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2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series 
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2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series CHI - Penguins v Blackhawks

Special bond unites USA Warriors, Blackhawks

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

It was six years ago when U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Purple Heart recipient Paul Schaus was lying in a hospital bed wondering what the future would hold.

"I had a moment there in the hospital where I didn't want to leave the room; just wanted to be a homebody or something. I didn't want to get out," Schaus told NHL.com.

At the time, Schaus was coming off a bilateral above-knee amputation after losing both legs to an improvised explosive device during a routine patrol while serving his country in Afghanistan in 2009.

"We were supporting another patrol and I stepped on the IED, but my whole team remembered their training and took care of me, got me out of there and saved my life," he said. "The men you serve with in the military aren't guys you normally grow up with, but we all have the same mindset, thoughts and go through the same stuff. That's what bonds the group together and becomes a lifetime brotherhood. You don't forget."

Stadium Series Chicago by the numbers

NHL.com

CHICAGO – A look at the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series Chicago outdoor game at Soldier Field "By the Numbers":

Blackhawks' Kane senses better days ahead

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- His stats dipped after the new year started and he didn't score a single goal for the United States at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but Patrick Kane isn't concerned.

In fact, he sounds quite the opposite heading into the Chicago Blackhawks' final stretch of 22 games in the regular season.

"I'm excited about what we have left in the season," Kane said Wednesday, after his first practice since returning from Russia. "I think going through the Olympics was obviously a little bit of a struggle, but I still feel like I played decent and had enough chances to put up some good numbers. It just didn't happen that way. I'm actually, if you can believe it or not, excited where my game is and where I can improve and get better."

NHL, Soldier Field issue fan reminders for Stadium Series game between Blackhawks, Penguins

NHL.com

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League®, Chicago Blackhawks, Soldier Field and the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications would like to remind fans attending Saturday's 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins about traffic impacts and weather precautions on game day, as well as ticket and security matters.

Start time is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT on Saturday. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to avoid anticipated last minute crowds at the gates and to enjoy pregame festivities inside and outside the stadium. Parking lots around Soldier Field will open at 3 p.m. CT and gates to Soldier Field will open at 5 p.m. CT. Spectator Plaza, the official interactive hockey and entertainment festival featuring live music, hockey-themed attractions and more, is a free event and opens to the public at 3 p.m. on game day. It is located on the Stadium Green near Gate 6.

Wrigley memories remain strong for Blackhawks

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg is an experienced veteran now, but he'll never forget the game he played as a rookie Jan. 1, 2009 at Wrigley Field.

Versteeg took the ice that day with the Blackhawks to face the rival Detroit Red Wings in the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. He wound up scoring the game's first goal 3:24 into the first period in what turned out to be a back-and-forth game won by Detroit 6-4 in cold, overcast conditions.

As the Blackhawks prepare to face the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday at Soldier Field (8 p.m. ET, NBC) in the final game of the 2014 Coors Light Stadium Series, Versteeg and others who played at Wrigley are reminded of that game five years ago.

"I remember a lot," Versteeg said Monday. "I remember getting ready in the locker room and coming out side-by-side with Detroit. It was kind of like soccer ... how they come out holding hands [with youth players] and then all of a sudden they're enemies."

Blackhawks to appear on NBC's 'Chicago Fire'

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- Chicago Blackhawks defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook will make a guest appearance in the Tuesday, Feb. 25 episode of the hit NBC drama, "Chicago Fire" (10 p.m. ET).

In the episode titled "Virgin Skin," Shay (played by Lauren German) gets an unusual tip from Seabrook and Keith, friends of Clarke (guest star Jeff Hephner) who stop by Molly's, the local bar that is co-owned by several members from firehouse 51. The much-anticipated 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series outdoor matchup between the Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field generates excitement at Molly's and the firehouse.

NBC will broadcast the Blackhawks-Penguins outdoor game on Saturday, March 1 at 8 p.m. ET.

NHL to host free fan festival in celebration of 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game in Chicago

Free hockey-themed attractions open to the public on game day from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League (NHL®) will transform Soldier Field's Stadium Green into its official 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ Spectator Plaza, a free hockey and entertainment fan festival, in celebration of the much-anticipated outdoor matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks® and Pittsburgh Penguins® on Saturday, March 1 in Chicago. From 3:00 p.m. until the 7:00 p.m. CT start of the game, fans of all ages will be treated to a host of hockey-themed interactive attractions, prizes and giveaways; a performance from the Chicago-based band The Hot Sauce Committee; and merchandise tents with an extensive selection of officially-licensed 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series products and collectibles.

Fans can expect a wide variety of game-day attractions and other related activities, including:

Blackhawks' Raanta honors Belfour with new mask

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Antti Raanta had a surprise in store for his Chicago Blackhawks teammates Sunday afternoon when they returned to practice after the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Instead of his normal mask, the Finnish rookie goaltender sported a throwback design reminiscent of former star Eddie Belfour. It was designed by Raanta's Phoenix-based mask painter for him to wear in the next installment of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, an outdoor game March 1 at Soldier Field between the Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins.

"If you think about great Chicago Blackhawks [goaltenders], you think of Eddie Belfour and everybody says 'Eddie the Eagle,'" Raanta said. "I didn't have any ideas for the outdoor game mask and I was thinking it would be nice to respect a great goalkeeper in that kind of game. So, I got the idea for the mask from the Phoenix guy who painted it. He said it would be pretty awesome and it turned out to be pretty awesome. I don't know what Eddie thinks about that, but I hope he likes it."

Stadium Series crew ready for Chicago's climate

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Legendary Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Tony Esposito stole the show Tuesday afternoon at Soldier Field.

After hopping out of a refrigeration truck along with Dan Craig, the NHL's senior director of facility operations, Esposito delivered a memorable punch line when asked if he would've enjoyed playing a game in the historic home of the Chicago Bears.

"That would've been great," Esposito said, smiling. "That's [60,000] people, so that's 40,000 more people that would've booed me."

Thus began the next installment of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, which will take place March 1 on a rink at Soldier Field that Craig and his ice crew will soon construct. The game will feature the Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins, but Tuesday was all about Esposito and Craig, who joked that his biggest challenge in Chicago might be the fact he wore a T-shirt for his previous rink build at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Public tickets to Soldier Field game sell out

Limited Number of Suites Available Through Chicago Bears Suite Sales

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- The public ticket allotment to the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks at Soldier Field has sold out, the National Hockey League® announced today. The tickets, which went on sale Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 10 a.m. CT, sold out in less than 24 hours.

A limited number of suites are available for the event. Fans looking to reserve a suite can contact the Chicago Bears Suite Sales & Services team at suitesales@bears.nfl.net.

The 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ games begin on Jan. 25, 2014, when the Anaheim Ducks face the Los Angeles Kings in Los Angeles (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/CBC). The first of two Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ games at Yankee Stadium follows on Sunday, Jan. 26, when the Rangers play the Devils (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC/CBC). The Rangers battle the Islanders three days later on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Yankee Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/TSN).

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Quote of the Day

The old saying in hockey is 'weather the storm.' I put the notion in their heads that we don't want to weather the storm, we want to push just as hard and matched their work ethic. I thought our guys exceeded that in the first period.

— Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins after their loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday
2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series