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posted: 5/1/2013 9:26 PM

NHL confirms Soldier Field game

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The Blackhawks are going outside again.

It was made official by the NHL on Wednesday that the Hawks and Pittsburgh Penguins will play a regular-season outdoor game 7 p.m. Saturday, March 1, 2014, at Soldier Field.

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The event is part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.

It's going to be the second time the Hawks have played outdoors, having hosted Detroit in the Winter Classic on New Year's Day in 2009. That event drew a crowd of 40,818 to Wrigley Field with thousands more watching from the rooftops across the street.

"It was a great experience," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "I think it you go back to when we were at Wrigley, I think everyone had the time of their life. It's a special game. I think once we get into that season you look forward to it."

The Hawks just started the playoffs so it's hard to think that far ahead, but Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp said they are looking forward to going back outdoors.

"It's an exciting thing and that's an exciting matchup that probably a lot of people look forward to," Toews said. "The last time around, the guys that were in this locker room that had a chance to play at Wrigley Field, it was an amazing day and a lot of things about it made it special. It'll be a different venue, but to be at home here again it will be a pretty cool thing."

Said Sharp: "It's a long ways away, but I was here for the Wrigley Field game in 2009 and it was one of the highlights of my career in Chicago. It was a special day. We were able to skate at Soldier Field with the Wounded Warriors this year and it was a pretty cool set up. Hopefully the weather is nice and it's not too cold."

Andrew Shaw has never played outside during his pro career.

"It's pretty cool and it would be great to be a part of it," Shaw said. "The fans love it and it's great for us. It would be awesome to play in front of so many fans."

Hawks president and CEO John McDonough has not tried to hide the fact he has lobbied for a return trip to the Winter Classic. While this isn't the Winter Classic, it's good enough for McDonough.

"The Chicago Blackhawks are privileged to be included in the National Hockey League's Stadium Series," McDonough said "Hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins at iconic Soldier Field promises to be a unique experience for our organization and our fans."

This will be the Penguins' third outdoor game.

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