This Winter Classic between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers was one intense rivalry. On one side, there was the New York Rangers who was first in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference; on the other, there was the Philadelphia Flyers who was nipping the Rangers at second place within the Atlantic Division. Within this rivalry, there were two players who posed their own. There was Flyers center Claude Giroux who was the second offensive leader with 45 points; and on the other, one of the top goalies of the NHL, the New York Rangers goalie Henry Lundqvist ranked third currently with a 1.91 GAA. Finally, there was history between these two teams — the Battle of the Broads. This has been an epic division rivalry extending from the 1974-75 season. With both teams meeting each other in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Flyers had the edge in the rivalry with six wins out of ten. Now these two teams are confronting each other in the 2012 Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park.
The first period of the Winter Classic was action-filled. Both the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers were playing a chess game as each line challenged each other. With the New York Rangers power play at 19:33, Flyers Andrej Meszaros had a shot on goal, but it was blocked by Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers answered back with their shot on Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky by Ryan McDonagh. The Philadelphia Flyers had the edge on shots with 12, but the Rangers had the edge on hits with 21. This rivalry was indeed coming to fruition, and two more periods to go.
The second period began with the Rangers taking the initiative, but soon, the Philadelphia Flyers overcame the Rangers defense. The Flyers forechecks were impressive as they continued pressure on Henry Lundqvist. Ultimately, after winning the face-off at 12:26, Philadelphia Flyers Brayden Schenn scored a goal on Lundqvist finally after a rebound. With the Flyers continued pressure, Claude Giroux scores on another shot assisted by Maxime Talbot and Scott Hartnell. However, it appeared that the Rangers were dead in the water momentarily, but the Rangers answered quickly with their score by Michael Rupp with an assist by Brandon Prust on Sergei Bobrovsky. The intensity has increased between the two teams, and the second period closed with a score of 2-1 Flyers. Both teams needed a breather after that period.
After the second period intermission with Philadelphia’s Roots, it was time to start the last period as the flurries began falling down upon Citizens Bank Park. After a short interchange on both sides of the ice in the first few minutes, Rangers left wing Michael Rupp ties the game with another score at 17:19 with assists by Brandon Prust and John Mitchell. With three minutes, the Rangers score again and break the tie. This time a shot by Ranger center Brad Richards scores on Bobrovsky as it flies over his left leg into the net at 14:39. The Rangers continue their onslaught in the offensive zone. Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky had three shots on him by Carl Hagelin, Brian Boyle and Daniel Girardi at around six minutes left in the game. At 5:12, the Flyers have a power play against the Rangers, but they fail to score. Within the last two minutes, out of desperation, the Flyers pull Bobrovsky for another attacker on net, but they could not score on Rangers elite veteran goalie Henry Lundqvist. The Philadelphia Flyers had another chance with a penalty shot by Daniel Briere but to no avail.
This game was one of attrition for certain as the Philadelphia Flyers lost to the New York Rangers 3-2. The first two periods were primarily dominated by the Flyers, and the Rangers dominated the last period. Rangers commanding forecheck in the third period won this game, and they extend their lead in the Atlantic Division. Having a great goalie wins games, and Henry Lundqvist won the 2012 Winter Classic for the New York Rangers.