by Patrick Hoffman on 01/02/12 at 09:11 PM ET
When the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers were a part of the press conference at the Citizens Bank Ball Park to announce that they were the two clubs in the 2012 Winter Classic, Rangers’ general manager Glen Sather said that his team would win.
While it was no Mark Messier-like guarantee, his and head coach John Tortorella’s team did all the hard work to beat the Flyers by a score of 3-2. The win enables the Rangers’ to stay in first in the Eastern Conference while also giving the team a four-point lead over the Flyers in the Atlantic Division.
For the Rangers, this was a typical victory for them. The team overcame a 2-0 lead by working hard, forechecking, getting different guys to contribute and getting timely goaltending from their netminder.
In this particular instance, the Rangers came back from a 2-0 deficit on two goals by Mike Rupp. On both goals, Rupp put two accurate shots through Flyers’ netminder Sergei Bobrovsky and showed that if put on the ice with the right guys, he can provide some offense.
The team’s go-ahead and game winning goal also came from a summer pick-up in Brad Richards. Richards, known for his clutch plays and being in the right place at the right time, did those two things to give the Blueshirts a 3-2 lead 5:21 into the third period.
The Blueshirts also got another excellent performance from their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers’ star goaltender made 33 saves on 35 shots and kept the Rangers in the hockey game.
Lundqvist also did his job to preserve the victory as well. To do so, Lundqvist had to stop a Daniel Briere penalty shot with 19.6 seconds to go. It was determined that Rangers’ defenseman Ryan McDonagh put his hand over the puck in the crease during a scramble so the officials awarded the penalty shot to Briere.
The team also got solid performances out of Brandon Prust (2 assists), John Mitchell (2 assists), and guys like Ryan Callahan (1 assist) and Brandon Dubinsky (1 assist).
The club also got a good performance from defenseman Marc Staal. In his first game of the season, Staal got close to 13 minutes of ice time and played within himself. Obviously, as Staal continues to feel better, he will start accumulating a lot more minutes.
It was a terrific Winter Classic game and the NHL, the Rangers and the Flyers should all be proud of being a part of it.
With that said, it certainly is great that the Rangers came out on top.
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Tags: 2012+winter+classic, brad+richards, brandon+dubinsky, brandon+prust, daniel+briere, glen+sather, henrik+lundqvist, john+mitchell, john+tortorella, marc+staal, mike+rupp, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at email@example.com.