The Capitals are an offensive hockey team. They make their money scoring goals -- lots and lots of goals. Stick-handling and creative passing, then, are some of the key tools of their trade. The ice at the 2011 Winter Classic is not lending itself to their style of hockey.
In a short in-game interview with NBC's Pierre McGuire, Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau mentioned the ice conditions and how it's not conducive to their stick-handling skills. How do they combat that? They need to get pucks deep in the offensive zone and out work the Penguins to get puck possession deep in the zone.
That style of play might help the Penguins more than the Caps.