WASHINGTON — The Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks drop the puck on the 2015 Winter Classic at Nationals Park at 1 p.m. Thursday (although they may delay the start if the sunny glare off the ice is too much). There’s a lot of history and a lot of work behind the scenes of the game, and NHL.com has a long list of fascinating trivia.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights of the Winter Classic, by the numbers:
2 — Each team is playing in the Winter Classic for the second time; Chicago lost to Detroit, 6-4, in 2009 at Wrigley Field; Washington topped Pittsburgh, 3-1, at Heinz Field in 2011.
12 — Length, in inches, of the District Duel, which will be the game’s Signature Dish. It’s a half smoke combined with Chicago-style slow roasted Italian beef, topped with creole mustard, banana peppers and giardiniera.
14 — Capitals players who have played in an outdoor NHL game.
16 — The number of Capitals right wing Eric Fehr, who scored two goals, including the game-winner, when Washington beat the Penguins in the 2011 Winter Classic.
24 — The number of feet below street level the field and rink at Nationals Park sit.
34.7 — Average temperature at puck drop for the six previous Winter Classics (2008 – 31.1°, 2009 – 31.9°, 2010 – 39.6°, 2011 – 51.7°, 2012 – 41°, 2014 – 13°).
38 — NHL players who have played for both the Capitals and Blackhawks, including Capitals forward Troy Brouwer, who played for the Blackhawks in the 2009 Winter Classic at Wrigley Field.
44 — Average high temperature, in degrees Fahrenheit, for Washington, D.C. in January, according to weather.com.
53 — Length, in feet, of the world’s largest mobile rink refrigeration unit, specially built for outdoor games conducted by the NHL.
243 — The number of ice pans under the main rink at Nationals Park, each measuring 30 inches by 340 inches in size.
300 — Ton capacity of the refrigeration trailer that will keep the ice cool.
350 — Gallons of paint used to make the Nationals Park ice white.
3,000 — Gallons of coolant used to freeze the Nationals Park rink.