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Monday, December 20, 2010
Updated: December 31, 8:09 PM ET
Winter Classic ice making this week

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- The NHL will begin setting up the Winter Classic rink at Heinz Field within an hour after the Panthers-Steelers game ends Thursday night.

The Penguins will play the Capitals in the New Year's Day outdoor game.

NHL facilities operations manager Dan Craig said Monday his crew will begin putting down the rink shortly after the NFL game ends. A refrigeration trailer will be brought in Friday, and power generators will be hooked up for the start of ice making late on Christmas Day.

The rink markings will be completed Dec. 28, three days before the teams practice and a Capitals-Penguins alumni game is played.

The extended Jan. 1 forecast calls for sunshine and a high of 36, although Pittsburgh's winter weather can change rapidly.