The Great Outdoors

The outdoors will be the setting as the NHL once again ventures out of the arena and into the great wide open of two icon ballparks to kick off the 2014 Stadium Series.

Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and Yankee Stadium in New York will play host to 5 NHL teams over the next few days with the Kings taking on the Ducks in a SoCal match-up and the Rangers facing off against their regional rivals, the Devils (Sunday, January 26th) and the Islanders (Wednesday, January 29th).

Dodger Stadium – Kings vs. Ducks

 

Two of the hockey’s top Stanley Cup contenders are set to take their state rivalry outdoors when the Los Angeles Kings host the Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium on January 25.

It’s a unique twist on an all-California matchup, one that pits a pair of Western Conference heavyweights playing at one of baseball’s most famous parks.

The Kings, who won the Stanley Cup in 2012, will face-off against the Ducks, champions in 2007, at the 56,000 stadium.

And while the weather won’t be anywhere near the same temperature as previous outdoor NHL games, there shouldn’t be any shortage of intense action from the two clubs, who squared-off on Thursday night, a 2-1 home win for Anaheim.

Jarret Stoll, in his sixth campaign with the Kings, is looking forward to Saturday’s tilt.

“Just the atmosphere and the experience of playing in such a historic ballpark, it’s going to be special,” said the 31-year-old forward, who has appeared in nearly 700 regular season NHL games.

The centreman, who grew up in Saskatchewan, has plenty of recollections of playing outdoors.

His fondest memory?

“Every year, I’d get new outdoor goalie gear for Christmas,” recalled Stoll, who recorded 40 goals and 106 points for the Kootenay Ice (Western Hockey League) in 2000-01. “I love to play goal at school, recess, lunch break and in the backyard against my brother and sister.”

Stoll doesn’t mind blocking shots, but he’s happy to leave the goaltending duties to teammate Jonathan Quick, one of the best in the business, and a member of the Team USA squad set to compete in the upcoming Winter Games in Sochi.

Saturday’s game (slated for 9:30 p.m. ET) will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network. Legendary hard rock group KISS will perform at the event.

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