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Rangers happy to bring outdoor games to New York

by Adam Kimelman

For the New York Rangers, once was nice, but twice is going to be extra special.

The Rangers will take part in the Coors Light Stadium Series games at Yankee Stadium, against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, and against the New York Islanders on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.

It will mark the second and third time in three seasons the Rangers have been part of a regular-season outdoor game. They played the Philadelphia Flyers at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia for the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

This season, though, they're a bit closer to home, which makes it that much more special.

"The game we played in Philly was probably one of the coolest games I've ever played," Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist told "I thought it was amazing to walk out there, and even though it was on the road it was a lot of fun. It was a lot to take in. But for years we've been talking about how fun it would be to get a chance to play in New York and now finally we get two games at Yankee Stadium. Honestly I can't wait to step on that ice and go out and play in front of all those fans.

"I think it's going to be two great nights."

The Rangers beat the Flyers 3-2 on Jan. 2, 2012, with Lundqvist making a game-saving stop on a penalty shot by Daniel Briere with 19.6 seconds left in regulation.

The Flyers long have been one of the Rangers' chief rivals, but the fact that this season's outdoor games come against the two teams closest to them geographically make them that much more interesting.

"With the Islanders there's so much history dating many years back," Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh told "The fan bases seem to get very involved. It always seems to be a rowdier crowd. When we go to Long Island it's very loud and intense.

"With New Jersey there's just the different states. It brings a different rivalry, that aspect, New Jersey versus New York as opposed to Long Island versus Manhattan. They're unique in their own way but they seem to be intense games every time."

McDonagh has his own memories of the win against the Flyers -- his dive behind Lundqvist to fall on a loose puck in the crease is what gave Briere his penalty-shot attempt. Fellow defenseman Marc Staal remembers the game because it was his first of the 2011-12 season due to the aftereffects of a concussion he sustained in February 2011.

"I was fortunate enough to play in one Winter Classic and it was a ton of fun, and it's going to be great to be in Yankee Stadium playing against those teams," Staal told "It's going to be a great experience."


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