Wednesday, March 22, 2023

#NHLStats Pack: 2023 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series

The Hurricanes will play host to the Capitals in the 2023 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series at Carter-Finley Stadium, the home of the NC State Wolfpack, on Feb. 18, 2023 (8 p.m. ET on ABC, ESPN+, Sportsnet 360 and TVAS2).

All stats are through games played Feb. 9.

Quick Clicks:
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* The Hurricanes will become the 28th different franchise to play in an NHL regular-season outdoor game – only the Coyotes, Blue Jackets, Panthers and Kraken have not (Seattle will host the Winter Classic next year). Carolina can become the 15th team to win its inaugural appearance in an outdoor game and second in as many seasons following Tampa Bay in the 2022 Stadium Series.

* This will be the 13th Stadium Series, with North Carolina set to become the ninth U.S. state to host (Colorado: 2x, New York: 2x, Pennsylvania: 2x, California: 2x, Minnesota, Illinois, Maryland and Tennessee).

* The 2023 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series is projected to generate $12.4 million in total economic impact for the region, according to a study by Visit Raleigh. This estimate is for the game only. A post-event economic impact report will include the game and all surrounding events.

* The Capitals (3-0-0) will play their fourth outdoor game in franchise history following the 2011 Winter Classic2015 Winter Classic and the 2018 Stadium Series. The only teams with more such appearances are the Blackhawks (6 GP), Penguins (6 GP), Flyers (5 GP) and Bruins (5 GP).

* A victory against Carolina would secure Washington its fourth win in a regular-season outdoor game, which would tie the NY Rangers (4-0-0) and Boston (4-1-0) for the most among all teams. The Rangers are the only franchise to win each of its first four appearances.

* One of Washington’s three victories in outdoor games saw the club erase a deficit – they rallied from a 1-0 hole against Pittsburgh during the 2011 Winter Classic. Should the Capitals stage another come-from-behind win, they would join the Bruins (4x), Rangers (3x), Red Wings (2x) and Maple Leafs (2x) with multiple such performances.

* The 2023 Stadium Series will be the 185th regular-season meeting between the clubs, the fourth most the Hurricanes/Whalers franchise has faced one opponent (BUF: 210 GP; MTL: 209 GP & BOS: 209 GP). Entering Feb. 10, the Capitals (103-56-24, 230 points) hold the all-time, head-to-head edge (CAR: 66-90-27, 159 points) while the Hurricanes won their only playoff series (2019 R1).

* During the 2019 First Round, the Hurricanes overcame series deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 to force a winner-take-all showdown in Washington, where Carolina rallied yet again – this time from a multi-goal deficit – in what ended as the third-longest Game 7 in NHL history. It marked the Hurricanes’ first series win in a decade – notably against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

* The first meeting between the two franchises was Dec. 4, 1979, when the Hartford Whalers and Capitals skated to a 3-3 tie. Gordie Howe (1-0—1) scored his 796th career goal and Mark Howe (0-1—1) assisted on the game-tying tally, marking one of 26 times the father-son duo found the score sheet in the same regular-season game.

* A total of 54 players (skaters & goaltenders) have appeared in at least one game for both the Capitals and Hurricanes/Whalers franchise (regular season or playoffs), including current Washington defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk who spent 217 games with Carolina from 2017-18 to 2019-20. Other notables include “Mr. Game 7” Justin Williams (CAR: 496 GP; WSH: 187 GP) and the NHL’s former “Ironman” Doug Jarvis (HFD: 155 GP; WSH: 282).

Trevor Van Riemsdyk has skated in two outdoor games while his brother James Van Riemsdyk has played in seven. Their nine combined outdoor games are the most among brothers and three more than the next closest, the Staal brothers; Jordan Staal (2 GP) and Marc Staal (4 GP). Trevor and Jordan are set to face off in the 2023 Stadium Series.

* Hockey took its first strides in the state of North Carolina after the Eastern Hockey League expanded to the Southeastern Region of the U.S. The Baltimore Clippers finished out their season at Charlotte Coliseum as the Charlotte Rebels after their home rink, Carlin’s Iceland, burned down in 1956.

* The team permanently relocated to the “Tar Heel State” for the 1956-57 season, which included a Charlotte Clippers rebrand until 1959-60 when the League also welcomed the Greensboro Generals – a club based out of Greensboro, North Carolina. A contest was later held to rename the Clippers ahead of the 1960-61 season, where Maurice “Rocket” Richard made the final suggestion via telegram; choosing Checkers over Crowns, Vikings, Sabres, Wildwings, Furies and Satans.

* The Charlotte Checkers made their return to the ice during the 1993-94 season as part of the East Coast Hockey League after commissioner Pat Kelly awarded an expansion franchise to Charlotte in 1992. The Checkers joined the Greensboro Monarchs (1989-1995) and Raleigh Icecaps (1991-1998) as the third ECHL team based out of North Carolina. The Checkers would eventually win the Jack Riley Cup as ECHL champions during their third season in 1995-96.

* The NHL made its way to North Carolina ahead of the 1997-98 season after the Hartford Whalers relocated to Greensboro and began play as the Carolina Hurricanes. The campaign witnessed the club conclude the year with four 20-goal scorers as well as finishing just outside the playoff picture with a 33-41-8 (74 points) record.

* In 2005-06, the Hurricanes captured the first Stanley Cup in franchise history after defeating the Oilers in seven games – coached by current Capitals bench boss Peter LavioletteEric Staal (21 years, 233 days) led the postseason with 9‑19—28 in 25 games and became the second-youngest leading playoff scorer in the League’s modern era (since 1943‑44), behind only Gordie Howe in 1949 (21 years, 16 days w/ DET). Meanwhile, Cam Ward became the fourth rookie to capture the Conn Smythe Trophy joining fellow goaltenders Ken Dryden (1971 w/ MTL), Patrick Roy (1986 w/ MTL) and Ron Hextall (1987 w/ PHI).

* In 2010-11, RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C. (currently known as PNC Arena) hosted the 2011 NHL All-Star Game which featured Team Lidstrom defeat Team Staal 11-10. The event marked the first of three NHL All-Star Drafts, with Hurricanes captain Eric Staal selecting longtime teammate Cam Ward with the first-overall pick and the first-ever pick at the event.

* In 2010, Checkers owner Michael Kahn announced the purchase of the American Hockey League’s Albany River Rats – the minor-league affiliate of the Hurricanes. The purchase, nearly four years after Carolina’s first and only Stanley Cup in 2006, initiated a franchise relocation to Charlotte from Albany beginning in 2010-11. In 2018-19, the AHL’s rendition of the Checkers would amass a League-best 51-17-8 record during the regular season en route to a Calder Cup championship. 

* Raleigh-born Logan Brown (13 GP w/ STL) and Jake Leschyshyn (30 GP w/ NYR) have each appeared in an NHL game this season. They are two of four North Carolina-born players in NHL history to skate in the League, joining Jared Boll (579 GP) and Ben Smith (237 GP).

* Eleven current Carolina players have appeared in at least one NHL outdoor game (min. 1 GP in 2022-23). Their statistics in those contests are listed in the attached PDF.

Frederik Andersen turned aside 33 of 37 shots in a Maple Leafs victory against the Red Wings during the NHL Centennial Classic at Exhibition Stadium on Jan. 1, 2017. Should he start for the Hurricanes against the Capitals, Andersen can become the seventh goaltender to win multiple outdoors games; Henrik Lundqvist (4-0-0), Craig Anderson (3-0-0), Ty Conklin (2-1-0), Braden Holtby (2-0-0), Jonathan Quick (2-1-0) and Tuukka Rask (2-1-0) have all done so.

Jordan Staal is expected to skate in his third career outdoor game following the 2011 Winter Classic and 2008 Winter Classic (both w/ PIT). The Hurricanes captain is set to become the fifth player to go 10 or more years between outdoor appearances after Andrei Markov (12 years, 40 days: 2003 Heritage Classic & 2016 Winter Classic), Alex Goligoski (11 years: 2011 Winter Classic & 2022 Winter Classic), Saku Koivu (10 years, 64 days: 2003 Heritage Classic & 2014 Stadium Series) and Jarett Stoll (10 years, 64 days: 2003 Heritage Classic & 2014 Stadium Series).

Sebastian Aho (205-242—447 in 489 GP) enters the event having reached the 200-goal milestone in his career earlier in 2022-23, doing so thanks to a six-game goal streak from Jan. 21- Feb.1 (9-0—9 in 6 GP).

* Carolina (34-9-8, 76 points) currently sits second in the NHL’s overall standings behind Boston (39-7-5, 83 points), which also participated in an outdoor game earlier this season (2023 Winter Classic vs. PIT). The 2022-23 season is just the second to feature each of the top two teams in the overall standings each participate in an outdoor game, joining 2013-14 (1st; ANA in 2014 Stadium Series & 2nd; PIT in 2014 Stadium Series). 

* The 2023 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series marks the seventh regular-season game the Hurricanes/Whalers franchise will contest at a neutral site. The Hurricanes have skated to victories in each of their two such contests, defeating the Wild on Oct. 7 and Oct. 8, 2010 for the Premiere Series at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland, while Hartford lost each of their four such contests (last: Feb. 24, 1994 at DET: 3-0 L at Richfield Coliseum at Richfield Township, Ohio).

* Seventeen current Washington players have appeared in at least one NHL outdoor game (min. 1 GP in 2022-23), including nine who have dressed for the Capitals in a previous event and eight with another club. Their statistics in those contests are listed in the attached PDF.

Nicklas Backstrom’s three assists in outdoor games are tied for the fourth most among all skaters. Henrik Zetterberg (0-7—7 in 4 GP), Jonathan Toews (2-5—7 in 6 GP) and Marian Hossa (0-4—4 in 3 GP) are the only players with more.

Nicklas Backstrom also stands as one of three players to register at least three points in a single period in an outdoor game, following a 1-2—3 performance during the first period of the 2018 Stadium Series. The others: Jordan Kyrou (2-2—4 in P2, 2021 WC) and Martin Havlat (1-2—3 in P1, 2009 WC).

Nicklas Backstrom is also the only player on either roster to score a game-winning goal in an outdoor game (2018 Stadium Series vs. TOR). With another, he would tie Brad Richards (2012 Winter Classic at PHI & 2016 Stadium Series at COL) for the most by one player in League history.

Alex Ovechkin has 2-1—3 in his three career outdoor games. With another tally in Raleigh, North Carolina, he would become the seventh player to score three or more career goals outdoors – a list topped by David Pastrnak (4-1—5 in 3 GP)

* Alex Ovechkin has scored 47 of his 812 career goals against the Hurricanes – tied with the Flyers for his third most against a single opponent. His totals against the Jets/Thrashers (53) and Lightning (50) rank first and second, respectively.

* At 37 years old, not only can Alex Ovechkin join rare company should he find the back of the net against the Hurricanes, but the Capitals captain can also become the first player in NHL history to score in three consecutive outdoor game appearances. David Pastrnak (2021 NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe & 2019 Winter Classic) and Sidney Crosby (2019 & 2017 Stadium Series) both had the opportunity to achieve the feat at the 2023 Winter Classic but didn’t.

* Defensemen Matt Irwin (2015 Stadium Series w/ SJS & 2020 Winter Classic w/ NSH) and Erik Gustafsson (2019 Winter Classic w/ CHI & 2021 NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe w/ PHI) are appearing in their third outdoor game with their third different team. Only two other defensemen have appeared in an outdoor game with three different teams: Marco Scandella (3; 2016 Stadium Series w/ MIN, 2018 Winter Classic w/ BUF & 2022 Winter Classic w/ STL) and Nick Holden (3; 2016 Stadium Series w/ COL, 2018 Winter Classic w/ NYR & 2021 NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe w/ VGK).

* Washington scored three times during the first period of the 2018 Stadium Series against Toronto en route to a 5-2 victory. In the process, the Capitals became just the third team to score three goals in the opening period of an outdoor game after the Blackhawks did so during the 2009 Winter Classic and the Devils accomplished the feat in the 2014 Stadium Series.

1,794,681 – The total attendance of NHL outdoor games entering the 2023 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series. The 2023 Winter Classic, the first outdoor event of the 2022-23 campaign, drew 39, 243 people at Fenway Park. 

1966 – The year Carter-Finley Stadium opened for the first time. On Oct. 8, 1966, the Wolfpack hosted the South Carolina Gamecocks for Dedication Day, resulting in a 34-24 victory for the visitors.

1,056 – Distance, in feet, from PNC Arena to Carter–Finley Stadium.

1,029 – The number of combined regular-season games Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have skated together, including three outdoors. Their total is eighth most among a pair of teammates in NHL history (led by Alex Delvecchio & Gordie Howe: 1,353 GP w/ DET) and the second most among active teammates (Anze Kopitar Drew Doughty: 1,047 GP w/ LAK).

379 – The number of seconds the Capitals required to score the opening two goals of the 2018 Stadium Series. It stands as the fastest two tallies from the start of an outdoor game.

278 – Number of Alex Ovechkin’s regular-season goals Nicklas Backstrom has assisted on throughout their careers – two shy of Henrik Sedin (280 w/ Daniel Sedin) for the third most in NHL history.

65 – The warmest temperature recorded in degrees Fahrenheit (18ºC) at an outdoor game (2016 Stadium Series, DET at COL).

37 – Regular-season outdoor games staged by the NHL including the 2023 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series.

30 – Combined shots taken by the Capitals (18) and Maple Leafs (12) in the second period of the 2018 Stadium Series, tied for the second-most combined shots in a period of an outdoor game.

24 – Blocked shots by the Capitals in the 2018 Stadium Series, the most recorded by a team in an outdoor game.

22 – Number of outdoor games played in football venues (including the 2023 Stadium Series). The 15 other NHL outdoor games took place in baseball parks (12 GP), atop a golf course (2 GP) and at a soccer stadium (1 GP).

19 – Comeback wins in 36 NHL outdoor games to date, more than half, including each of the past three (2023 Winter Classic, 2022 Heritage Classic & 2022 Stadium Series). That includes six multi-goal comeback wins and eight wins by a team that faced any third-period deficit.

19 – Wins by the team that scores first in 36 NHL outdoor games to date (19-12-5; 4-4-2 in past 10 such contests).

19 – Wins by the road team in 36 NHL outdoor games to date (road teams: 19-13-4; home teams: 17-16-3).

19 – Multi-goal performances by players in outdoor games which includes Capitals forward Anthony Mantha (2-1—3 w/ DET) in the 2017 Centennial Classic.

15 – Number of outdoor games decided by a one-goal margin. An additional eight have been a multi-goal margin which included an empty-net tally (22 of 36, 61%).

– The most points a player has recorded in a period at an outdoor game – Jordan Kyrou (2-2—4 in P2) did so at the 2022 Winter Classic vs. Minnesota.

3 – Number of outdoor gamesCapitalshead coach Peter Laviolette has coached in (2020 WC w/ NSH, 2012 WC w/ PHI and 2010 WC w/ PHI). He will join Joel Quenneville (5 GC), Mike Babcock (4 GC), Claude Julien (4 SC) and Alain Vigneault (4 GC) as the fifth head coach to lead a team into at least four outdoor games.

2 – Hat tricks in an NHL outdoor game, achieved by Tyler Toffoli with the Kings in the 2020 Stadium Series at Falcon Stadium and by David Pastrnak with the Bruins in their 2021 NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe game.

2 – Number of individuals in NHL’s expansion era to play 10-plus seasons and coach five-plus seasons with the same franchise. Besides current Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour (10 from 1999-00 – 2009-10 & 5 from 2018-19 – Present), Lindy Ruff (10 from 1979-80 – 1988-89 & 15 from 1997-98 – 2012-13 w/ BUF) is the only other to do so.

-6 – The coldest temperature recorded in degrees Fahrenheit (-21ºC) at an outdoor game (2022 Winter Classic, STL at MIN).

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