The Bridgestone Winter Classic favored the visitors this season, with the Montreal Canadiens routing the Boston Bruins 5-1.
The 8th installment of the Winter Classic held division standing implications for the Canadiens and with the win, regained the first place spot in the Atlantic Division. The battle for 1st place brought an electric atmosphere to Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots. The Bruins are the only team to have hosted the Winter Classic twice, holding the 1st Winter Classic in Fenway Park in 2008.
The Habs started the scoring early, with the first goal coming only 1:15 into the opening period. The goal came from a smart play in front by David Desharnais, who played the puck similar to hitting a baseball into the net. The Desharnais goal would be the solo goal of the period, but throughout the opening stanza Canadiens put heavy pressure on the Bruins defense.
The second period yielded high productivity for the Habs, bookending the middle period with a goal at 2:00 and another at 17:20. Boston tried to put pressure onto the Canadiensâ€™ defense, but great goaltending from Massachusetts native, Mike Condon, kept the shutout alive.
The Bruins finally put a number on the scoreboard after former Anaheim Duck, Matt Beleskey deflected a hard shot from the point. Although the Bruins were able to score, the Canadiens continued to wreak havoc on the Bruins defense scoring two more goals before the final whistle.
The 5-1 win is the most lopsided game in Winter Classic history. The last 7 editions of the Classic did not exceed a two-goal margin. The Canadiens moved back into first place in the Atlantic division with the dominating win in front of 67,246 fans. This yearâ€™s play was by far one of the fastest seen in Winter Classic history, and the ice stayed in excellent game condition.
The next Winter Classic host is rumored to be the Toronto Maple Leafs, but the NHL will not decide the host for at least a few months. The 2016 Winter Classic was one for the record books, and for Hockey fans, the Classic continues to be a New Years Day tradition similar to the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl.