Unseasonal temperatures in Pittsburgh may force the NHL to push its start time on the New Year's Day Winter Classic back to 7 p.m. ET, sources told Sportsnet. The annual outdoor game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET, but temperatures creeping in to double-digits Friday have officials concerned that the ice surface will not be safe for play. The issue of 60,000-plus spectators showing up early may force the league to make a decision as soon as Friday evening. In a news conference Thursday, John Collins, the NHL's chief operating officer, said the league's priority remains to have the game begin at the planned 1 p.m. start time on Saturday, with an option to delay the contest until as late as 8 p.m. "We're planning to play at 1 o'clock," Collins said. "We've got maximum flexibility to do what we need to do to get that game in on Saturday. If for some reason it was completely unplayable, we have other options. But we fully expect to get the game in on Saturday." /update The game has been moved back to 8:00PM Pittsburgh time.