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Posted September 12. 2013 1:11PM

Staging hockey outdoors remains delicate balance of nature vs. nurture

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Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty (67) and Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano (5) battle for the puck during the second period of their NHL Heritage Classic outdoor hockey game at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta, Feb. 20, 2011. (Reuters)

This year's matchup between Philadelphia and Boston was the first of three outdoor hockey games played within a week at Fenway Park. On Jan. 8, a women's college game between New Hampshire and Northeastern preceded a men's game pitting Boston University against Boston College (the intercity rivalry drew 38,472 fans, 360 more than attended the NHL contest seven days earlier).