Conklin gets another crack

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

BUFFALO -- Ty Conklin had a four-game winning streak when he went into his first outdoor NHL regular season game.

He lost. His Edmonton Oilers then went on the skids and so did his career.

Back in the NHL after spending the start of the season in the minors, Conklin won his first four games as a Pittsburgh Penguin. But suddenly he was in the first outdoor regular season game in the U.S.

This time he won.

Conklin stopped 36 shots and two more in a shootout to lead the Penguins to a 2-1 win in the NHL's Winter Classic and stretch his personal winning streak to five straight.

"Yeah, I'm .500 for outdoor games now," said the native of Alaska, who, along with former Oiler teammate Georges Laraque, are the only two players to say they played in both outdoor games.

Conklin didn't play well in the first one, giving up four goals on 23 shots to the Montreal Canadiens in the Heritage Classic.

"They were both really fun," he said. "This one wasn't quite as cold. I didn't have any problems with the temperature. That made it a little more enjoyable.

"I could see the puck pretty good. The ice got a little sticky at times. It was a lot more difficult for the forwards. If you wished for one thing it would have been for a little less snow.

"Certainly some offensive chances got kiboshed with all of the snow."

Conklin said he enjoyed it from the get-go when the teams were paraded out for the warm-up soccer style by bagpipers.

"It was pretty neat with all of the bagpipes.

"It was great. The whole lead-up was great and the game was 1-1 going into a shootout.

"You can't beat that."


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