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Game 23: Flyers Shorthanded for Winter Classic Preview

Nov 26, 2011, 10:35 AM EDT

Previewing the Philadelphia Flyers-New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden.

The jerseys have been unveiled (the important ones anyway), the Alumni Game rosters released, and we even got a preview of HBO’s 24/7 last night. Today, it’s time for an on-ice appetizer for January 2nd’s main event.

The Flyers are pretty banged up, not the best time to face the Rangers, but they showed resiliency enough to win without Pronger, Jagr, and JVR yesterday, and they should be pretty pumped for this one.

The Rangers played yesterday as well, topping the Capitals in Washington, 6-3. They’ve been nothing short of amazing over the month of November, winning seven of nine. I guess the good news is those two losses have come in their last three games, a 4-0 shutout in Montreal and a 2-1 loss in Florida.

While the Flyers sent Sergei Bobrovsky out for the first of their back-to-back games yesterday, Henrik Lundqvist went for the Rangers. Does that mean we’ll see Martin Biron between the pipes against Ilya Bryzgalov today? No word on that as of this posting.

The Atlantic Division looks like it will be a great battle this season, with just five points separating first from fourth place and the Rangers being behind in games played. There’s still a long stretch of season ahead, but with division schedules picking up, the games are starting to feel a bit more important. Plus, while the Winter Classic is just another game on the schedule when it comes to point-earning potential, it will feel like a mid-season hockey Super Bowl, only against a hated rival rather than a seldom-seen club from the other conference.

The HBO 24/7 episodes leading up to it will no doubt have us salivating, and the showdown this afternoon kickstarts the run-up to the Classic.

It sucks we won’t have those three key players, but the Flyers have the firepower to be down a few wingers and still score, and the full-team defense to slow an opposing attack. Kevin Marshall has rejoined the team as a result of the injury to Andreas Lilja. Marc-Andre Boudon is also still with the club.

Who’s gonna step up and be a hero?

Update: Sergei Bobrovsky, and
not Ilya Bryzgalov, will be making his second consecutive start in goal
for the Flyers. King Henrik Lundqvist is in net for the Rangers.

Christopher Szagola-US Presswire

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