By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins have been no stranger to outdoor hockey over the years, and Sunday might be their most unique experience yet.

The Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers will play at Lake Tahoe at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. The NHL built a rink on the 18th fairway of the golf course of the Edgewood Tahoe Resort, which is located on the shores of Lake Tahoe. It is surrounded by trees with the Sierra Nevada mountain range lurking in the background.

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The game had been originally set for Sunday afternoon, but the time has been changed several times in the interest of player safety. The Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights began their game on the outdoor rink on Saturday before play was suspended after the first period due to poor ice conditions resulting from intense sunshine.

This will mark the fourth outdoor game for the Bruins. Boston beat the Flyers in the 2010 Winter Classic at Fenway Park and beat the Blackhawks in the 2019 Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium, while losing to the Canadiens in the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium.

Here are what some of the key members of the team said on Saturday about this historic game.

Head Coach Bruce Cassidy on how the team is approaching this contest:

“We’ll probably just ask them to simplify their game and manage the puck cause of the ice conditions I suspect could be inconsistent and also the altitude here…It’s always a better memory when you win these. We did win at Notre Dame. I remember Sean Kuraly scoring a big goal for us, and so it sticks with you longer if it is a success. But that will be the message. The guys have been through it too, they know what it takes at Fenway [Park] and Gillette [Stadium], they’ve been on both sides of it. So, I think they understand as well, probably more than I do. And those veteran guys will send that message.”  

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Forward Brad Marchand on enjoying the experience and not letting the conditions of playing outside affect the team:

“I think the thing we are all trying to do is just take it all in. There’s a lot of things that are out of our control, and we’re just here to make the most of it, enjoy it. It’s a very unique experience, and one that we’ll never have again in this kind of setting. So we’re trying to make the most of it and have fun. I mean, it sounds like the ice is having a little difficulty out there today, but again, that is out of our control and you got to play through it and that’s part of it, the whole experience.”

Goalie Tuikka Rask on possibly battling the sun on Sunday:

There’s a lot of things we can’t control. Weather is one of them. The sun’s one of them. There’s nothing I can do about it. But I think, wearing the eye-black, that helps a little bit with the glare. But obviously, if the sun is in your eyes, you have to look up, that won’t do anything, so maybe, wear sunglasses. That’s another option. Other than that, there is really nothing more you can do. But, I’m not worried about it. Just things are out of our control and go about our business as usual. 

Captain Patrice Bergeron on playing in his fourth outdoor game:

It’s been great experiences. Never really gets old. It’s always a fun event to be a part of. This one is different. No fans, beautiful landscape in the background. So looking forward to that. But yeah, I think they are all unique in their own way. It’s been fun obviously to be a part of it…Any game is a lot more fun when you win, so not just the outdoor games, but any game really. So, obviously, that’s the focus. [Sunday] is still a big game, still a game that you need for the standings, so that’s the mindset that we have. 

Defenseman Jérémy Lauzon on his first outdoor game:

For myself, it’s going to be my first one, so I’m pretty excited about that. I’m sure it’s going to be a great experience. Obviously, like [Bergeron] said, there’s no fans, but there’s going to be a great landscape behind and it’s going to feel like playing pond hockey, like we were young. So, I’m pretty excited about that.

According to the Bruins, Kevan Miller, David Krejci, Matt Grzelcyk, Jakub Zboril, and Ondrej Kase did not travel to Tahoe.

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The game will be broadcast on NBCSN. Staff