Hockey returns to its outdoor roots Thursday with the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic 2009. The Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks will have to work hard to match the drama of last year's Pittsburgh-Buffalo game, with the Penguins winning on a shootout goal in the snow by Sidney Crosby.
Here's a look at this year's Winter Classic ... by the numbers.1 --
Players who were involved in the NHL's first two regular-season outdoor games and will play in this year's Winter Classic. Detroit goaltender Ty Conklin, the likely starter for the Red Wings, played for Edmonton when the Oilers hosted Montreal in the Heritage Classic on Nov. 22, 2003, and for Buffalo against Pittsburgh last Jan. 1.2 --
Shootout victories by each team over the other since the breakaway competition was adopted in 2005. Both of Detroit's shootout wins have come this season.
Author: John Kreiser | NHL.com Columnist