Penguins and Sabres practice on outdoor rink, all set to play for real Tuesday

'"Once your face gets a little numb you feel fine," Campbell said. "The ears were cold a little bit, maybe a little frostbite on them, but that's all right."'

Pens G Conklin gets starting nod, making him 2-for-2 in NHL outdoor games

'Conklin allowed four goals on 27 shots in the Oilers' 4-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL's only other outdoor game, back in 2003.'

Winter Classic to take hockey back in time

'Anticipation for the NHL's first-ever outdoor game in the United States has reached a level where locals would likely take the game over a visit from the Pope or a Beatles reunion concert.'

NHL players excited to go 'topless' in Buffalo

'"I hope the snow comes down, why not?," said Sabres defenseman Brian Campbell, noting that all of the players enjoyed the light snow flurries during Monday's practice.'

Millionaire pros acting like kids

'"That was awesome, it really was," Ruff said of the unique outdoor experience. "It kind of gets you back to your roots."'

Want the ultimate outdoor rink? Dan Craig makes it so

‘So, how much sleep are you getting, Dan? “Basically, none,” he said.’

This time around outdoors, there's more at risk for NHL

'At its worst, if it pours rain, if there is a blizzard, if a player gets injured as a result of playing the game outdoors instead of down the road at HSBC Arena, then it will be the kind of black eye that will reinforce the widely held notion the NHL isn't quite "big league." At its worst, the Winter Classic will make it difficult, if not impossible, to justify hosting such an event ever again.'

Chilly reception

'"The Capital One Bowl consistently receives viewer support," said ESPN-on- ABC spokesperson Mike Humes. "While we normally do not make specific estimates, with these two popular teams, we expect another solid audience." (Television-speak translation: We're going to kill you, NBC).'

Equipment men warming to tasks of Winter Classic

'Getting players ready to handle the elements has been one step of the process. The equipment managers have ordered tinted shields and eye black. They’ve stockpiled cold-weather gear from Reebok and Under Armour. They’ve sought advice from the NFL trainers in their cities and the equipment guys who handled other outdoor hockey games.'

The dynamo that is Tynan runs at full speed

'Tynan shared part of the program with Sabres goalie Ryan Miller and forward Drew Stafford, who played their guitars along with the U2 song “All I Want Is You.” They seemed to know the ropes pretty well, and Stafford got off a few strong solo riffs. Later they returned to help close the concert with ringa- ding performance of another U2 tune, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” which Tynan equated to the Sabres quest for the Stanley Cup.'

NHL's cool feat installs a rink at the Ralph

'The sight is so strange, so bizarre — this hockey rink just sitting in the middle of a football stadium.'

Monday’s Pittsburgh Coverage

Winter Classic set up unusual (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Playing outdoors isn’t new to Penguins’ goalie (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

A readers’ guide to the Winter Classic (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

Pens Go Retro For Winter Classic (PittsburghPenguins.com)

Chilly Winter Classic is a hot commodity

‘Costas believes the NHL can build on events like this because it has the ability to attract casual fans and channel surfers. “It will feel special because it is special,” said Costas. “It’s unique. Sidney Crosby and Ryan Miller are extremely well known. You have players that people want to see and in an atmosphere that’s intriguing, plus those 70,000 people in Buffalo on New Year’s Day. There is certainly going to be a great atmosphere.”‘

NHL’s ice guru worries about ‘Classic’ weather

‘He learned that first hand when he was at the stadium and found himself in what he calls “blizzard conditions.” “It took us 45 minutes to get back to the hotel, and once we got to the hotel, there was nothing at the hotel,” he said.’

Waiting on winter in Buffalo

‘Exactly midway through the third period, a hard whistle will sound – regardless of where the puck is in play – and the teams will switch ends. If there’s overtime, that will happen again at the 2:30 mark of sudden death. And if there’s a shootout, each goaltender will be given the option of which goal to defend. So it’s possible both teams could shoot on the same goal if, for instance, looking to the sun or battling a strong wind was something a goalie didn’t want to face.’