After a two hour weather delay pushed the Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park back by two hours the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers provided fans with an exciting matchup that ended with a 3-2 Rangers victory.
Skating around on a rink that spanned from the first to third base markers the fifth NFL Winter Classic was especially exciting for Mike Rupp who scored twice as the Rangers defeated Philadelphia for the third time this season.
Even up until the last seconds the game was a breath holder as Henrik Lundqvist stopped a penalty shot by Danny briere’s with just 19 seconds left in regulation play.
Adding goals for the Flyers were rookie Brayden Schenn (his first career goal) and Claude Giroux.
Adding to the games ambiance were Christmas trees, fire wood, fake snow and even trash-can fires to add a “natural feel.” The game was then followed with some snow flurries late in the second period as temperatures fell into the 30s for the players and their 46,967 fans. In the meantime the league used 20,000 gallons of water to create the rink.
While the game provided the same two points in the NHL standing it was met with far more hype as NBC televised the game and HBO showed up with 12 camera crews to film the event for their behind-the-scenes series 24/7.
The game wasn’t without it’s issues, star forward Jaromir Jagr left just one minute into the second period with no explanation, only to reveal after the Winter Classic that he injured his left leg but would return soon.
Showing the popularity of the NHL Winter Classic some fans paid up to $1,000 for a seat to the event through the secondary market, filling up the market with premium priced seats.
Would you have been willing to spend $1000 for the chance to sit in the freezing cold at the 2011 NHL Winter Classic?