With unmatched atmosphere and energy at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, the 2011 NHL Winter Classic is underway.
The game got off to a bit of a sloppy start as the Capitals and Penguins were feeling each other out and getting used to the unique conditions. Wet ice certainly could have been an attributing factor as the two teams played a scoreless first period.
The Capitals had the better of chances in the opening minutes, with a shot by Mike Green missing the target and Marc-Andre Fleury blocking a quality attempt from Mathieu Perreault. Washington also earned the first power play of the game with just 4:40 off the clock, but the team could not capitalize. The best chance of the opening minutes though came off a Pittsburgh mistake. David Steckel stole the bouncing puck away from a Penguins defender and tipped it to Jay Beagle. The young forward had an open look at the goal, but could not get the puck up enough to beat Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Penguins earned their first power play of the night shortly thereafter as Mike Green had to grab a hold of Sidney Crosby from behind to stop the Pittsburgh star from being in on goal. The Capitals killed off the penalty though, neutralizing the threat.
The game got a bit chippy after that, eclipsing with a fight between John Erskine and Michael Rupp, but also containing several big hits. John Carlson and Mark Letestu each struck the post for their respective teams and Pittsburgh leads 16-12 in shots, but neither team could score in the first 20 minutes of action.