup Final after facing the Bruins in the Winter Classic earlier that season.
0 – Number of NHL games played atop a golf course. The previous 30 NHL regular-season outdoor games have been hosted by football venues (19 GP), baseball parks (10 GP) and a soccer stadium (1 GP).
1 – Number of players born in Nevada to have been selected in the NHL Draft or to have played an NHL game. Gage Quinney (Las Vegas, Nev.), an undrafted forward signed by Vegas in 2018, has played three games.
5 – Number of goaltenders to face 40+ shots against in an NHL regular-season outdoor game, including three participating in NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe (Brian Elliott, Robin Lehner and Marc-Andre Fleury).
7 – Number of NHL regular-season outdoor games to require overtime (5 decided in OT, 2 in SO), including two involving Philadelphia (2010 Winter Classic vs. Boston and 2019 Stadium Series vs. Pittsburgh).
12 – Number of outdoor games decided by a one-goal margin. An additional five have been a multi-goal margin following an empty-net goal.
15 – Comeback wins in the League’s 30 outdoor games (50.0%), including four of the last five (2020 Winter Classic, 2019 Heritage Classic, 2019 Stadium Series, 2019 Winter Classic). That includes six wins by teams that trailed by multiple goals and seven victories by teams that faced a third-period deficit (of any margin).
16 – Wins by the team that scores first in the NHL’s 30 outdoor games to date (16-9-5), including an 11-3-3 record in the last 17 such contests.
17 – Wins by the road team in the NHL’s 30 outdoor games to date (road teams: 17-9-4; home teams: 13-14-3)
44.6 – The average high temperature, in degree Fahrenheit (7ºC), for Stateline, Nev., on both Feb. 20 and Feb. 21, according to accuweather.com.
836 – Number of players and coaches who have participated in the NHL’s 30 regular-season outdoor games to date (719 skaters, 82 goaltenders, 35 coaches).
1,823:23 – Total playing time, in minutes and seconds, of the previous 30 NHL regular-season outdoor games.
1,622,081 – Attendance for the NHL’s previous 30 regular-season outdoor games totals (54,069 per game). These contests will be the first two NHL games staged in the open air, without fans.
COURTESY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS & NHLmedia.com