This was really fun! It was also last minute so I wasn’t prepared to take a lot of pictures, as this was our first time in their arena, and because it was such a great game. HBOs 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic was being filmed tonite for the closing episode so it was pretty surreal to be there and see everything that happened, and then see it when it aired and what was happening up close and personal!
We had planned for the New Years Even game in Tampa for months, but at the last minute, we decided that since we were going to be in Florida, why not push the envelope and make a full road trip of it, so, on Thursday nite, we took off, and drove as far as we could, the hit the road again Friday morning to get to Sunrise, Florida, get checked in, and get over to the game. What a beautiful city! And, an awesome arena, one of the best now, so we want to go again.
I didn’t take as many pictures tonite, I was all into the game, so I’m using the AP writeup of the game, and a few of my pictures and there ya go 🙂
When we entered, the gave us a cool Panthers towel, which you’ll see shortly too.
I’ll do better next time on photos and writeup.
Goalie Matchup: Clemmenson v Lundqvist
Theodore v Lundqvist
Rangers 4, Panthers 1
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) – The New York Rangers are glad the Winter Classic is finally upon them.
After a disappointing loss to Washington on Wednesday, the Rangers bounced back with a 4-1 win Friday against the Florida Panthers.
The Rangers, who have won six of seven, will play the Philadelphia Flyers in the Winter Classic on Monday in Citizens Bank Park.
The Rangers lead the Eastern Conference with 50 points. Philadelphia has 48.
Carl Hagelin had a goal and an assist to lead the Rangers’ offensive attack against the Panthers.
Brad Richards, Brandon Dubinsky, and Michael Del Zotto also scored for the Rangers.
It didn’t take long for the Rangers to score.
Callahan skated up the left side, stopped along the boards just outside the faceoff circle, and threaded a pass to Hagelin, who deflected a pass past Scott Clemmensen 35 seconds into the game.
Later in the first period, Richards beat Clemmensen with a wrist shot and Del Zotto scored from the blue line ending Clemmensen’s night. Clemmensen stopped 11 of 14 shots before being replaced by Jose Theodore.
“We weren’t ready for the game and there’s absolutely zero excuse for that,” said Matt Bradley, who scored for the Panthers.
Dubinsky gave the Rangers a 4-0 lead on an impressive goal as he weaved through traffic and fired a backhand by Theodore for his fourth of the season.
Lundqvist was sharp throughout, stopping seven shots in the first, 11 in the second and nine in the final period.
“He played really well for us,” Richards said. “You don’t want to rely on him like we did in the third, but it’s a good chance he’ll hold the fort.”
With 7.6 seconds left, Del Zotto delivered a cross-check to Tomas Kopecky in front of the net knocking Kopecky’s helmet off. Del Zotto was facing the opposite direction when Kopecky responded with a punch that knocked Del Zotto to the ice.
Rangers teammate Mike Rupp came to Del Zotto’s defense and received a fighting major in addition to a game misconduct.
Kopecky received a match penalty for the incident.
Theodore turned away 10 of 11 shots for the Panthers, who have lost four of five.
They were giving these great Panthers towels at the doors!
Taking care of their little ‘rat’ problem 🙂
Inside BankAtlantic Center. Really great arena and major crowd, over 19,000, on a regular basis
Line changes and Coach Torchetti
RAMSEY! We miss Ramsey!
Clemmenson out, Theodore In
Rangers had Theodore scrambling too
Yep, they call him The King, and, he is !
There ya go!
And finally, the brawl!
Game Highlights: http://nhl.cdn.neulion.net/u/videocenter/embed.swf