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Preview: The 2023 Winter Classic is here!

Bruins vs. Penguins!

2023 NHL Winter Classic - Practices & Family Skate Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Today, 2:00 PM

Where: Fenway Park – Boston, MA

How to follow: TNT, TVAS, SN, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: PensBurgh

Know your enemy

  • 19-11-6, 44PTS, tied for 5th in Metropolitan Division
  • Sidney Crosby: 36GP, 19G, 24A, 43PTS; Evgeni Malkin: 36GP, 12G, 22A, 34PTS; Jake Guentzel: 32GP, 15G, 18A, 33PTS
  • Tristan Jarry: 15-5-4, 2.78 GAA, .917 save percentage

Game notes

The Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins face off this afternoon for the 2023 Winter Classic at Fenway Park!

Today’s game notes will look a little different — after all, it is a pretty special game!

Yesterday, SCOC had the chance to catch up with David Pastrnak and A.J. Greer, as well as Teddy Blueger and Jeff Carter from the Penguins about the game and everything surrounding it.

Here’s what both teams had to say!

Boston Bruins

SCOC tried to see if Pastrnak would leak any clues into the team’s attire as they make their entrance into Fenway Park. He wouldn’t budge though.

“I can’t nope,” Pastrnak said. “It’s a team thing though. That’s what you’ll get. We’re all wearing the same thing.”

Although he won’t be wearing it, Pastrnak had a special jacket made up for him, which was hanging in their clubhouse yesterday.

“I’ve got it over there,” Pastrnak pointed. “It’s really amazing. It was very cool. I would really love to wear it tomorrow, but unfortunately like I said we have a team thing, but the jacket is sick. I’m really happy with how it turned out.”

We asked Pastrnak how the ice felt out there, as there was concern with the temperature affecting the skating conditions.

“It’s good,” Pastrnak said. “It’s a different touch with the outdoor ice. It’s nice and just a learning process.”

What won’t be a different experience is the fans backing the Bruins during the game. It will be a different setting for the Bruins, but one they are excited for.

“It will be very interesting,” Pastrnak said. “We’ve got the home game so that’s special for the fans and everyone is going to be loud and excited.”

For A.J. Greer, he’s ready to feel the energy from the Fenway crowd — which he thinks might rival the noise the TD Garden brings.

“It’s going to be a home game either way but I think the energy will be even better,” Greer said. “Just being outside everyone’s been so psyched for this game for so long. It will be a good crowd.”

The energy and everything the fans bring will be different for sure than at the TD Garden, but it will definitely be good,” Greer added.

The Winter Classic weekend has been a special memory for the fourth liner — and one he’ll remember sharing with family.

“It’s been awesome,” Greer said. “It’s very special. Being outside and in such a prestigious and a great ballpark makes it a lot more special too — especially having everyone’s family here.

“They are also enjoying the moment with us and getting a little feel of what we do day to day,” he said.

The Bruins practiced yesterday at 2:30 p.m., just about the time today’s Winter Classic will kick off. At that time, Greer felt the ice’s conditions progressed as their practice wore on.

“It was better than I thought for sure,” Greer said. “It was a little hot when we started practice. When the family skate started, it started to get chillier so I think that when it gets a little colder that it will be better.”

He said that’s either going to be a good or bad things for both teams.

Pittsburgh Penguins

For Pittsburgh’s Teddy Blueger, the history of the ballpark helped enhance the experience of practicing on the ice and grew the anticipation of playing in the Winter Classic this afternoon in front of family in town.

“It was really cool and great to practice in,” Blueger said. Obviously it’s a big event regardless of where it is so it’s fun having family and friends here and a reason to get together.”

“It’s not often you get to play in one of these,” he added. “Being at Fenway too, I’m not a big baseball person, but you can tell all the history and the overall aurora it has around it which I think is very special.”

Blueger said he didn’t get a chance to tour Fenway, but through the setting and being in their “clubhouse” added to the atmosphere for his team.

“We walked into the concourse, walking around in here a little bit, through the dugout, through the tunnel, it’s very cool,” Blueger said. “You can tell it’s got a lot of character.”

With all the special events surrounding the Winter Classic, he said the Penguins are still focused on the game at hand and that they can use the game to get their footing back.

The Penguins are on a four-game losing streak and for them, they are playing for these two points.

“You try to enjoy everything obviously,” Blueger said. “We talked about it, try to enjoy the surrounding stuff and having everyone’s family around, being together and New Year’s and everything. But the most important thing is the two points. We’re at a point where we really need them and a game like this could be a great way for us to gain some positive momentum and get us back in the right direction.”

For Jeff Carter, he’s excited his young family is now at ages where they will remember the experience.

“This will be a good one for my kids because the last one they were three and two so they were there and they remember going but that’s about it,” Carter said.

Carter joined the Penguins during the 2020-21 season but played in the Stadium Series with the LA Kings.

He said the weather for that was nice because you’re in LA, but this Boston weather is hockey weather.

“You think of hockey and playing outdoors in cold weather,” Carter said. “It will be nice too and a good scene to play in. It’s a little different playing in L.A. when it’s 65 degrees and sunny out but it will be cool here.”

See ya this afternoon for the puck drop at 2 p.m.! And get ready for the ceremonial puck drop featuring Bobby Orr, Zdeno Chara and Johnny Bucyk!