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Beagle: Win makes Winter Classic even more fun

Jay Beagle - Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals forward Jay Beagle played in his second Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Thursday at Nationals Park as his team skated off with a 3-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks. Beagle also suited up for Washington at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh in 2011.

Beagle agreed to offer up his opinions in blog form leading up to and after the main event.

WASHINGTON -- After all the hype for the past several weeks, today was finally the big day.

And what a day it was.

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Raanta: Loss dampens Winter Classic experience

Antti Raanta - Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Antti Raanta dressed for his first Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Thursday at Nationals Park, backing up starter Corey Crawford against the Washington Capitals.

The Blackhawks were defeated 3-2 on a goal by Troy Brouwer with 13 second remaining in the game. In his final blog from the Winter Classic, Raanta discusses the magic leading to the game as well as the disappointment of the last minute loss.

WASHINGTON -- It was a special day to be part of the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. We woke up at 9 a.m. and had a good breakfast before we started to make the trip here to the stadium.

You could really feel that everyone was excited about the game on the way over here. When we came here and had time for some pre-game warmups, we decided to play soccer outside on the field. That was a great feeling. We could see the fans were showing up early and ready for the game.

When we started to put our gear on in the locker room it was a lot of excitement. Once we had everything ready, we went to the ice for the warmup.

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World Junior Championship medal round preview

Thursday, 01.01.2015 / 3:25 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

MONTREAL -- If the preliminary round of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship proved anything it's that international competition brings out the best in the top junior-aged hockey players in the world.

How else could you explain Slovakia earning a 2-1 victory against defending champion Finland, Switzerland thumping tournament contender Czech Republic 5-2, and Denmark's fantastic locker room celebration after winning for the first time in the top division of the WJC, a 4-3 shootout victory against Switzerland.

While the occasional upset is par for the course at the WJC in recent years, the perennial favorites always seem to be vying for the grand prize in the end. This year is no exception as the United States, Canada, Sweden and Russia are four of the eight teams to advance into the playoff round of the tournament, which begins Friday.

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Oilers' Aulie faces Player Safety hearing Thursday

Thursday, 01.01.2015 / 3:10 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Keith Aulie will have a hearing Thursday for his hit on Calgary Flames forward Matt Stajan during a game at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday night.

Aulie was assessed a match penalty and a game misconduct for the hit at 19:05 of the first period. Stajan left the game, but returned.

The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: hit to the head. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.

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Quote of the Day

He's a winner. We want winners here, and he's a proven winner. He's won two Stanley Cups. He's 22 years old and been a big part of it. He's got all the right tools. He's got size (6-foot-1, 204 pounds) and strength. He's exactly what we were looking for. He's going to be a big piece of our team for many, many years to come.

— Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen on Brandon Saad, who he acquired in a trade with the Blackhawks on Tuesday
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