NEW YORK — The tenth annual outdoor Winter Classic kicks off calendar year 2018 with the Buffalo Sabres hosting the New York Rangers at Citi Field, home of baseball's New York Mets.
Both teams appear in their second Winter Classic. The Sabres lost to the Penguins, 2-1, in a shootout at the inaugural event at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Jan. 1, 2008. The Rangers rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Flyers, 3-2, in Philadelphia on Jan. 2, 2012.
The Rangers are actually 3-0-0 in outdoor games, having also defeated both the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders in consecutive Stadium Series games at Yankee Stadium in 2014. Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is the winningest goalie in NHL outdoor games, winning all three he played in with a 2.00 goals against average and .933 save percentage.
Buffalo's Jason Pominville played in the first Winter Classic with the Sabres, and returns ten years later with the team again today at Citi Field.
We'll have live scoring updates and highlights throughout the game. (All times Eastern.)
Sabres-Rangers live updates
4:08 J.T. Miller scores on rebound at 2:43 of overtime, a power play goal. Rangers win 3-2
4:06 Rangers power play as Buffalo's Jacob Josefson whistled for tripping minor at 2:15.
4:05 Both teams miss on 2 on 1 rushes
4:00 One last timely save by Lundqvist and the Winter Classic is headed to overtime at Citi Field. Rangers are up 38-32 in shots. Game Tied 2-2
3:57 Approaching two minutes to play, Lundqvist with point-blank save on Zemgus Girgensons.
3:52 Official attendence announced: 41,821. A sellout. 4:42 left in third period, tied 2-2.
3:48 In front of press box, a Sabres fan and Rangers fan taunting one another. Finally, from Sabres fan, "Bill made the playoffs" chant!
3:46 Fans dancing to the "YMCA". They'll do anything to stay warm today, it seems. 7:30 to play in the third.
3:42 Hown sounds and the teams switch sides midway through the third period. Still tied.
3:41 What a save by Robin Lehner. Sprawls to rob David Desharnais at 9:52.
3:36 Rangers have settled things down past few minutes. Gam tied 2-2 with 12:09 to play in third period.
3:32 "Let's Go Rangers!" chants from the partisan crowd, tas Blueshirts turn the puck over a string of times.
3:28 Credit Ryan O'Reilly and Kyle Okposo with the assists on Ristolainen's second goal of the season, and second in as many games.
3:27 The Sabres strike early again, this time 27 seconds into the period. Rasmus Ristolainen beats Lundqvist from downtown. Game Tied 2-2
3:25 Puck dropped on the third period here at Citi Field. Lights are on, rink completely in shadows.
3:10 Buffalo's Evander Kane leads all players with four hits. He and teammate Jack Eichel with game-high four shots on goal. New York's Ryan McDonagh a game-high 18:11 worth of ice time.
3:04 Second period ends with Rangers holding a one-goal lead. Rangers outshooting Sabres 26-24. Sabres 1-for-5 on the power play. Rangers are 0-for-2. Rangers 2-1
2:58 Looking like Robin Lehner's long hair is frozen!
2:56 Rangers penalty kill is a big story in this one. they kill off a Ryan McDonagh minor here and have four kills on five Sabres popwer plays, so far. Under four minutes to play in second.
2:48 Rangers' Jimmy Vesey digging away at puck under Lehner, then gets sent flying by Sabres. Small melee behind Buffalo net. No penalties. 8:16 to play in second.
2:46 Marco Scandella's power play blast from left point rings iron behind Lundqvist after being deflected on the way. That close to a tie game halfway through the period.
2:31 Second period starts with a Michael Grabner shorthanded breakaway. He misses and Sabres respond with power play goal by Sam Reinhart at 56 seconds. Rangers 2-1
2:10 Kevin Hayes of the Rangers and Kyle Okposo of the Sabres have game-high three shots on goal. Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh keeping warm out there, logged 10:09 of ice time in opening period.
2:09 First period ends with Sabres handed their third consecutive power play. Rangers outshoot Sabres 16-13. Majority of Sabres shots came on power play, and Henrik Lundqvist's best saves were on Sabres power plays. Rangers 2-0.
1:58 Rangers center Mika Zibanejad swats Buffalo's Evander Kane in the face on follow through as he clears puck on penalty kill. Kane is down for a while, cut, on nose, helped from the ice. No penalty. 4:06 remaining in first period, 2-0 New York.
1:52 Nick Holden of the Rangers throws a big check and drops a Sabre along the wall. Shadows covering most of ice surface now. Game time temperature, by the way, was 20.5 degrees.
1:44 Michael Grabner converts from five-feet out after Kevin Hayes tries to bank shot off the back of Lehner. Grabner's 18th of the season, assisted by Hayes and J.T. Miller. Rangers 2-0
1:36 Listed as a scratch originally, Jesper Fast picks up primary assist on Carey's fifth goal. Boo Nieves also with assist. Vinny Lettieri is scratched in favor of Fast.
1:35 Paul Carey beats Lehner at 4:09 of first period, Rangers' ninth shot already. Pro-Rangers crowd goes wild. Rangers 1-0.
1:33 Lehner with 8 saves only three minutes into the game, including gem against Rick Nash on the doorstep.
1:31 That didn't take long. Zach Bogosian 2 minutes for roughing, just 38 seconds into play. Rangers power play.
1:30 Puck dropped. Away we go at the Winter Classic.
1:24 STARTING LINEUPS: Rangers -- Lundqvist, McDonagh, Holden, Nash, Zibanejad, Zuccarello. Sabres -- Lehner, Ristolainen, Scandella, Kane, O'Reilly, Okposo
1:20 Sabres and Rangers lining up to be introduced after the National Anthem.
1:18 Ace Frehley of KISS performing "Back in the New York Groove"
1:15 Scratches for today's game: RANGERS -- Vinni Lettieri, Chris Kreider, Steven Kampfer. SABRES -- Scott Wilson, Justin Falk, Victor Antipin.
12::50 Players to Watch today? How about Jack Eichel of the Sabres, with seven goals in his last six games, coming off a 16-point month of December and Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers, unbeaten in three career outdoor starts, and six straight starts with 30 or more saves? Wild card choice? Buffalo's Evander Kane, who spoke Sunday about embracing the spotlight and big stage, and who is tied with Eichel for the team lead with 15 goals.
12:48 Props to Sabres goalie Robin Lehner, wearing the throwback-looking Gerry Desjardins mask from the 1970's
12:40 Rangers and Sabres hit the ice for warmups here at Citi Field. Robin Lehner and the Sabres guarding the goal to the left, third base side. Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers to the right, first base side.
12:30 E-Street drummer -- and New Jersey native -- Max Weinberg and his band begin a pregame set on a stage in shallow center field. Kick things off with the Beatles' classic "Hard Day's Night"
12:15 Pair of zambonis doing their thing after maintenance crew floods the ice. Plenty of glare reflecting. Will this game start on time? Remember in 2012, the same situation took place and that afternoon's Rangers-Flyers outdoor game in Philly had a lengthy delay at the start. Stay tuned.
11:40 In front of the first base dugout, the Rangers play catch, while on the third base side, the Sabres get in some pregame soccer.
11:30 Sabres forward Evander Kane was asked after practice Sunday of the eye black he wore helped with the glare from the ice. "No way, man. It's all about style points!" Kane then added he planned to work on his "look" in the mirror at the team hotel Sunday night.
11:15 Maintenance workers removing tarp from the ice. Plenty of glare bouncing off the ice and boards as sunchine covers three-quarters of the rink.
10:30 Silver tarp covers the ice surface for today's outdoor game at Citi Field. Temperature is at 12 degrees, and there is bright sunshine.