NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe
NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe Logo.png
Edgewood Tahoe Resort
Stateline, Nevada
February 20–21, 2021
Game oneVegas Golden Knights at
Colorado Avalanche
Game twoPhiladelphia Flyers at
Boston Bruins
This article needs more complete citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding missing citation information so that sources are clearly identifiable. Citations should include title, publication, author, date, and (for paginated material) the page number(s). Several templates are available to assist in formatting. Improperly sourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The golf course at Edgewood Tahoe Resort in July 2013.
The golf course at Edgewood Tahoe Resort in July 2013.

NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe was a series of two outdoor regular season National Hockey League (NHL) games, held on the weekend of February 20–21, 2021. Both games were played without fans at a rink on the 18th fairway of the Edgewood Tahoe Resort in Stateline, Nevada, on the south shore of Lake Tahoe. The elevation of the rink was approximately 6,240 feet (1,900 m) above sea level.

The first game scheduled for February 20, titled Bridgestone NHL Outdoors Saturday, featured the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche, and the second game on the following day, titled Honda NHL Outdoors Sunday pitted the Philadelphia Flyers against the Boston Bruins.[1] The series was scheduled as a replacement for both the 2021 Winter Classic and Stadium Series games, which were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[2][3]

Background

The NHL originally scheduled the outdoor games for the 2020–21 season prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Winter Classic, planned for January 1, 2021, was to feature the Minnesota Wild hosting the St. Louis Blues at Target Field, and the Stadium Series game was to be hosted by the Carolina Hurricanes at Carter–Finley Stadium on February 20, against an unannounced opponent.[4] The league announced on October 22, 2020, that the Winter Classic was being postponed to the next season due to "ongoing uncertainty" of the pandemic since fan participation is considered "integral to the[ir] success.[5][6] The decision to further postpone the Stadium Series game was made on December 23, also because fans would likely not be able to attend.[7]

In seeking an alternative outdoor stadium with fans not likely to be in attendance, the league focused on natural landscapes capable of mimicking pond hockey and not an in-person fan experience.[8] The Edgewood Tahoe Resort in Stateline, Nevada, in the Lake Tahoe region, was chosen over Lake Louise, Alberta, and Park City, Utah.[9] This is the same golf course that has hosted the American Century Championship annually since 1990.[10] The golf course was selected because the actual Lake Tahoe does not freeze over and therefore is not suitable for ice hockey play.[11] The average high temperature on February 20 is 44 °F (7 °C), with an average low of 18 °F (−8 °C).[12]

With no fans being allowed at the event, the geographic location of the teams became less important, as the games became made-for-television showcases. The nearest teams to Lake Tahoe are the Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks, but the Sharks were not scheduled for the event due to scheduling uncertainties related to Santa Clara County's local COVID-19 health restrictions on contact sports, as well the expectation that the team would finish with a losing record as in the prior season.[13][14] The Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins were offered the opportunity to play in both games, but decided to take part in only one contest.[15]

With the NHL's condensed 56-game regular season schedule and limited geographical travel due to the pandemic, few off-days were scheduled between games. However, allocations were made in the schedule to make travel more manageable.[16]

On February 10, Greg Wyshynski of ESPN reported a message from NHL chief creative officer Steve Mayer, informing them that the league had backup teams in place should any of the teams scheduled for the Lake Tahoe games become unavailable due to COVID protocols.[17]

Unlike previous NHL outdoor games in which speciality jerseys were created, all four teams participating in the games wore their “Reverse Retro” jerseys from that season’s league-wide promotion.

Game one

Bridgestone NHL Outdoors Saturday
123 Total
Vegas Golden Knights 011 2
Colorado Avalanche 111 3
DateFebruary 20, 2021
ArenaEdgewood Tahoe Resort
CityStateline, Nevada

The Vegas Golden Knights (VGK) and the Colorado Avalanche (COL) began play on February 20 at 12:12 p.m. PT (3:12 p.m. ET).[18][19] Play was suspended after the first period due to ice conditions caused by its exposure to heat and sunlight; the game was resumed at 9:02 p.m. PT (12:02 a.m. ET).[19] The game ended at approximately 10:50 p.m. PT (1:50 a.m. ET) with Colorado winning, 3–2.[20]

Game summary

Scoring summary[21]
Period Team Goal Assist(s) Time Score
1st COL Sam Girard (2) Nathan MacKinnon (13), Mikko Rantanen (5) 2:58 COL 1–0
2nd VGK Alec Martinez (1) Alex Pietrangelo (4), Reilly Smith (4) 7:37 TIED 1–1
COL Nathan MacKinnon (4) Devon Toews (3) 11:18 COL 2–1
3rd COL Devon Toews (4) Nathan MacKinnon (14), Mikko Rantanen (6) 13:11 COL 3–1
VGK Alex Tuch (5) Zach Whitecloud (3) 14:25 COL 3–2
Number in parenthesis represents the player's total in goals or assists to that point of the season
Penalty summary
Period Team Player Penalty Time PIM
1st VGK Mark Stone High sticking 16:03 4:00
VGK served by Keegan Kolesar Too many men on the ice 18:40 2:00
2nd VGK William Carrier Delay of game 3:18 2:00
VGK Chandler Stephenson Cross-checking 10:44 2:00
COL Tyson Jost Interference 10:44 2:00
COL Joonas Donskoi Goalkeeper interference 16:15 2:00
VGK Alex Tuch Goalkeeper interference 17:44 2:00
COL Andre Burakovsky High sticking 18:09 2:00
3rd COL Nazem Kadri Tripping 1:59 2:00
COL Cale Makar Delay of game 2:37 2:00
Three star selections
Team Player Statistics
1st COL Nathan MacKinnon 1 goal, 2 assists
2nd COL Devon Toews 1 goal, 1 assist
3rd VGK Alex Tuch 1 goal

Team rosters

^ Oscar Dansk and Adam Werner dressed as the back-up goaltenders. Neither entered the game.
dagger Starting lineup.[22]

Scratches

Game two

Honda NHL Outdoors Sunday
123 Total
Philadelphia Flyers 201 3
Boston Bruins 241 7
DateFebruary 21, 2021
ArenaEdgewood Tahoe Resort
CityStateline, Nevada

The game between the Philadelphia Flyers (PHI) and Boston Bruins (BOS) was scheduled for February 21,[23] originally at noon PT (3:00 p.m. ET); in the week before the game, the start time was adjusted to 11:00 a.m. local time.[24] Due to the delay on Saturday of game one, the league announced that game two would be moved later in the day on Sunday, to start at 4:30 p.m. local time.[19] The actual start time of the game was 4:59 p.m. local time, and it ended at 7:25 p.m. PT (10:25 p.m. ET) as a 7–3 win for Boston.[25][26]

Game summary

Scoring summary[26]
Period Team Goal Assist(s) Time Score
1st BOS David Pastrnak (7) Brad Marchand (10), Patrice Bergeron (12) 0:34 BOS 1–0
PHI Joel Farabee (8) Sean Couturier (4), James van Riemsdyk (12) 6:41 TIED 1–1
PHI Sean Couturier (3) Kevin Hayes (8), James van Riemsdyk (13) 14:48 PHI 2–1
BOS Charlie McAvoy (2) Brad Marchand (11), Connor Clifton (1) 15:27 TIED 2–2
2nd BOS David Pastrnak (8) Nick Ritchie (7) 0:46 BOS 3–2
BOS Charlie Coyle (3) Craig Smith (3) 16:14 BOS 4–2
BOS Trent Frederic (1) John Moore (1), Connor Clifton (2) 16:47 BOS 5–2
BOS Nick Ritchie (6) (PPG) John Moore (2), Craig Smith (4) 17:53 BOS 6–2
3rd PHI James van Riemsdyk (8) (PPG) Kevin Hayes (9), Ivan Provorov (6) 12:45 BOS 6–3
BOS David Pastrnak (9) Jack Studnicka (1) 17:04 BOS 7–3
Number in parenthesis represents the player's total in goals or assists to that point of the season
Penalty summary
Period Team Player Penalty Time PIM
1st PHI Sean Couturier Tripping 12:34 2:00
2nd PHI served by Andy Andreoff Too many men on the ice 6:17 2:00
PHI Andy Andreoff Roughing 16:47 2:00
BOS Anders Bjork Holding 18:16 2:00
3rd BOS Anders Bjork Hooking 9:31 2:00
BOS Brandon Carlo Interference 12:37 2:00
Three star selections
Team Player Statistics
1st BOS David Pastrnak 3 goals
2nd BOS Brad Marchand 2 assists
3rd PHI James van Riemsdyk 1 goal, 2 assists

Team rosters

^ Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak dressed as the back-up goaltenders. Elliott played the third period for Philadelphia.
dagger Starting lineup.[27]

Scratches

Officials

The same officials worked both games:

Media

Main article: List of NHL outdoor games broadcasters

Both games were originally planned to be televised in the United States on NBC.[28] Coverage of the Saturday game began as scheduled on NBC, but was then moved to NBCSN due to the delay. As a result of the Sunday game being moved to a 7:30 p.m. ET start time, it too was moved from NBC to NBCSN (with an evening game between the New Jersey Devils and Washington Capitals swapped into NBC's afternoon window as a replacement).[19] Mike Tirico provided the play-by-play commentary with United States Hockey Hall of Fame member and analyst Eddie Olczyk and "Inside-the-Glass" reporter Brian Boucher. Rutledge Wood meanwhile, served as an on-site reporter in Lake Tahoe.[28]

Both games were originally scheduled to be simulcast on Sportsnet in Canada.[29] Due to the conflict with the Calgary Flames–Edmonton Oilers Hockey Night in Canada broadcast, coverage of the delayed second and third periods of Saturday's game began on Sportsnet One before Sportsnet joined it in progress.[30] The second game was also moved to Sportsnet One.[31]

References

  1. ^ "NHL to hold two outdoor games in Lake Tahoe" (Press release). National Hockey League. January 11, 2021. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  2. ^ Leahy, Sean (January 11, 2021). "NHL announces two February outdoor games in Lake Tahoe". NBC Sports.
  3. ^ Sadley, Emily (January 11, 2021). "NHL confirms plans for Lake Tahoe outdoor games in February". Sportsnet.
  4. ^ Kaplan, Emily; Wyshynski, Greg (September 19, 2020). "Gary Bettman says coronavirus raises many uncertainties for NHL, including start of 2020-21 season". ESPN. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  5. ^ "NHL postpones Winter Classic, All-Star Weekend for upcoming season". Sportsnet. October 22, 2020. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  6. ^ Leahy, Sean (October 22, 2020). "NHL postpones 2021 Winter Classic, All-Star Game". NBC Sports. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  7. ^ "2021 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series Game Postponed" (Press release). Carolina Hurricanes. December 23, 2020. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  8. ^ Daniels, Tim (January 1, 2021). "NHL Reportedly Planning 2 Outdoor Games at Lake Tahoe During 2021 Season". Bleacher Report.
  9. ^ Kaplan, Emily (January 1, 2021). "Sources: NHL plans outdoor games at Lake Tahoe". ESPN.
  10. ^ Friedman, Elliotte (January 1, 2021). "NHL planning two outdoor games at Lake Tahoe for 2021 season". Sportsnet.
  11. ^ Chute, Nate; Krajewski, Jim (January 1, 2021). "What we know about NHL plans to play outdoor games at Lake Tahoe". Reno Gazette Journal. Gannett.
  12. ^ Schoen, David (January 1, 2021). "Golden Knights to play outdoor game in Lake Tahoe". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  13. ^ Pashelka, Curtis (January 3, 2021). "NHL will reportedly play twice in Tahoe next month (without the San Jose Sharks)". Daily Democrat. Digital First Media.
  14. ^ Chambers, Mike (January 3, 2021). "Chambers: Avalanche outdoor game at Lake Tahoe will be must-see TV". The Denver Post. MediaNews Group.
  15. ^ Friedman, Elloiotte (January 5, 2021). "31 Thoughts: Why 2020–21 NHL season is a step into the unknown". Sportsnet.
  16. ^ Pepin, Matt (January 1, 2021). "Bruins reportedly may play outdoor game in February". The Boston Globe.
  17. ^ Wyshynski, Greg (February 10, 2021). "Despite Sunday's postponed game, the NHL still expects the Philadelphia Flyers to play in its Lake Tahoe outdoor event on Feb. 21". ESPN.
  18. ^ Burnside, Scott (January 1, 2021). "All the details of NHL's outdoor games at Lake Tahoe". The Athletic.
  19. ^ a b c d Wyshynski, Greg (February 20, 2021). "Ice breaker: Sun delays Tahoe outdoor game". ESPN. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  20. ^ Rosen, Dan (February 21, 2021). "Avalanche edge Golden Knights in NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe after delay". NHL.com. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  21. ^ "Game Summary - Bridgestone NHL Outdoors Saturday". NHL.com. February 20, 2021. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  22. ^ "Club Playing Roster - Bridgestone NHL Outdoors Saturday". NHL.com. February 20, 2021. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  23. ^ Hascup, Jimmy (January 1, 2021). "Reports: NHL planning two outdoor games at Lake Tahoe for 2021 season". USA TODAY.
  24. ^ "Flyers-Bruins Lake Tahoe Outdoor Game Start Time Moved To Night To Avoid Bright Sunshine, Poor Ice Conditions". KYW-TV. Philadelphia. Associated Press. February 20, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  25. ^ Rosen, Dan (February 22, 2021). "Pastrnak gets hat trick, Bruins top Flyers in NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe". NHL.com. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  26. ^ a b "Game Summary - Honda NHL Outdoors Sunday". NHL.com. February 21, 2021. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  27. ^ "Club Playing Roster - Honda NHL Outdoors Sunday". NHL.com. February 21, 2021. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  28. ^ a b "NHL OUTDOOR GAMES AT LAKE TAHOE PRESENTED THIS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY ON NBC AT 3 P.M. ET" (Press release). NBC Sports Group. February 17, 2021.
  29. ^ Murray, Chris (January 11, 2021). "NHL officially announces it will play two games at Lake Tahoe next month". Nevada Sports Net.
  30. ^ "NHL postpones Golden Knights-Avalanche game at Lake Tahoe due to ice issues". Sportsnet. February 20, 2021.
  31. ^ "NHL moves Bruins-Flyers Lake Tahoe game to Sunday evening". Sportsnet. February 20, 2021.

Coordinates: 38°58′05″N 119°56′56″W / 38.968°N 119.949°W / 38.968; -119.949