The Philadelphia Flyers will get their second chance to win an outdoor hockey game in 2012 when they host the New York Rangers at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
The Flyers, who lost to the Bruins at Fenway Park on Marco Sturm's overtime winner in 2010, were swept from the playoffs by Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals this season. However, the club has made some major roster moves recently. Top goal scorer Jeff Carter and team captain Mike Richards were traded to make room for newly acquired goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
Unlike in years past, this season's Winter Classic will not be held on New Year's Day. Jan. 1 falls on a Sunday this calendar year and the NHL does not want to go head-to-head with the NFL. The game will be held Monday, Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. There is no scheduled Monday Night Football game that night, according to Yahoo Sports.
This will be a New York team's first appearance in the Winter Classic since its first installment in 2008.
Philadelphia isn't necessarily a winter wonderland. In eight of the last 11 winters, temperatures averaged above freezing, according to MTR.
The NHL has been selective in who it chooses for its annual outdoor tradition. Two teams, Philadelphia and the Pittsburgh Penguins, have already had multiple appearances.
Three teams that have competed in the Winter Classic have gone on to win the Stanley Cup the following season. The Penguins played in 2008, and won in 2009. The Chicago Blackhawks played in 2009, and won in 2010. The Bruins played in 2010, and won in 2011.