For the first time in the Winter Classic’s 12-year history, the NHL takes its outdoors festivities south on New Year’s Day for a matchup between two Central Division rivals in the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators.
The Stars (22-14-4, 48), led by Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, sit in third place in the division at the start of the new calendar year with hopes of a deep playoff run still ahead of them. On the other hand, the Predators (18-14-6, 42 points) are struggling through the 2019-20 season after five consecutive seasons of playoff appearances and one Stanley Cup final run in 2017.
Only six points separate the two rivals, and while we have not quite reached the NHL’s stretch run, an emphatic and emotional win for either side at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas could wind up marking an important turn in the season when it’s all said and done.
A Dec. 27 report from the Athletic’s Sean Shapiro said that more than 84,000 tickets had been sold for the first Winter Classic of the new decade. That’s in a ‘non-traditional’ hockey market, too — which gives Dallas a chance to show the hockey world their passion for the sport on Wednesday and a pretty good game to boot.
Sporting News is tracking all the action live from Cotton Bowl Stadium as the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators go toe-to-toe to kick off 2020.
Nashville Predators vs. Dallas Stars live score, updates and highlights from the Winter Classic
(All times Eastern)
Predators 2, Stars 1
Second period: Predators 2, Stars 1
3:46 p.m. — The Stars don’t score before the period ends, but they will have one minute and 11 seconds remaining with a man advantage when play resumes.
3:43 p.m. — Dallas goes back to the power play late in the period after Colin Blackwell sends the puck over the boards for a delay of game penalty.
3:42 p.m. — Two more players go down. Radek Faksa and Mattias Ekholm are shaken up after colliding along the boards, but they both remain in the game for now.
3:41 p.m. — GOAL. Blake Comeau gets the Stars on the board after Dickinson wraps around the net and throws the puck out in front.
3:37 p.m. — Nashville captain Roman Josi earns a two-minute minor penalty for a cross check against Dallas’ Joe Pavelski. The Stars have their first power play of the game with just three minutes remaining in the period.
3:35 p.m. — By the way, the game’s official attendance mark clocks in at 85,630 — making this Winter Classic the second-most attended game in NHL history behind 2014’s New Year’s Day game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings.
3:30 p.m. — Seguin narrowly misses a shot on a breakaway opportunity just after exiting the penalty box. No goals were scored during the power play.
3:25 p.m. — Tyler Seguin earns a boarding penalty for his hit from behind on Austin Watson. The Predators will head to the power play for the fourth time today.
3:22 p.m. — Ellis has been officially ruled out of the rest of Wednesday’s game with an upper-body injury, leaving the Predators short a top-four defenseman the rest of the afternoon. They seem to be adjusting just fine and still control the majority of shots on net. We’ll see if that changes by the end of the period.
3:16 p.m. — The intensity remains high in the second period. The middle frame has had more offense already — the Predators already have five shots on net this period just six minutes in.
3:07 p.m. — Blake Comeau is back at the start of the second period for the Stars. Ryan Ellis remains out of the game after Corey Perry’s hit.
First period: Predators 2, Stars 0
2:46 p.m. — This game had a dramatic start, but the period ends rather slowly as both teams trade chances. The two teams registered 27 total hits in an ultra-physical first frame. Nashville put 10 shots on net, while the Stars had eight.
2:40 p.m. — This Winter Classic is officially the warmest on record and the fourth-warmest outdoor NHL game ever.
2:35 p.m. — The penalties end without any goals for either side. The Predators have four shots on goal with about six minutes remaining; the Stars have five.
2:31 p.m. — Radek Faksa and Colin Blackwell skirmish after Dallas’ Comeau goes down. Austin Watson caught him with an open-ice check. Both players are given two minute minor penatlies for roughing, giving the game two minutes of four-on-four action. Comeau, like Ryan Ellis before him, has left the game for now.
2:22 p.m. — Stars forward Denis Gurianov misses on a penalty shot after he is taken down on a scoring chance for the Stars. The score remains 2-0 Nashville.
2:20 p.m. — PP GOAL. Duchene finds Dante Fabbro on a cross-crease pass and Fabbro scores on Ben Bishop before the Predators’ power play expires.
2:17 p.m. — PP GOAL. Matt Duchene scores off a feed from Filip Forsberg, cancelling Comeau’s penalty. About 90 seconds remain on the five-minute major to Perry.
2:15 p.m. — Dallas’ Blake Comeau is assessed a two-minute minor for delay of game. The Predators now have a five-on-three power play.
2:13 p.m. — Corey Perry has been ejected from the Winter Classic and given a game misconduct and major penalty for elbowing Ellis. The Predators receive a five minute power play as a result — they will be on the power play for the entire five minutes regardless of how many goals they might score.
2:12 p.m. — Ellis was helped off the ice by his teammates. On-ice officials are reviewing Perry’s hit on Ellis to determine how severe of a penalty they may assess the Stars forward.
2:10 p.m. — Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis is down on the ice after Dallas’ Corey Perry caught him with a headshot roughly three minutes into the game.
2:05 p.m. — The game is on! The crowd roars as the puck drops on the 2020 NHL Winter Classic.
2:04 p.m. — Both team’s lines for Wednesday’s game.
— Jace Mallory (@MalloryJace) January 1, 2020
— Jace Mallory (@MalloryJace) January 1, 2020