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Saturday, January 1, 2011

NHL Winter Classic Coverage | "Seven Days to Saturday" | Day 7, Jan.1, 2011

Jan. 1, 2011
Coverage By - Frank Murgia
Source Credits -NHL, Photos: Frank Murgia

Game Day is here and the 8pm start looks to be a wise move.

PITTSBURGH - Today is day SEVEN of our "Seven Days to Saturday" 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Coverage which is being held here in Pittsburgh at Heinz Field today Saturday,  January 1, 2011 @ 8pm est.

2011 NHL Winter Classic News Coverage

Happy New Years friends. Welcome to 2011 and welcome to our final day of coverage which has now become known as "Seven Days to Sidney." We will be live blogging this evening from the Heinz Field press box. Stay with us and keep refreshing your page to be constantly updated.

NHL Winter Classic Pittsburgh 2011 Pittsburgh Penguins News Blog

2011 NHL WINTER CLASSIC Live Blog from Pittsburgh:
  • THIS IS A GREAT EVENT and even better at night. This whole weather craziness and moving the game to 8pm is a blessing in disguise for the NHL. Their is nothing on TV tonight, the bowl games are over at 8:30. The game under the lights will look spectacular. 
  • The parking lots are filling up early. I arrived at 4:30pm and had to park on the roof of the nearby casino.
  • A surprising bit of red I am seeing on the streets. many Washington Capitals fans will be making noise alongside the Pittsburgh towel waving faithful.
  • Scalpers are making a hefty dollar today. Tickets going for $3-400.
  • Stages were added to the equation on the filed just outside of the rink boards. Styx, Hinder and The Clarks will perform throughout the pre-game and intermission times.
  • Also added in the south end zone area is a mini pad of ice sponsored by Geico. Two youth teams are skating and playing on the ice pad. Mini Pens vs. Mini Caps of course.
  • Fans are backed up about 100 deep out side of the south end zone gate. The gates open in 6 minutes at 5:30pm. NBC Coverage starts at 8pm and the puck drops at 8:20pm
  • I am heading outside fo the field to check out the tailgating and fan fest activities.
  • Story/Video: Spectator Plaza Opens To Thousands Of Winter Classic Fans
  • WOW! The fans are in a good mood and the addition of the outdoor fan fest with activities and live music has really turned this evening into a very big ad very fun event. I will say I have been to many Steelers playoff games and I am not sure that that I have seen this type of crowd and excitement surrounding a game at Heinz Field and again their are very very many Capitals fans in their red and white gear. I would say it is almost even. Should be interesting to see the amount of red in Heinz Field as this may be the first time the enemy has taken over Pittsburgh turf.
  • The Capitals take the ice to a roar of boo's for a pre-skate at 7:25pm. The Pens follow to a roar of cheers and terrible towel waving. Their seats are about 70% full.
  • The Jumbo tron has a pre-recorded introduction by Jimmy Fallon. He introduces the band 'Hinder'
  • The Pens and Caps enter the field side by side to a marching and flames. Crowd roars and the terrible towels are a great site to see at a hockey game.
  • These are the better looking Penguins uniforms of the two winter classic throwbacks.
  • Their is a good bit of red mixed in the crowd as seen out side the Washington fans are in full force.
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sports writer and talent network client as a speaker and comic is sitting next to me in the press box. Nice to see Gene. He is a pro. I am digging watching him work.
  • Game Time Temperature is 51.7 degrees and cloudy. The players are swooshing some water around on the ice with their sticks.
  • Mario Lemieux, Franco Harris, Jerome Bettis and U.S. Army sergeant First Class Bradley T. Tinstman handle the ceremonial dropping fo the first puck at 8:07pm est
  • Canadian National Anthem sung by Steven Page
  • U.S. national anthem sung by Pittsburgh's Little Jackie Evancho

  • The puck drops at 8:12pm est
  • Nice to hear the sound of a real organ playing the themes songs and chants adding to the atmosphere
  • NBC is on a 30 second delay behind the actual game I am watching from the press box. The tv sound is turned up high in the press box and it is very hard to follow the live game with play by play 30 seconds behind in my ears.
  • The game looks great on the NBC broadcast
  • The first fight of the night between John Erskine ad Mike Rupp at 11:52 of the 1st period. Rupp with a few nice shots then the just held each others sweater and trying to get lose for more shots. Nothing too rough of the tv viewing audience.
  • The crowd is mello with 5 minutes to go in the 1st period. They want a goal. 
  • First period ends in a 0-0 tie. The puck wasn't moving to well on the wet ice and hit hampered the action a bit.

  • Pittsburgh Music legends The Clarks perform three songs during the first intermission. it is raining a light drizzle now and the ice is looking more wet and could become a bit sloppy in the 2nd period. It is still warm out at 49 degrees.
  • The rain is light but steady as period #2 starts. 
  • PENS SCORE, Malkin, from Letang and Fleury (1-0)
  • The crowd is into it and wanted it. The Buzz is back. 
  • CAPS SCORE, Knuble from Green and Backstrom. (1-1)
  • LETS'S GO PENS! chant 7:47 of the 2nd period.
  • CAPS SCORE. Fehr from Johansson at 14:45 (2-1)
  • Fleury was lost behind his own net and couldn't get back in full position in the net to stop the scoring puck.
  • Caps take a tripping penalty, a good chance for the Pens to strike right back.
  • PENS Goal called off with 30 seconds to go in the period. Damn, they need that one.
  • SIDNEY CROSBY takes a hard shot to the ice as time expires and his hunched over in pain for a few moments but leave under his own power.
  • End of the 2nd period (2-1) Caps
  • Franco Harris and Jerome 'The Bus' Bettis shoot pucks for charity on the mini ice pad. $500 for each goal made to charity inner city hockey.
  • STYX takes the stage during the second intermission to sing 'Renegade' and fire up the crowd. Tommy Shaw looks like the cowardly lion. The terrible towels are waving. I still have no idea why this is the Steelers and Heinz Field anthem.
  • Washington Capitals GM George McPhee, not a tall man. He seems more tall and lanky on HBO's 24/7. 

  • 68,111 is the official NHL Winter Classic attendance. 
  • The Penguins return to the ice for the third period at 10:12pm est
  • 47 degrees and no rain to start the 3rd.
  • The Penguins are 0-7-1 when trailing after 40 minutes.
  • RAIN, it is now raining pretty steady and hard with 15 minutes to go in the third. The game is now official and can be called if they so choose and the caps will win the game 2-1.
  • Saw Caps GM George McPhee again this time in the bathroom. If you see him don't shake his hand. He didn't was up when done.
  • The rain is a bit slower now. 10 minutes left. I feel another overtime wich would be the third in four years.
  • CAPS SCORE, Fehr his second from Chimera and Erskine at 11:59 of the third. There goes my overtime prediction. Beat Fleury good over the glove hand shoulder. (3-1)
  • The rain has stopped with 5:30 left to play.
  • WELL, NBC can't be too excited that the two big billed superstars have yet to score. Crosby and Ovie shutout.
  • ooops spoke to soon, Ovie scored. -- nope it is being waived off.
  • a little bit of fighting as time is running out. Tempers are heating up.
  • Well, this is a real good ending i would say for the HBO 24/7 series. The Capitals get redemption and start their own win streak and beat the happy go lucky, everything goes right for the Penguins.
  • GAME OVER - THE WASHINGTON CAPITALS WIN 3-1 IN THE 2011 BRIDGESTONE NHL WINTER CLASSIC. Next up the Heritage Classic in Calgary in February 20 featuring the Montreal Canadians against the Calgary Flames.
  • HMMM? NO Official hand shake line as has been standard in the three previous classics.

Thanks for joining us all week for the past seven days as we covered the classic. We will have some more video posted Monday as well as fan perspective from Lauren Norris of talent network news

* VIEW our DAY-7 (Gameday) Full Winter Classic  PHOTO Album

* VIEW our DAY-6 Full Winter Classic  PHOTO Album
* VIEW our DAY-5 Full Winter Classic  PHOTO Album
* VIEW our DAY-3 Full Winter Classic  PHOTO Album
* VIEW our DAY-2 Full Winter Classic  PHOTO Album
* VIEW our DAY-1 Full Winter Classic  PHOTO Album

* VIEW our Winter Classic NEWS Page

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