What'll be this year's Classic statement?

Updated: December 31, 2009, 11:34 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

BOSTON -- When the Philadelphia Flyers-Boston Bruins matchup was first announced for the third installment of the NHL's Winter Classic, there was reason to believe the two teams might meet Jan. 1 as contenders for the Eastern Conference lead.

A classic indeed, except it hasn't exactly worked out that way. The preseason script has had more than a few twists and turns on both sides of the ledger.

Still, the meandering path both teams have followed to Friday's game has done ...

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