Winter Classic pushed back to 3 p.m.

Updated: January 2, 2012, 12:27 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

PHILADELPHIA -- Cold, wind, ice. Conditions that usually spoil the enjoyment of a World Series game are on deck for the fifth edition of the NHL's inside-the-park extravaganza, this one set for 3 p.m. ET Monday between the Flyers and the New York Rangers at Citizens Bank Park.

The game was pushed back two hours because of a revised weather forecast that should offer optimal game conditions for players and fans.

The game was scheduled for 1 p.m. The gates will now open at 1 p.m.

Amid the HBO cameras and Stanley Cup-atmosphere that has infused the game with enough energy to power the rink, a little perspective came Sunday from the Rangers and Flyers in their final practices.

"When we wake up, all the fun is going to be over," Claude Giroux said, "and it's about two points on the ice."

Last year's game at Pittsburgh was moved into prime time because of rain.

"Let's play," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "It's time to play the game."

The game is too important to gawk at the skyline.

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette made it clear winning the game between two teams jostling for the top spot in the Eastern Conference is more important than putting on a show when he benched slumping goalie -- and "24/7" breakout star -- Ilya Bryzgalov for Sergei Bobrovsky.

Bryzgalov, the self-deprecating Russian, has failed to live up to the nine-year, $51 million contract he signed in June and now finds a spot on the bench for the Winter Classic.

With temperatures expected in the low 40s, Bryzgalov joked he'd sip Earl Grey tea to keep warm. He could be in hot water after revealing before Laviolette's announcement that Bobrovsky would be in charge of trying to stop Marian Gaborik and Ryan Callahan instead of him. Laviolette has strict guidelines on how he presents the day's starting goalie -- never a day ahead, rarely at morning skate -- and Bryzgalov's defiance may keep him on the bench.

Laviolette refused to announce a goalie even after he was told Bryzgalov spoiled the news.

"I have great news and even better news," Bryzgalov said. "Great news, I'm not playing tomorrow night. Good news, we have a chance to win the game tomorrow night."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.