With the fifth annual NHL Winter Classic just days away, the Philadelphia Flyers are searching for ways to get back at the New York Rangers, who topped the Flyers, 4-2, the last time the division rivals met on December 23.
But the Flyers have struggled to find ways to win as of late, losing four of their last five games, including a shootout loss to Colorado on Dec. 19. The Rangers, on the other hand, have won four out of their last five games.
Both teams boast impressive records—with the Flyers at 21-10-4 and the Rangers at 22-9-4—and are currently the top two teams in the Atlantic Division. As dominant Eastern Conference contenders, both teams have been proving their worth in the first half of the season.
But the Flyers’ recent skid and inconsistency has raised some eyebrows, and they will need to crank up the intensity in order to hang with the streaking Rangers.
Here are four players in particular that must step up and contribute in not only the Winter Classic, but in the second half of the 2011-12 NHL season.