All systems go for Jan. 1 Winter Classic between Pens, Caps Staff

7/27/2010 3:16:41 PM

The Pittsburgh Penguins are set to host the Washington Capitals in the NHL's 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field on January 1, and even though it's still five months away, people are already getting excited about the prospect of Crosby vs. Ovechkin in an outdoor setting, including the players themselves.

"It's going to be incredible," Crosby said on Tuesday. "Obviously a lot of us played in Buffalo there. It's nice to get one at home, it's a lot of fun, it's going to be exciting, and everybody knows the match-up and the rivalry there so it should be a great game."

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was equally enthused about this year's edition of what has become a staple NHL tradition and a popular event in the sporting world.

"With a stadium like this, we have no doubt that this will be equally spectacular as the other three (Winter Classics)," Bettman said.

Pens legend and current owner Mario Lemieux said he's looking forward to the New Year's Day tilt.

"Two great teams, two great captains; it should be pretty exciting for hockey in general," said Lemieux on Tuesday. "In Buffalo when we played against the Sabres, it was very, very exciting so we expect the same thing here."

"It's pretty easy to get up for a big game like that and you just try to take it all in and, at the end of the day, we're both lucky to have this opportunity to play in this game," said Crosby.