Rangers, Islanders, Devils coming to Yankee Stadium

Are you ready for hockey at Yankee Stadium? It will be Hockey Week in the Bronx come next January.

Two outdoor regular-season National Hockey League games will be played at the Stadium during the 2013-14 season as part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. And these are not just any two games. The first game will be Sunday, Jan. 26, between the Rangers and the Devils. The second game will be Wednesday, Jan. 29, between the Rangers and the Islanders.

The two games at Yankee Stadium complete the four-game 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series scheduled for next season. The Anaheim Ducks will play the Los Angeles Kings Jan. 25 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and the Chicago Blackhawks will play the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field in Chicago.

“The innovative nature of the Stadium Series affords the opportunity to have all three NHL teams in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area play, outdoors, at one of the most-celebrated stadiums in the world,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We’ll be able to create a multi-faceted, multi-day experience for our fans, and we thank the teams, Coors Light, the New York Yankees and Yankee Stadium for their support of this memorable NHL event.”

In just five years of its existence, the Stadium already has provided the setting for some of the country’s most popular events as the baseball diamond has been transformed to be the site of games between several of college football’s finest programs – including the annual New Era Pinstripe Bowl – concerts by Grammy Award-winning acts, top-tier soccer talent from around the world and a super welterweight title boxing match. The 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series will be the first time the Stadium has been used for hockey.

“We have long thought that Yankee Stadium would be a great venue for outdoor hockey,” Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost said. “In addition to being a first-class baseball facility, Yankee Stadium was designed to house unique and memorable events, such as the NHL Stadium Series. Hosting two of the NHL’s classic rivalries at Yankee Stadium will be a great kickoff for the worldwide sporting events in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area scheduled in early 2014.”

“The New Jersey Devils are proud to have been selected to host the first of two games at Yankee Stadium,” Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said. “The NHL Stadium Series will be a memorable experience for our organization, our players and, most importantly, our fans. We are thrilled to play our divisional rival, while adding to the legacy of one of the nation’s most recognized sports facilities.”

“The New York Islanders are honored to take part in the National Hockey League’s outdoor stadium series,” Islanders general manager Garth Snow said. “Our fan-base is one of the most passionate in the NHL. The support we consistently receive from our fans was on display during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and I expect it to be on an even greater scale when we take on the Rangers. This is what makes the games against the Rangers one of the best rivalries in the league. I look forward to seeing a strong contingent of the orange and blue in the stands at Yankee Stadium.”

“The New York Rangers are honored to participate in these two historic games at Yankee Stadium, bringing hockey into the home of another one of New York’s iconic sports franchises,” Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather said. “Playing hockey outdoors takes the game back to its roots and reminds us all why we laced up our skates as youngsters. We are excited to be able to bring that experience and thrill to our fans and the city of New York.”

The Rangers, Islanders and Devils have combined to win 11 Stanley Cup championships. They are division foes during the regular season and have also have battled each other in memorable postseasons.

The Rangers and Devils have met six times in the playoffs. Perhaps the most memorable of those series was in 1994 when the clubs faced off in the Eastern Conference Final with the Rangers’ Stephane Matteau winning the deciding Game 7 in double-overtime. The Rangers went on to win the Stanley Cup in seven games over the Vancouver Canucks. The Devils countered 12 months later by winning the first of their three Stanley Cup titles over the following nine seasons.

The Rangers and Islanders have met eight times in the postseason, including four straight years from 1981-84. The Devils and Islanders have met once in the postseason, with New Jersey earning a 4-2 series victory in the 1988 Patrick Division Semifinal.

The Rangers first played the Islanders in a regular-season game Oct. 21, 1972, at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island – a 2-1 Rangers victory. The Rangers first faced the Devils in a regular-season game (after the team moved to New Jersey) Oct. 8, 1982, at Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, N.J. – a 3-2 Devils victory.

Further details on this special NHL event, including national broadcast information and specifics on ticket opportunities for the season-ticket holders of each team, will be released shortly. Fans interested in receiving more information on ticketing, news and special offers around the event should register at http://www.NHL.com/2014NewYork.

The NHL recently announced that the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 1, when the Detroit Red Wings will play the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. Since the facility holds a capacity of 101,000, it is anticipated that the game will set a world record for attendance at a hockey match.

The first-ever NHL regular-season game contested outdoors was in 2003 between the Edmonton Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alta. Since then, the NHL has played six additional regular-season games outdoors.

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