PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- The Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers say they're ready to battle the Flyers outdoors at Philadelphia in this year's NHL Winter Classic.
The national stage for Monday's contest at Citizens Bank Park will be huge for the newly surging Rangers, who have won six of their last seven games to claim the East's top spot by two points over the third-place Flyers.
But Coach John Tortorella says the media distractions of the NHL's annual outdoor-rink game isn't hurting his squad.
"We're really looking forward to it," he told the New York Post Friday. "It's an honor to play in it, it's great for the league, so I'm glad it's here. Guys have handled it very well."
"It's hard [to focus], but I think it's part of being a pro: worrying about the game in front of you and not letting big games like that distract you," added Rangers Captain Ryan Callahan.
The pre-game build-up has included camera crews from the HBO hockey documentary show "24/7" following both teams' every move, the newspaper said.