Penguins, Blackhawks might play outdoors March 1, 2014

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There are plans in the works for the Penguins to meet the Chicago Blackhawks in an outdoor NHL game March 1 at Soldier Field, home of the NFL's Bears.

The Penguins are not commenting on the game, which still needs to be finalized.

The game would be separate from the outdoor 2014 Winter Classic, which will pit Toronto against Detroit at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, The NHL apparently wants to capitalize on the popularity of the Winter Classic by adding other outdoor games.

The Penguins twice have played in the Winter Classic -- in 2008 in Buffalo, when Sidney Crosby's shootout goal clinched a 2-1 win; and in 2011 against Washington at Heinz Field, when the Penguins lost, 3-1, and Crosby got a concussion that plagued him for months.

A game March 1 would come six days after the end of the Sochi Olympics. The men's hockey gold-medal game traditionally is played on the final day. The NHL's participation in the next Winter Olympics, however, has not been finalized.

The Penguins and Blackhawks lead their respective conference with the start of the playoffs less than two weeks away.

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