The NHL continues the tradition of hosting outdoor games in 2023-24, with the Heritage Classic, Winter Classic, and Stadium Series. The Winter Classic and Stadium Series typically are held in the United States, while the Heritage Classic takes place in Canada.
Each year, the Stadium Series provides thrills as teams face off against each other in an outdoor setting. Last season, the Carolina Hurricanes hosted the Washington Capitals at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, NC.
This winter, the 2024 Stadium Series will consist of two games on consecutive days. All four teams participating are in the Metropolitan Division. The Stadium Series will be must-watch hockey.
Date, location, teams, and more about the Stadium Series
The 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series will take place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ with back-to-back games. The first game will take place on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at 8:00 PM EST with the New Jersey Devils hosting the Philadelphia Flyers. The second game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. EST with the New York Islanders hosting the New York Rangers.
How can you watch the games? The Stadium Series will air on ABC and ESPN+ in the United States. The games will be shown on Sportsnet 360 and Sportsnet NOW in Canada. TVA Sports 2 will also air the games in Canada with French commentary. Information on purchasing tickets to either game can be found here.
It’s evident that the Flyers are in the midst of a tough road. Last season, they were seventh in the Metropolitan Division. They are among the bottom tier of NHL teams. Their defense is weak and their offense doesn't produce. It is a time of rebuilding for Philly, and it could be a while before they are a strong team again. Nevertheless, there will be plenty of Flyers fans in attendance ready to see their team participate in a fun outdoor match-up considering the game takes place not too far away from the fanbase’s region.
The Devils are one of the top teams in the Metropolitan Division, and they’re among the teams considered Stanley Cup contenders. In 2022-23, the Devils were second in the Metro, just one point behind the Carolina Hurricanes, and they reached the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It’s been a long time since New Jersey was in the conversation. They have one of the strongest top-six or perhaps top-nine forward groups in the NHL this season. Their defense took a hit from the losses of Damon Severson and Ryan Graves, but they’ll work through the growing pains. If the goaltending can hold up in the playoffs, the Devils could go on a deep run.
As for the second match-up in the 2024 Stadium Series, the Rangers are another top team in the Metro. Last year, they finished third in the division behind the Hurricanes and Devils. They earned a trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs but failed to advance past the first round. The Rangers are a powerhouse team with a mix of strong veterans and some young players who have yet to truly prove themselves. They have an elite goaltender and a solid blue line. The Metro Division is tough this year, but the Rangers are in the race.
The Islanders are somewhere in the middle of the pack. Last season, they were fourth in the Metro and squeaked into the playoffs in a wild-card spot. They were eliminated in the first round. The key concerns are that the Islanders are an older and slower team. They also don’t have much coming up through the prospect pool. Still, they have offensive depth and strong goaltending. The Islanders are capable of making a playoff push again but it’s not a sure bet.
There are plenty of exciting players to watch in the Stadium Series. In the first game, keep an eye on Carter Hart of the Flyers, who has the makings of a franchise goalie. The Hughes brothers are players to watch on the Devils. Luke Hughes is an exciting rookie defenseman, while Jack Hughes is looking to follow up a 99-point season. In the second game, look out for Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad of the Rangers who both put up 90+ points last season. Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin was a Vezina Trophy nominee last year.
In addition to the Stadium Series, the Devils and Flyers face off on Dec.19, 2023, in Newark, NJ and on Nov. 30, 2023, and April 13, 2024, in Philadelphia, PA. The Islanders and Rangers also meet up on March 17, 2024, and April 13, 2024, in New York City as well as April 9, 2024, in Elmont, NY.