As BSH Radio’s own Steph Driver reported on Monday night, NBC announced in the pre-game show for tonight’s Eagles-Cowboys game that the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins will be squaring off on February 23, 2019, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
This news has not yet been announced by the Flyers, Penguins, or NHL [UPDATE: The NHL and the Flyers both announced the event around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday], but NBC’s Dan Patrick confirmed it on-air this evening:
Dan Patrick said: “We’re pleased to announce that next season, the Penguins will be playing outside in Philadelphia. The Flyers will face Pittsburgh at the home of the Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field - February 23, 2019, as part of the NHL’s Stadium Series."— Jonathan Tannenwald (@jtannenwald) November 20, 2017
Back in March of 2016, the NHL announced that the Flyers would be heading to Pittsburgh for an outdoor game against the Penguins, as a part of the league’s Stadium Series. This game, of course, was played last February, as the Flyers dropped a 4-2 contest to the Penguins under the Heinz Field lights.
What the NHL didn’t confirm back then, but had been reported by multiple plugged-in reporters around the time rumors of a Flyers-Penguins outdoor game had surfaced, was that the two teams would be heading back outdoors again on the other (superior) side of the Commonwealth in the near future. Speculation was that, since efforts to play a neutral-site game at Penn State’s Beaver Stadium fell through, the two teams would play a “home-and-home” of sorts, with the 2017 game in Pittsburgh being followed up by a game in Philadelphia in a following season.
Several different outlets, from ESPN to The Inquirer to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, all reported that there would be an outdoor game in Philadelphia in a season following the 2016-17 season, with Sam Carchidi of the Inquirer going as far as to say that it would take place in 2019 at either Citizens’ Bank Park (home of the 2012 Winter Classic) or Lincoln Financial Field (home of the current best team in the National Football League, but of no outdoor hockey games up to this point).
That news was confirmed with tonight’s announcement from NBC, which came one day after the league officially announced that the 2019 Winter Classic would be held in South Bend, Ill., between the Chicago Blackhawks (surprise!) and the Boston Bruins.
Full press release, courtesy of the Flyers, is as follows:
The National Hockey League (NHL®) announced today that the Philadelphia Flyers® will play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins® outdoors at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, as part of the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™.
This will be part two in the outdoor "Battle for Pennsylvania." The Penguins took round one in 2017, playing to a crowd of more than 67,000 at Heinz Field when they edged out the Flyers in a 4-2 win. The game will be the Flyers fourth regular-season appearance outdoors, and the Penguins fifth such game. The 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ will mark the sixth consecutive year that Coors Light has been the title partner.
"On behalf of the Philadelphia Flyers, we are thrilled to host the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Lincoln Financial Field", said Philadelphia Flyers President, Paul Holmgren. "The stadium, voted one of the best in the NFL, offers excellent sight lines so every fan attending will have a great view to enjoy the game. We are proud to be able to showcase our city, fans and team for such a great event."
"The Penguins and Flyers will renew one of our League's fiercest rivalries in this Coors Light NHL Stadium Series match-up," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "Lincoln Financial Field will provide a perfect setting for these cross-state opponents and their passionate fan-bases."
"Coors Light knows that challenges are opportunities to reach new heights. And, there's nothing that captures that spirit like facing off with your rivals in the elements," Coors Light Vice President of Marketing Ryan Marek said. "We can't wait to offer consumers the World's Most Refreshing Beer as they watch the Penguins and Flyers continue this amazing tradition, joining in with players and fans alike to celebrate the climb to victory."
The Keystone State rivals have met 281 times in the regular season since joining the NHL together in 1967-68, with Philadelphia holding a 344-233 edge in points (PHI: 153-90-38-344, PIT: 98-146-37-233). They also have faced off six times in the Stanley Cup® Playoffs, with the Flyers winning four of those series, including their most recent match up in the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
"It's always a special opportunity to take the game back to its roots and have NHL players skate outdoors,"said Pittsburgh Penguins President and CEO, David Morehouse. "We competed against the Flyers outdoors at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh 2017 and look forward to completing the in-state 'home-and-home' series at Lincoln Financial Field in 2019. It should be a great atmosphere."
"Over the years, players who have had the opportunity to hit the ice outdoors in a regular season game have always described it as one of their career highlights," said NHLPA Special Assistant to the Executive Director, Mathieu Schneider. "There is no doubt that the Penguins and Flyers players will put on a great show for the passionate fans in Philadelphia, and those watching at home, adding to the history between these two teams."
The Flyers and Penguins continue to feature some of the League's top talent. Philadelphia is led by Hart Trophy finalist Claude Giroux, NHL All-Star Shayne Gostisbehere and 2017 NHL All-Star MVP Wayne Simmonds. The Penguins are led by captain Sidney Crosby, a two-time winner of both the Hart Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy, Evgeni Malkin, winner of both the Hart Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy, and defenseman Kris Letang, a three-time NHL All-Star. Each player has won three Stanley Cup® Championships with the Penguins.
The game will be broadcast live on NBC in the United States and on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada. Additional details on the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ including ticket information, special events and further television broadcasting information will be released at a later date. NHL Social™ will have exclusive coverage on all social platforms, and those looking to join the conversation can use the official hashtag NHL #StadiumSeries.