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Sean Leahy

Rain not becoming an issue for players, equipment staffs

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

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PITTSBURGH -- When you're an NHL equipment manager, you need to be prepared for anything before and during the game to make your players feel as comfortable as possible on the ice. When you're preparing to play a game outdoors, however, things become a little different and Dana Heinze and Brock Myles, equipment managers of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, have had to prepare for whatever Mother Nature has in store for tonight.

So what's the latest hourly forecast for Pittsburgh up until later today?

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The chance of precipitation drops to 20-percent during the game and the temperature looks like it'll stay in the low 40s as the night progresses.

Myles told Corey Masisak of CSN Washington earlier this week that even with the potential for a rainy Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh to continue on into the night, preparations are pretty much done:

"With the forecast, there's nothing we can do with the rain. We can't all have umbrellas out there. I was going to say we might spray some Rain-X on the shields. There's not much besides that that we can really prepare for."

Myles and his staff have already received help in their preparations from Heinze, whose been through a snowy Winter Classic as well as a preseason trip to Sweden in 2008.

But how are the players planning to deal with any sort of precipitation during the game?

"Rain jackets," joked Capitals defenseman Scott Hannan(notes).

"[Maybe] sport one of those caps you always see cartoon characters wearing," said Washington forward Jason Chimera(notes).

Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy(notes) said it'll all boil down to what the conditions are like pregame.

"I think it depends. Some guys are debating about going without the visor just because we had a list misting. We'll have to see. I will have the visor on no matter what with my face injury. I think guys will go out for warmups and see what the temperature is like and we have all sorts of thicknesses of undergear to wear whether it's cold or warm. We'll make decisions then."

And while Myles and Heinze will have plenty of extra gloves and equipment on hand in case for skaters, Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury(notes) isn't planning to change much, if needed.

"Nothing different. Probably get some backup underwear, but other than that, just used to playing with what I have. I don't want to make any changing. Maybe put a hat on my helmet."

Now that the game will be played at night at Heinz Field, what did Fleury plan to do about fighting through the lights and trying to see an airborne puck?

"Just [stay] in the net and hope for the best."

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