The puck doesn't drop on the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic until Monday, but as the anticipation builds for one of the League's signature events, fans can get an inside look at just who might be victorious on Jan. 2 at Citizens Bank Park.
EA SPORTS conducted a simulation of the annual New Year's showdown with its EA SPORTS NHL series simulation engine this week, and found that while the Rangers will be the first team on the scoreboard, the Flyers ended up on the long side of the ledger, by a 3-1 final score.
According to EA's simulation, Artem Anisimov will be the first player to light the lamp, scoring a power-play goal at 10:35 of the first period from Derek Stepan and Brad Richards.
While New York takes the 1-0 lead into the first intermission, Philadelphia strikes back with goals by James van Riemsdyk
and Danny Briere
in the second before Jaromir Jagr
caps off the scoring with an insurance goal early in the third period. Briere's tally, which comes at 18:39 of the second period, holds up as the game-winner.
While the Flyers come out on top on the scoreboard, the Rangers get the best performance of the game -- not surprisingly from Henrik Lundqvist, who comes up with 32 saves in the losing effort.
EA SPORTS' simulation engine takes into account multiple factors such as statistics and data from each player, EA's own player ratings and line combinations, while also factoring in injuries and momentum from hot streaks. In the past EA SPORTS' simulation engine has predicted Chicago's 2010 Stanley Cup championship, Vancouver's 2011 Presidents' Trophy and last season's Stanley Cup Final matchup of the Bruins and Canucks.
The 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be played by the Rangers and Flyers at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, home of Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies, on Jan. 2, 2012 at 1 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live by NBC in the U.S. and CBC in Canada.
Author: David Kalan | NHL.com Staff Writer