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Stadium Series

Red Wings pumped for outdoor opportunity

Face Avalanche indoors Friday, then Feb. 27 in Stadium Series

by Paul Harris / Correspondent

DETROIT -- The rivalry between the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche isn't nearly what it was from the mid-'90s to the early 2000s, but the teams will have a "cool" experience on Saturday, Feb. 27 in Denver.

That's when Detroit will play Colorado outdoors in a 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game under the lights at Coors Field (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports 2).

The Red Wings and Avalanche were set to face off Friday at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-D, NHL.TV) for the last time before both teams take it outside.

"I think it's going to be great. A lot of my friends [from Detroit] are going to come," said Red Wings defenseman Alexey Marchenko, who has previous outdoor experience. "Always great to play outdoor game. Great atmosphere, lots of people, should be fun.

"I played with the (Grand Rapids) Griffins (of the American Hockey League) two years ago. Not such a big crowd, but still it was fun."

That was on Dec. 30, 2013, at Detroit's Comerica Park, the home of the Detroit Tigers, when Grand Rapids lost 4-3 in a shootout to the Toronto Marlies. That game was part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival, held in conjunction with the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, in which the Red Wings lost against the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 before a NHL record crowd of 105,491.

Red Wings center Luke Glendening played in each of those games. After playing in the game at Comerica Park with Grand Rapids, Glendening was called up to the Red Wings because of an injury and played in the Winter Classic.

Video: Red Wings, Avalanche Stadium Series time-lapse

Glendening also played in three outdoor games when he played college hockey at the University of Michigan, so the Stadium Series game at Coors Field will be his sixth outdoor game.

"It's exciting," Glendening told the Red Wings website when the Stadium Series game in Denver was announced. "It's always exciting to play outdoor games. … Each one is new and exciting and every one has a different aspect to it, and you just enjoy every one."

Most of the current Red Wings were with Detroit for the 2014 Winter Classic.

"Just brings you back to the roots of hockey. I played lots when I was young outdoors and just the elements of being cold," forward Justin Abdelkader said. "The last one I played in, the only one I played in, was in Ann Arbor and it was snowing and it was cold. Just fun to be a part of, it's a great event and it's special to be a part of it."

Some are looking forward to the Alumni Game between former Red Wings and Avalanche players at Coors Field on Feb. 26.

Those who have confirmed playing for Detroit include Nicklas Lidstrom, Steve Yzerman, Larry Murphy, Kris Draper and Darren McCarty. Among those confirmed for Colorado are Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Claude Lemieux and Adam Foote.

"I'm excited to see what happens there. Hopefully some fireworks happen. We'll see," said defenseman Kyle Quincey, who previously played for the Avalanche from 2009-12 and still lives in Denver in the offseason.

"I'm looking forward to it. Anytime you get to play in a game like that it's pretty special to be a part of something like that," defenseman Danny DeKeyser said. "Not a lot of guys get an opportunity to play in a lot of those games. So when you get the chance, it's always fun."

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