NHL Winter Classic: A day in pictures - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

NHL Winter Classic: A day in pictures

Could the Capitals have started 2015 any better?

A capacity crowd of more than 42,000 at Nationals Park.

A national TV audience.

A premier opponent with two recent Stanley Cup titles and among the favorites to hoist it again this spring.

The Capitals seized the moment on a brisk winter day to pull out a dramatic, 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Washington’s debut as host of the Winter Classic, the NHL’s annual New Year’s Day game that’s played outdoors.

It was a day that started with fans tailgating at 9 a.m. and ended after 4 p.m. when Troy Brouwer scoring the game-winning goal with 12.9 seconds that sent a sea of red into a frenzy.

I’m pretty sure that everybody is going to remember this moment for a long time and as I said, it’s a great feeling,” Washington winger Alex Ovechkin, who had a goal before assisting on Brouwer’s winner, said. “And it’s going to be in our memories.”

Here’s the day in pictures

Thousands of fans participated in free games and photo opportunities at the Spectator Plaza, which was across the street from Nationals Park. (Jon Gallo)

Thousands of fans participated in free games and photo opportunities at the Spectator Plaza, which was across the street from Nationals Park. (Joseph Gallo)

Fans got a chance to be featured on their own hockey card at the Spectator Plaza throughout the WInter Classic. (Jon Gallo)

Fans got a chance to be featured on their own hockey card at the Spectator Plaza throughout the WInter Classic. (Joseph Gallo)

Fans competed in free games at the Spectator Plaza, which was filled hours before the Capitals' 3-2 win over Chicago in the NHL's Winter Classic. (Jon Gallo)

Fans competed in free games at the Spectator Plaza, which was filled hours before the Capitals’ 3-2 win over Chicago in the NHL’s Winter Classic. (Joseph Gallo)

Nationals Park was converted into an NHL arena, complete with a replica Capitol Building and reflecting pool. (Chris Swanson)

Nationals Park was converted into an NHL arena, complete with a replica Capitol Building and reflecting pool. (Chris Swanson)

Washington winger Alex Ovechkin’s goal midway through the first period gave his team a 2-0 lead against Chicago in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1. “Alex, the bigger the stage, the bigger Alex is,” Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said. “Alex is a – he's a rock star. When I was in the other conference I didn’t see the Caps a lot, but Alex has this ability, as the great stars do, that you want to keep your eyes on him. Even if he's not doing anything good, bad, or indifferent, you want to watch him. And that's what's star power does.” (Chris Swanson)

Washington winger Alex Ovechkin’s goal midway through the first period gave his team a 2-0 lead against Chicago in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1. “Alex, the bigger the stage, the bigger Alex is,” Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said. “Alex is a – he’s a rock star. When I was in the other conference I didn’t see the Caps a lot, but Alex has this ability, as the great stars do, that you want to keep your eyes on him. Even if he’s not doing anything good, bad, or indifferent, you want to watch him. And that’s what’s star power does.” (Chris Swanson)

Chicago’s Patrick Kane is denied by Caps goalie Braden Holtby, who stopped 33 of 35 shots in his team’s 3-2 win. “The emphasis we put on this game is the two points in our locker room,” Holtby said. “It means a lot more to us as professionals, as the Capitals, than anything else.” (Chris Swanson)

Chicago’s Patrick Kane is denied by Caps goalie Braden Holtby, who stopped 33 of 35 shots in his team’s 3-2 win. “The emphasis we put on this game is the two points in our locker room,” Holtby said. “It means a lot more to us as professionals, as the Capitals, than anything else.” (Chris Swanson)

The Capitals had some lapses defensively throughout the Winter Classic, but held the Blackhawks scoreless for the final 37 minutes to pull out a 3-2 win at Nationals Park on Jan. 1. “To have this stage is, it's important for what we want to do. We're not near where we want to get to. We played the Chicago Blackhawks, they have won Stanley Cups,” Washington Coach Barry Trotz said. “To me, that's still the gold standard. Until they're knocked off the pedestal they're still the gold standard.” (Chris Swanson)

The Capitals had some lapses defensively throughout the Winter Classic, but held the Blackhawks scoreless for the final 37 minutes to pull out a 3-2 win at Nationals Park on Jan. 1. “To have this stage is, it’s important for what we want to do. We’re not near where we want to get to. We played the Chicago Blackhawks, they have won Stanley Cups,” Washington Coach Barry Trotz said. “To me, that’s still the gold standard. Until they’re knocked off the pedestal they’re still the gold standard.” (Chris Swanson)

Troy Brouwer on his game-winning goal with 12.9 seconds left: “It's pretty special, for sure. I've had some good moments in my hockey career, but this one, with all the intangibles, that played a part in it. My parents being able to come into town, playing against my former team, this being the first goal that I scored against my former team and the dramatic fashion at the end of the game of how everything played out is definitely going to, you know, it's going to be a memorable day, a memorable event.” (Chris Swanson)

Troy Brouwer on his game-winning goal with 12.9 seconds left: “It’s pretty special, for sure. I’ve had some good moments in my hockey career, but this one, with all the intangibles, that played a part in it. My parents being able to come into town, playing against my former team, this being the first goal that I scored against my former team and the dramatic fashion at the end of the game of how everything played out is definitely going to, you know, it’s going to be a memorable day, a memorable event.” (Chris Swanson)

Troy Brouwer is mobbed by his teammates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Blackhawks in the Winter Classic. “This is probably one of the special days. And as soon as you see a puck go in, it's a great feeling, because you want to get success and you want to win,” teammate Alex Ovechkin said. (Chris Swanson)

Troy Brouwer is mobbed by his teammates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Blackhawks in the Winter Classic. “This is probably one of the special days. And as soon as you see a puck go in, it’s a great feeling, because you want to get success and you want to win,” teammate Alex Ovechkin said. (Chris Swanson)

The Capitals’ celebrate their 3-2 win over the Blackhawks in the Winter Classic. The Capitals improved to 2-0 all time in the Winter Classic, beating the Penguins in Pittsburgh in 2010. “The whole day was unbelievable,” Alex Ovechkin said. “It has been outstanding. The atmosphere on the ice, since the first second was unreal. It's a good experience we’ll remember for all our lives, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to watch this hockey game. And we'll enjoy it.” (Chris Swanson)

The Capitals’ celebrate their 3-2 win over the Blackhawks in the Winter Classic. The Capitals improved to 2-0 all time in the Winter Classic, beating the Penguins in Pittsburgh in 2010. “The whole day was unbelievable,” Alex Ovechkin said. “It has been outstanding. The atmosphere on the ice, since the first second was unreal. It’s a good experience we’ll remember for all our lives, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to watch this hockey game. And we’ll enjoy it.” (Chris Swanson)

“What you saw here today from 43,000 people was a level of enthusiasm for hockey, for the Capitals, that I'm not sure many people imagined could ever have been accomplished here in Washington,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “The atmosphere couldn't have been greater. The weather was spectacular. I have to congratulate my own special events people for the way they dressed up this park. I mean, the replica Capitol Building, the reflecting pool, actually somebody showed me a picture of somebody skating on the reflecting pool in 1918 to give you a sense of how far these things go back here. But it made for a fun day.” (Chris Swanson)

“What you saw here today from 43,000 people was a level of enthusiasm for hockey, for the Capitals, that I’m not sure many people imagined could ever have been accomplished here in Washington,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “The atmosphere couldn’t have been greater. The weather was spectacular. I have to congratulate my own special events people for the way they dressed up this park. I mean, the replica Capitol Building, the reflecting pool, actually somebody showed me a picture of somebody skating on the reflecting pool in 1918 to give you a sense of how far these things go back here. But it made for a fun day.” (Chris Swanson)


About the author

Chris Swanson

Chris Swanson had bled orange and purple since moving to Baltimore in 1985. Swanson, a Catonsville resident and father of four, has a Communications degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. Contact the author.
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