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Sunday, February 5, 2012
Winter Classic rematch a "big game"

By Katie Strang

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was tight-lipped Sunday morning -- he did not disclose any lineup changes or injury updates -- but he did concede the importance of Sunday's game to his Flyers squad.

Coming off an ugly 6-4 loss at home to New Jersey on Saturday -- the Flyers were outscored 6-0 after two periods before a four-goal rally in the third fell short -- Laviolette hopes his team can build off the team's last 20 minutes of play, during which they outshot the Devils 24-1.

"I'd like to see us pick up where we left off in the third period," Laviolette said Sunday before the game. "Four of the first six goals were on specialty teams, so 5-on-5 it was hard to get a read on where we were at. I thought we came out with a strong third period, which is what we wanted to do, and hopefully we can continue down that road."

It will be an uphill battle for the Flyers, who have dropped the all three games against the Rangers (including a 3-2 loss to the Rangers in Philly's hometown Winter Classic ) so far this season.

"We haven't had any success against the Rangers yet," Laviolette said. "It's a big game for us."

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The Rangers will stick with the same lineup today against the Flyers, which means no Steve Eminger. Although the 28-year-old defenseman has been medically cleared to play, coach John Tortorella wanted to give him a few more days of rest before his return.

Eminger has missed almost two months with a separated right shoulder and Tortorella anticipates he will need some time to adapt to the "quickness" of the game.