Winter Classic: Hockey world’s eyes descended upon Citizens Bank Park

Henrik Lundqvist made 34 saves for the Rangers, including Danny Briere’s penalty shot with 19.6 seconds left.

Some Flyers and Rangers tried to play it off as just another hockey game. Just another chance to pick up two points. 

Nice try, guys.

With The Roots dialing up pre-game intros and Patti LaBelle performing the National Anthem, there was nothing ordinary about yesterday’s NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park.

While it is true the Rangers’ 3-2 victory over the Flyers netted them two points, the game was a throwback to those days spent skating outside with friends, of children dreaming of playing in the NHL.

“I played a lot of pond hockey as a kid, and now doing it out on a big stage like that is pretty cool,” Flyers forward Brayden Schenn said.

The Classic lived up to the hype, especially when snow began falling in the second period. That first flake was preceded by three goals in a two-minute span — two from the Flyers (Schenn, Claude Giroux) and one from the Rangers (Mike Rupp) — after a slow-moving first period.

That momentum worked to the Rangers’ advantage. Brad Richards’ hard wrister 5:21 into the final frame proved to be the game-winner.

“You see the crowd, you see how excited they were,” Flyers chairman Ed Snider said. “I only wish we could have given them a win.”

Three things …

Here are a few observations from off the ice yesterday:

» The Roots were everywhere, from pre-game intros to a live performance after the second period. But what was up with that Flyers-related pep song?

» Those lovable Broad Street Bullies were honored, as members of those 1970s Cup teams were recognized after a nearly 10-minute long video tribute.

» Flyers fans let a few “USA, USA” chants escape during the singing of “O Canada.” That was immediately followed with a “Let’s Go Flyers” chant at puck drop.


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