SS NJD Bratt Hischier Meier

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jesper Bratt wouldn't mind a few snowflakes falling from the night sky when he finally gets to experience his first outdoor NHL game.

The New Jersey Devils forward discussed that and more with teammates Nico Hischier and Timo Meier at MetLife Stadium on Wednesday in the buildup to the 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series that features two regular-season outdoor games at the home of the NFL's New York Giants and New York Jets.

"Snow would be cool," Bratt said. "I mean, I grew up watching some of the Winter Classic games and obviously when it was snowing out, it made it a little more real. It's the same as a lot of other guys who grew up playing outdoors too. It'd be cool to get a little snow and get a little nostalgic."

The Stadium Series will have the hometown Devils playing the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 17 (8 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, SN360, TVAS2), and the New York Rangers will play the New York Islanders the following day (3 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, SN, TVAS).

"I have never played an outdoor game," Meier said. "I skated on the outdoor rinks in Switzerland when I was little, but it was nothing compared to this. There were maybe mountains in the background, but not 60,000 people that you were playing in front of. Everybody's excited for it. It's one of those moments you really want to enjoy, but you also want to win a hockey game."

The fact the Devils will be playing the Flyers only adds to the excitement. New Jersey and Philadelphia have split the first two of the four-game regular-season series; the Devils won 4-3 in overtime at Philadelphia on Nov. 30, and the Flyers won 3-2 in overtime at New Jersey on Dec. 19.

2024 NHL Stadium Series ice rink build

New Jersey (25-20-3) plays five more games before the Stadium Series matchup and trails Philadelphia by five points for third place in the Metropolitan Division. It is also five points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

"We're in a fun race right now to get back into it, and Philly has been playing really good this year," Bratt said. "They're a hard-working, tight team, and it's going to be a huge game for us. The stakes are high and in an outdoor game like this, playing an important game, it doesn't get better than that."

Hischier, Bratt and Meier tour MetLife Stadium

Hischier, the Devils captain, said every game is important because not qualifying for the playoffs is unacceptable. New Jersey has missed the postseason four times since selecting the 25-year-old center with the No. 1 pick of the 2017 NHL Draft.

The Devils raised the bar last season after qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2018. They advanced to the second round for the first time since 2012 after finishing with the most wins (52) and points (112) in franchise history.

"It would be a major disappointment because since I've been here, we've missed the playoffs a lot already," Hischier said. "I've made the playoffs just twice in my six years, so I know how it feels and I don't want to be there. Last year was such a good year, so anything short of that will be disappointing, because last year we really showed that we are a good team."

SS NJD Bratt Hischier Meier taking selfie

Bratt was stunned at the size of the Giants’ locker room, which he toured with Hischier and Meier on Wednesday. The Devils will be using it for the outdoor game.

"I mean, the locker room is for 50-something players instead of 20, so it makes a big difference," Bratt said. "Coming out here and obviously seeing the blue sky ... it's been awesome to see and it's going to be exciting to see the rink when it all comes finished."

Meier said, "I've never been in a football locker room. It was impressive how big it is compared to ours, so I'm not sure how they're going to set it up. We might need some megaphones to talk to each other, but to see that for the first time was a really cool experience."

In addition to the game, The Jonas Brothers will perform before the Devils and Flyers face off at 6:30 p.m. ET. The band, whose members Joe, Nick and Kevin Jonas are from New Jersey, will also perform during the second intermission.

"I know some of their songs and I like the music, so for them to perform here in concert, it's definitely going to be exciting," Meier said. "I think fans can definitely be excited for an event like this in a venue like this, outdoors. So, as players, we're really looking forward to it and I'm pretty sure the fans are too."

Hischier said, "It's exciting. It's pretty impressive what they're all doing behind the scenes so we can have a good event. I've been watching these kinds of games and to now be able to play in one ... it was a game on the calendar that was circled for sure."