2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic

Live from Heinz Field… The Winter Classic

on


Well, we are underway here in Pittsburgh and let me be the first to tell you that seeing this event in person is pretty friggin awesome! We had a great week of events leading up to this thing and it is finally culminating in the crown jewel, an outdoor hockey game between two bitter rivals!

The pre-game skates were received with huge cheers and boos… there are estimated to be 30,000 Capitals fans in the building, which is really giving this a great vibe. Yes, it is a home game for the Penguins, but Caps Nation is well represented!

The league had Jimmy Fallon introduce Hinder, who performed prior to the national anthems, but I wasn’t overly impressed with how that played out. Fallon went hard and heavy on the fact that Hinder was going to “get our blood pumping” and then they hit the stage with “Lips of an Angel,” a ballad that was a huge hit for them, but not necessarily known for getting blood pumping!

Once they finished up, it was time for the Anthems and they were spectacularly performed by both Steven Page (Canada) and Jackie Evancho (USA). They were accompanied by a card trick that involved the audience. They held cards that formed Canadian and American Flags during each anthem respectively… when they were finished, some fire works and pyro were shot off.

The official game time temperature here was 51.7 degrees. Amazing that we are that warm in January in Pittsburgh…

The teams entered the field side by side through the tunnel, as has become tradition here at the Winter Classic.

There hasn’t been a ton to report here as of yet in the game, though the Penguins took the first penalty, but were able to kill that off. There is 12:32 remaining in the game… stay tuned for more updates as it all happens…

* * * * *

The penguins got their first power play of the game as Sidney Crosby was taken down as he tried to get to the net… Mike Green the guilty party… some in the building were calling for a penalty shot, but that didn’t come to pass.

The Penguins PP had some trouble getting in to the zone, but finally managed to get set up with about minute remaining…

* * * * *

The Capitals were able to kill off the Penguins power play.

* * * * *

Mike Rupp and John Erskine got into a pretty vicious throwdown… Rupp eventually tapped out, but they were throwing haymakers for what seemed like an hour. It looked like Rupp might have hurt his hand a bit… we shall see.

* * * * *

Mark Letestu rang one off of the iron from the high slot…

* * * * *

Just 2:48 remaining in the period and we have yet to register a score.

* * * * *

Several folks watching at home have complained about NBC’s camera work thus far tonight… I haven’t noticed it myself, but apparently they went to a very high overhead view during the penalty kill earlier and it was tough for folks to see what was happening.

* * * * *

36.4 seconds remaining and the teams are still deadlocked at 0-0…

* * * * *

A big scrum at the end of the period, but the officials finally get them separated and sent to their rooms… at the end of one, the teams are tied 0-0. Semyon Varlamov and Marc Andre Fleury stole the period from the skaters, as they made a combined 28 saves.

* * * * *

Jimmy Fallon is back up on the board stirring the folks up… this time he was introducing Pittsburgh’s own: The Clarks…

The Clarks just celebrated their 2,000th show as a band. It was played at the new AE Amphitheater here on the North Shore on Thursday night. I am sure that my buddy Scott Keller is going nuts right about now! He has long worked sound for them and is a life time hockey fan… he has spent the last five years getting his young son Chase turned on to the game. He has access to the game etc as part of the Clarks contingent this evening… so pumped for him!

* * * * *

The Clarks just ripped into Born to Late…

* * * * *

The Clarks finish their set with their rendition of “What a Wonderful World”… way more Joey Ramone than Louie Armstrong… it was also featured prominently in the Penguins “Great Day for Hockey” marketing campaign last year…

* * * * *

Kris Letang led the first period for both teams with 3 shots on goal.

The Penguins are outshooting the Caps 16-12.

The Penguins are outhitting the Caps 15-10.

* * * * *

The second period is underway and the Penguins jumped out to a quick lead…

Evgeni Malkin took a pass from Kris Letang in stride coming through the neutral zone. He came down the wing and lashed a shot past Varly… he took a page out of Ovechkin’s book with his celebration…

The interesting thing about the goal is that Marc Andre Fleury was forced to make two big stops moments before the goal…

1-0 Penguins…

* * * * *

The Penguins are going back on the power play as Brooks Laich was just whistled for goaltender interference…

* * * * *

The Penguins were stuffed on the power play, but had some good opportunities.

* * * * *

The Caps will get their crack with the extra man… Max Talbot was called for holding…

* * * * *

The Caps look to have this one knotted up at 1s… Mike Green attempted the initial shot, but muffed it. The puck trickled to the right and into a mash of bodies… it came loose and Mike Knuble knocked it home… vintage Knuble goal around the net.

1-1

* * * * *

BTW, Jordan Staal played 4:29 in the first period…

* * * * *

Rain looks to be coming down pretty steadily out there… we shall see if it effects the game and or the third period. The ice looks to be staying pretty dry… the biggest complaint from anyone yesterday was the fact that the goalies had some trouble sliding on the ice when it was wet. That will be a problem for those side to side passes etc.

* * * * *

Rain seems to have passed for the time being… the side of the ice closest to the player benches seems to be the wettest right now. There are puddles… I will say that side of the ice was the worst when we were out there for the media skate on Thursday. There were some bad spots along the boards on the blue line…

* * * * *

The Capitals have taken advantage of a Marc Andre Fleury mishap…. he came out to play the puck and it looked to get away from him. It was quickly fed to the front of the net and Eric Fehr knocked it home…

2-1 Caps…

* * * * *

The Penguins get back on the power play almost immediately following the Caps goal… however they have yet to be able to get anything going in the zone.

* * * * *

Crosby just lost his footing near the blue line on the Penguins side of the ice… looked to hit a rut.

* * * * *

Crosby quickly jumped up and and joined a three on two the other way… unfortunately, the rush resulted in a goal that was overturned by the officials after they determined that Mike Rupp interfered with the goalie… he made slight contact with Varly after he collided with Mike Green.

* * * * *

Two periods in the book… the Penguins are trailing 2-1 after the egregious play behind the net by Marc Andre Fleury…

Alex Ovechkin has taken the lead in shots on goal with 5… Malkin second with 4…

Jordan Staal has now played 9:23…

Waiting to see Franco Harris and Jerome Bettis participate in the Legends shoot out… they will each take ten shots

* * * * *

Now Franco and the Bus are doing something with footballs…

* * * * *

Styx just hit the stage and ripped into Renegade… a staple long heard here at Heinz Field…

* * * * *

Third period underway…

* * * * *

It is pouring again! Doesn’t seem to be effecting the guys much, but it is going to put a damper on my long walk to the car later!

* * * * *

Pens knocking on the door, but Varly was on point in keeping them at bay… looked like 3 nice saves… initial, rebound and a post keeps the Birds off the board…

* * * * *

The Penguins go back on the power play… Mike Knuble to the box…

* * * * *

The teams are switching sides as scheduled… at hard whistle at the ten minute mark signaled the change…

* * * * *

The Penguins have been pressuring, but were not able to break through. They started to press a bit and it resulted in a breakaway for Eric Fehr… he made no mistake in firing the puck over Fleury’s glove hand… his second goal of the game…

3-1…Caps…

* * * * *

The biggest news coming out of this Winter Classic right now is the fact that Dwayne Roloson has been traded to Tampa Bay for Ty Wishart…

* * * * *

Another turnover off of a Fleury play behind the net almost results in another Caps goal… though the officials waived it off for incidental contact with the goalie…

* * * * *

The Penguins fall 3-1 to the Washington Capitals.

Comments

About Brian Metzer

Profile photo of Brian Metzer

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Brian Metzer has been covering the Pittsburgh Penguins and National Hockey League since 2004. He is the host of Penguins Live Weekly, a show that airs Saturday mornings on 105.9 the X and iHeart Radio. He serves as the Pittsburgh Penguins correspondent for NHL Network Radio on SiriusXM, and is the NHL and Penguins correspondent for the Beaver County Times. Metzer is also a contributing writer for NHL.com and is the primary contributor for this site www.fromthepoint.com.

Recommended for you

8 Comments

  1. Francine Boudreau

    January 1, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Saw it all Brian…..it’s awesome….would love to be there. Thanks for the good reporting….great job. Francine

  2. Scott L

    January 1, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    The camera work is horrible. Blimp view for the penalty kill.

  3. Heather

    January 1, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Very exciting to have you covering the game live! We’re watching the game with a tropical breeze blowing through the condo 🙂

    Did that Evancho girl lip synch the national anthem???

    Pierre McGuire and Mike Emrick continue to be the journalistic equivalent of Dumb and Dumber. Some of the comments they’ve made are just embarrassing…

    Have fun! Go Pens! Suck it, #8!

  4. Profile photo of Brian Metzer

    Brian Metzer

    January 1, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks Francine! Always appreciate the kind words!

  5. Profile photo of Brian Metzer

    Brian Metzer

    January 1, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Scott, there are others complaining about it too! No good! I mentioned it to a few folks…

  6. Profile photo of Brian Metzer

    Brian Metzer

    January 1, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Awesome Heath! Glad that you guys are getting some R & R and enjoyment… also glad that you are following along here! Thanks for all your support! Always means a lot…

    B

  7. Profile photo of Brian Metzer

    Brian Metzer

    January 1, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    I don’t think she lip synced, but I don’t know for sure. They have a long history of using backing tracks for anthems though.

  8. Profile photo of Brian Metzer

    Brian Metzer

    January 1, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Tough period for Blue…