The Morning After:
Predators 5, Flames 3
RLD 3 stars of the night:
1. Sergei Kostitsyn, NSH (3 goals)
2. Kevin Klein, NSH (1 goal, 1 assist)
3. Jordin Tootoo, NSH (2 assists)
Rangers @ Flyers, 3:00 ET (Winter Classic)
Devils @ Senators, 7:30
Sharks @ Canucks, 8:00
Oilers @ Blackhawks, 8:30
Avalanche @ Kings, 10:30
Game of the night:
New York Rangers @ Philadelphia Flyers
3:00 ET… TV: NBC, CBC
Overall: Rangers (23-9-4) … Flyers (22-10-4)
Away/Home: Rangers (12-6-2) … Flyers (8-5-2)
Last 10: Rangers (7-3-0) … Flyers (6-3-1)
Season Series: 2-0 Rangers
Players to watch:
NYR- Brandon Prust
He’s not a flashy player by any means, but he works hard and defends his teammates. He will certainly play with a lot of juice today. Will he drop the gloves for the third time against Philly this year?
PHI- Jaromir Jagr
Not only has Jagr burned the Rangers throughout his career, but this will likely be the only outdoor game of his career. Look for him to put forth a great effort today.
NYR- Henrik Lundqvist (2011-12 stats: 16-7-4, 1.91 GAA)
PHI- Sergei Bobrovsky (2011-12 stats: 8-2-1, 2.52 GAA)
Matchup to watch:
Claude Giroux vs. Dan Girardi… In two games against the Rangers this year, Giroux has zero points. Now, both of those games were in New York and the Rangers had the last change. It will be interesting to see how often John Tortorella is able to get Girardi on the ice against Giroux. The Rangers will need to continue to keep Giroux off the scoresheet, and Girardi plays a big role in that.
Keys to the game:
NYR- Bring the physicality… The last time these two teams met, the Rangers out-hit the Flyers 35-24. You know the Flyers will have the crowd behind them, so the Rangers need to stay physical by finishing every check. And maybe, as a result, they can gather momentum.
PHI- Play their game… The Rangers have played well in the first two meetings, and the Flyers haven’t really been able to figure out Lundqvist. Peter Laviolette’s gang has to play their game, carry the play offensively and get traffic to the Rangers crease. As we’ve seen in past Winter Classics, greasy goals are usually the way to go.
NYR- Ryan McDonagh (flu, probable), Marc Staal and Michael Sauer (concussion, out), Wojtek Wolski (hernia, out), Steve Eminger (shoulder, out)
PHI- Wayne Simmonds (hand, probable), James van Riemsdyk (hip, probable), Chris Pronger (concussion, out), Blair Betts (knee, out)
The wait is over. Though they’ll have to wait two additional hours, the Flyers and Rangers will do battle this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park in the fifth Winter Classic. You can bet the baseball stadium-turned-hockey rink will be rocking today. The orange and black will be starting Bobrovsky, while the Blueshirts are looking to build on their conference lead.
Philly should benefit from playing in this game two years ago, but you know the Rangers will be focused. This should be a hard-fought battle between two teams that could be contending for the division at the end of the year. John Tortorella’s gang has won the first two meetings; look for the Flyers to respond today with a nail-biting victory.
Prediction: Flyers 3, Rangers 2
The rest of today’s predictions:
Senators over Devils
Sharks over Canucks
Blackhawks over Oilers
Kings over Avalanche
Video of the day:
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