On January 2, the New York Rangers will face the Philadelphia Flyers in Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies, for the 2012 NHL Winter Classic. We got to see a preview of how that game would play out Friday night as the Rangers took down the Flyers 4-2 in Madison Square Garden.
After a scoreless first period, the Rangers struck first when center Derek Stepan scored at the halfway point of the second period. Just five minutes later, Rangers left winger Ruslan Fedotenko scored giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead at the end of the second.
The third period started with another Rangers goal, as right winger Marian Gaborik sent the puck into the net before two minutes had passed giving New York a 3-0 lead. Just when it seemed that Henrik Lundqvist would get his third shutout of the season, though, Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros scored Philadelphia's first goal during a power play. The Rangers answered right back with a power-play goal of their own, scored by right winger Ryan Callahan. The last goal of the game, scored by left winger James van Riemsdyk, belonged to the Flyers, but it wasn't enough. The Rangers won 4-2.
With this win, the Rangers tie the Flyers at 46 points but because of the head-to-head win, they take control of the Easter Conference's Atlantic Division with a 21-8-4 record. The Rangers host the New York Islanders on December 26 and the Flyers travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Lightning on December 27.