(Photo Credits: Associated Press/Charles Krupa)

By: Benjamin Aliber | Follow me on Twitter @bpaliber24

America’s Most Beloved Ballpark and home of the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park, has been sitting on Lansdowne Street for the last 110 years. The oldest ballpark in America has seen eleven World Series, hundreds of concerts, football games, and multiple NCAA Frozen Fenway’s. But on January 2, 2023, Fenway Park will host its second-ever Winter Classic and its first since 2010 when the Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime. This year’s outside game will be between two Eastern Conference rivals: the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Bruins are surging and having a season for the history books. While they lost to the Buffalo Sabres in overtime Saturday, they extended their point streak to ten games and currently have an NHL-best 28-4-4 record. They have the most regulation wins (23), goals for (136), the least goals against (79), the fourth-best power play, and second-best penalty kill in the NHL, and are averaging 3.80 goals per game, according to the league website. In four previous Winter Classic games, Boston is 3-1, averaging 4.66 goals per game. Their only loss came from the Montreal Canadiens in 2016 at Gillette Stadium. 


The Penguins played in the first-ever NHL Winter Classic in 2008, defeating the Buffalo Sabres 2-1, and are now about to play in their sixth outdoor game. In five previous Winter Classic’, Pittsburgh is 2-2-1 and has scored 11 goals, averaging 2.2 goals per game. They have played two of their five Winter Classics in Pittsburgh but have won only one of them, with their most recent game being a 4-3 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2019.

Similarly to Pittsburgh, Boston has also played two outdoor games in their own city, winning one. In one prior matchup between the two this season, Boston was the team that came out victorious after a 6-5 overtime win due to a late third-period comeback that included two goals and a Hampus Lindholm game-winner.


Boston will likely go with goaltender Linus Ullmark for the game. Ullmark has been sensational for the Bruins this season and is currently a leading candidate for the Vezina Trophy. Ullmark leads all other NHL goalies with 20 wins, and a .938 save percentage, and a 1.90 goals-against average. In his last ten starts, Ullmark is 9-0-1, allowed 18 goals, recorded one shutout, and maintained an average save percentage of .943 per game. 

Pittsburgh will likely go with goaltender Tristan Jarry. Jarry is 15-4-4 this year, with a 2.77 goals against average and a .918 save percentage. In his last ten starts, he is 7-1-2, allowing 26 goals, and maintaining a .925 save percentage. 


My final predictions for the 2023 NHL Winter Classic will have the Boston Bruins defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2. The Penguins will capitalize on the power play at least once, while Bostons’ David Pastrnak will score the eventual game-winner.