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Stadium Series

Blackhawks honored to be part of Stadium Series

Game vs. Wild will be fourth outdoors since first Winter Classic

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

WASHINGTON -- Winning the Stanley Cup has a number of privileges, as the Chicago Blackhawks have learned the past six seasons. 

Among them will be getting to play in the 2016 Coors Light Stadium Series game against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis (3:30 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports).

It will be the League-high fourth outdoor game the Blackhawks have been part of since the first NHL Winter Classic in 2008. They hosted the 2009 Winter Classic at Wrigley Field against the Detroit Red Wings and a 2014 Stadium Series game at Soldier Field against the Pittsburgh Penguins. They also played the Washington Capitals at Nationals Park in Washington at the 2015 Winter Classic. 

"It's an honor that the League thinks enough of us to ask us to be there," Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz said. "Home, away, whatever. We're just happy to be on the big stage." 

Another of those perks came Thursday when the Blackhawks were hosted by President Barack Obama for a ceremony at the White House for winning the 2015 Stanley Cup. 

The Blackhawks will spend Friday at home in Chicago and then head to Minnesota. 

"It's a special game to look forward to on the schedule," forward Patrick Kane said. "I think we enjoy it. We want to put on a good show for the NHL knowing that we're part of these games. Especially in a big hockey market like Minnesota." 

Goaltender Scott Darling, who made his first trip inside the White House on Thursday and was mentioned by name by President Obama, will be a part of his first outdoor game Sunday. 

"I'm super excited," he said. "As a hockey fan I've watched all of them. Going to be pretty cool to be part of it. Hopefully the benches are warm. Just all the fanfare that goes with it. A lot of my family is coming up for it so that'll be pretty cool for them. Another thing that's pretty cool to be a part of." 

Cool moments aside, most of the Blackhawks are experienced enough to focus on the two points that will be at stake. Entering play Thursday the Blackhawks (38-18-5, 81 points) led the Dallas Stars (37-15-6, 80 points) by one point for first place in the Central Division, with the St. Louis Blues six points back. 

"Maybe before when we played in our first couple outdoor games, especially the [2009] Winter Classic, it was more of an event and a party," Kane said. "Even though we lost, we were happy just to be part of it. Now we're happy to be part of it for sure, but especially with the standings and how tough it is in the West and in our division, tight race we have going at the top with Dallas and St. Louis, how important those points are." 

*Chicago 4 
Pittsburgh 3 
NY Rangers 3 
**Detroit 3 
Los Angeles 2 
Philadelphia 2 
Boston 2 
Washington 2 
Montreal 2 
Buffalo 1 
Anaheim 1 
San Jose 1 
Ottawa 1 
Vancouver 1 
Toronto 1 
Calgary 1 
NY Islanders 1 
New Jersey 1 
*Minnesota 1 
**Colorado 1 

*- will play in 2016 Stadium Series-Minnesota game 
**- will play in 2016 Stadium Series-Denver game

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