NHL Winter Classic 2012: Live Results, Highlights and Analysis
The Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers will do battle on Monday, January 2 at the 2012 NHL Winter Classic. This year's game will take place at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park and will see the top two teams in the Atlantic Division battle for the two points that go along with winning this contest.
If you look at the history of the four Winter Classic games that came before the 2012 version, you'll see that they all ranked as some of the highest rated televised games in NHL history and the odds are the 2012 version will follow suit. Despite the pomp and circumstance surrounding this game, it must be remembered that it is a regular season game.
If you don't think that fact is important, just take a look at the Eastern Conference standings heading into the Winter Classic. The Rangers sit atop the conference with 50 points, the Boston Bruins are hot on their heels with 49 and the Flyers are also a threat with 48 points. If you look a little lower in the standings and focus on the playoff cutoff, you'll see that the No. 8 team, the Ottawa Senators, have 43 points; a mere seven points separates the top eight teams.
To further state the importance of the two points that are on the line on Monday, a glance at last year’s final standings saw the Eastern Conference champion Washington Capitals end the season with 107 points, while two teams, including the Flyers, trailed them by a single point.
You can bet that both coaches are well aware of just how important this game is and that can only bode well for the 47,000-plus that will attend the game live and the millions that will watch the game across the globe.
Bleacher Report will be on hand at Citizens Bank Park to report on this historic game. Please check back often, as we will provide you with updates, news and information in real time.
Henrik Lundqvist is speaking to the press:
The Rangers goaltender says that had Briere scored on penalty shot in the last minute it would have been hard to swallow.
When asked if he forgot at any point if he was outside, he laughs and says, "no."
The game ends with a scrum behind the Rangers' net, but that doesn't change the score as the Rangers outplay the Flyers in the third period and earn the 3-2 win, putting some extra space between them and the Flyers in the Atlantic Division standings.
You couldn't ask for a more exciting ending as Danny Briere is given a penalty shot. He looks to go five hole and Lundqvist closes the door.
Four on Four for the last minute and with 26 seconds left the Flyers come very close to evening the score, but the outstretched pad of Lundqvist keeps the Rangers up by one.
Kimmo Timonen hooks Ryan Callahan with 1:05 left in the third period, but the referee gives both players penalties, calling the Rangers' Callahan for the dive as well.
The Flyers squander their power play chance and time does not seem to be on their side here as they have less than three minutes to tie the game.
The Flyers had the puck down low and were pressuring when the referee blew the whistle a little early, as the puck was clearly loose and visible to the side of the Rangers' net.
The Rangers fans, while far fewer than the Flyers fans are becoming much easier to hear as the game nears its end.
The Flyers get a chance to even things up with 5:12 left in the third period as Ryan McDonagh takes a delay of game penalty.
The Flyers are really struggling with their passes as the third period progresses. The Rangers, on the other hand, are not struggling with anything.
The Flyers have the puck behind the Rangers net, but can't do much with it as Wayne Simmonds is roughed up by Brandon Prust.
Announced attendance for the 2012 NHL Winter Classic: 46,967
The Flyers had the advantage in the second period, but something must have inspired the Rangers between periods two and three as they now have the lead as Brad Richards scoops up a big rebound and fires it behind Bobrovsky at the 5:21 mark of the third.
Mike Rupp is on fire for the Rangers today as he scores again, his second of the game and third of the season and at 2:41 of the third period we have a tied game, 2-2.
Jaromir Jagr spent a total of 68 seconds on the ice during the second period of the game, however he has made the walk to the bench for the start of the third period.
The Flyers spend most of the last minute in the Rangers' zone, but despite generating some chances, they fail to put the puck away and the period ends with the Flyers holding a 2-1 lead.
And snow begins to fall as the clock clicks down on the second period.
After a rather slow first period things are picking up here in the second and the crowd is becoming much more lively.
The Rangers waste no time getting one back as Mike Rupp fires one right past Bobrovsky as the Flyers goaltender looked like he was screened by his own player.
The Flyers then break in on a two on one, the pass comes from Max Talbot and Giroux puts it behind Lundqvist.
The Flyers are getting the better chances in the second period as they just had the puck down low for quite a while, before the net was knocked from its moorings.
As the play restarts the puck heads back to the point and it's thrown toward the net by Matt Carle. The shot results in a juicy rebound that lands directly on the stick of Bryaden Schenn, who buries it for a 1-0 Flyers lead.
Looks like there may be an issue with Jagr as Voracek takes the ice with Giroux and Hartnell.
The Flyers change things up a bit sending JVR out with Giroux and Hartnell, no Jagr.
The Flyers had the Rangers pinned in their own zone for a prolonged period but they could not capitalize.
The Rangers are doing a solid job defensively here in the second period keeping the Flyers to the outside and not allowing them to get any solid shots on Lundqvist.
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