Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Saturday night’s contest between the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs is going to be a spectacle under the lights. While this contest will be the first time the Capitals will partake in a Stadium Series game, this game will mark the third time the Capitals have had the honor and privilege of playing outside. NoVa Caps takes a look back at the previous two outdoor games the Caps were featured in.
Photo: Jonathan Newton/Washington Post
JAN. 1, 2011: CAPITALS AT PENGUINS- HEINZ FIELD, PITTSBURGH
The Capitals first outdoor game came in 2011 in a big contest with their biggest rivals. Initially this game was supposed to take place during the day but with the threat of impending rain, the game got moved to night time at 8 p.m. It made for a cool setting which is what Saturday’s Stadium Series game will be like in a sense, only the football stadium will be much smaller and more intimate. The Capitals defeated the Penguins 3-1 at Heinz Field.
Some fireworks broke out almost midway through the first period as John Erskine and Michael Rupp dropped the gloves.
No scoring took place until the second period. After Evgeny Malkin put the Penguins up early 1-0 the Caps scored three unanswered goals. Two came in the second while one came in the third. First Mike Knuble tied it, then Eric Fehr scored twice with his second tally coming in the third period.
Sidney Crosby left the game at the end of the second period after David Steckel ran into him.
Semyon Varlamov saved 32-of-33 shots he faced for a .970 save percentage to earn the win. Varlamov was the game’s first star of the game while Fehr was the second star.
Full game highlights:
JAN. 1, 2015: CAPITALS VS. BLACKHAWKS- NATIONALS PARK, DC
After Ted Leonsis constantly emailed NHL commissioner Gary Bettman over and over again asking to let Washington, D.C. host an outdoor game, the commish granted his wish. Nationals Park is always a popular destination in the summer time but on New Years Day in 2015, fans flocked to the ballpark to check out a hockey game.
In the first period, Eric Fehr scored the game’s first goal and Alex Ovechkin would later make it 2-0.
The Blackhawks got one back on a power play goal by Patrick Sharp. In the second, the Blackhawks tied it on a goal by Brandon Saad. In the third period, Troy Brouwer came up clutch with a power play goal with 13 seconds left to give the Capitals the thrilling 3-2 win.
Braden Holtby stopped 33-of-35 shots for a .943 save percentage to earn the win. Ovechkin was the first star of the game while Brouwer was the third star.
Full game highlights:
I hope you guys enjoyed taking that trip down memory lane. Whether you’re lucky enough to have tickets to the Stadium Series or are watching from your couch, let’s just sit back, relax, cheer on the Caps and enjoy the game.
By Michael Marzzacco