Winter Classic 2012: Sergei Bobrovsky, Not Ilya Bryzgalov, To Start For Philadelphia Flyers

Sergei Bobrovsky will be in the crease for the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday afternoon, as he's been given the nod over usual starting netminder Ilya Bryzgalov. The 22-year-old Russian has played well of late, most recently by beating the rival Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday evening, and Peter Laviolette has opted to ride the hot hand as opposed to giving the nod to the man who's getting paid $51 million.

Bryzgalov actually broke the news to the media before Laviolette, and there was no official announcement from the coach, who played dumb when asked by reporters.

I have been consistent with how I've handled the announcement of goaltenders. I have not spoken to the goaltenders yet and have not announced anything yet. We plan on making an announcement later on today as to who the starter will be.

It's the biggest game of the season for both the Flyers and New York Rangers, and that's beyond the typical hype of the Winter Classic. The teams are separated by just two points in the standings, and a Flyers win would pull them even with the Rangers for first place in the Eastern Conference. Consider that they've yet to beat the Rangers this season and it only magnifies the game further.

For more on this year's Winter Classic, head over to SB Nation's Rangers blog Blueshirt Banter and Flyers blog Broad Street Hockey. For everything Winter Classic in the build-up to the game, head over to our NHL Winter Classic StoryStream.

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