Game 23: Flyers Shorthanded for Winter Classic Preview

Game 23: Flyers Shorthanded for Winter Classic Preview

The jerseys have been unveiled (the important ones anyway), the Alumni Game rosters released, and we even got a preview of HBO's 24/7 last night. Today, it's time for an on-ice appetizer for January 2nd's main event.

The Flyers are pretty banged up, not the best time to face the Rangers, but they showed resiliency enough to win without Pronger, Jagr, and JVR yesterday, and they should be pretty pumped for this one.

The Rangers played yesterday as well, topping the Capitals in Washington, 6-3. They've been nothing short of amazing over the month of November, winning seven of nine. I guess the good news is those two losses have come in their last three games, a 4-0 shutout in Montreal and a 2-1 loss in Florida.

While the Flyers sent Sergei Bobrovsky out for the first of their back-to-back games yesterday, Henrik Lundqvist went for the Rangers. Does that mean we'll see Martin Biron between the pipes against Ilya Bryzgalov today? No word on that as of this posting.

The Atlantic Division looks like it will be a great battle this season, with just five points separating first from fourth place and the Rangers being behind in games played. There's still a long stretch of season ahead, but with division schedules picking up, the games are starting to feel a bit more important. Plus, while the Winter Classic is just another game on the schedule when it comes to point-earning potential, it will feel like a mid-season hockey Super Bowl, only against a hated rival rather than a seldom-seen club from the other conference.

The HBO 24/7 episodes leading up to it will no doubt have us salivating, and the showdown this afternoon kickstarts the run-up to the Classic.

It sucks we won't have those three key players, but the Flyers have the firepower to be down a few wingers and still score, and the full-team defense to slow an opposing attack. Kevin Marshall has rejoined the team as a result of the injury to Andreas Lilja. Marc-Andre Boudon is also still with the club.

Who's gonna step up and be a hero?

Update: Sergei Bobrovsky, and
not Ilya Bryzgalov, will be making his second consecutive start in goal
for the Flyers. King Henrik Lundqvist is in net for the Rangers.

Christopher Szagola-US Presswire

Best of MLB: Mike Trout (thumb) leaves early as Marlins crush Angels

Best of MLB: Mike Trout (thumb) leaves early as Marlins crush Angels

MIAMI -- Mike Trout sprained his left thumb stealing second base Sunday, and the Los Angeles Angels took a thumping without him, losing 9-2 to the Miami Marlins.

Trout yelled in pain as he rose after sliding headfirst in the fifth inning. He was examined by a trainer, stayed in the game, but was replaced in the sixth. X-rays were negative, and there was no immediate timetable regarding his return.

The reigning American League MVP was 0 for 2 when he departed with the Angels trailing 4-2. He finished 2 for 9 in the series to drop his average to .337 (see full recap).

Aaron Judge hit first-career grand slam in Yankees' win
NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge hit his first career grand slam and the New York Yankees took full advantage of Oakland's shoddy defense Sunday in a 9-5 victory over the Athletics.

Michael Pineda (6-2) tossed six innings of three-hit ball to win his third straight start. Aaron Hicks and Chris Carter each had an early sacrifice fly as the AL East leaders scored five unearned runs and took two of three in a well-pitched series.

Judge connected with two outs in the third for his 16th home run, tying Mike Trout of the Angels for the big league lead. The drive landed in the right-field seats, not far in front of The Judge's Chambers cheering section installed by the Yankees for the start of this 4-2 homestand.

Khris Davis hit his 15th home run for the A's, who committed two more costly errors to raise their season total to 49. They began the day with 10 more than any other team in the majors.

The fielding failures put starter Andrew Triggs (5-4) in tough situations. He went six innings and gave up one earned run (see full recap).

Miguel Gonzalez loses perfect game in seventh, but pitches White Sox to win
CHICAGO -- Miguel Gonzalez took a perfect game into the seventh inning, Todd Frazier hit a two-run homer and the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 7-3 on Sunday.

Melky Cabrera and Matt Davidson also connected, helping the White Sox take three of four in the series. David Robertson got two outs for his seventh save.

Gonzalez (4-5) allowed three runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings while snapping a five-start losing streak. The right-hander struck out six and walked none.

Gonzalez retired his first 18 batters before Andrew Romine led off the seventh with a hard one-hop liner to shortstop Tim Anderson, who couldn't field the ball cleanly and was originally charged with an error. Alex Avila followed with a single into to right field, and Romine's ball was later changed to a hit (see full recap).

Gone but not forgotten: Joel Embiid remembers Harambe on 1-year anniversary of death

Gone but not forgotten: Joel Embiid remembers Harambe on 1-year anniversary of death

Gone, but not forgotten … as long as Sixers superstar center Joel Embiid has his way.

On the one-year anniversary of Harambe's death, Embiid remembered the slain gorilla on Instagram with the caption: "Gone but never forgotten #RIPHarambe."

The Instagram post was accompanied by a picture of Harambe along with a longer message and acquired over 22,700 likes within the first 37 minutes of its posting.

Gone but never forgotten #RIPHarambe

A post shared by Joel "The Process" Embiid (@joelembiid) on

There are some factual errors in Embiid's post, however. The picture stated that Harambe "would've been 18 today," which was posted Sunday.

Harambe's birthday was May 27, 1999. He would have been 18 years and one day old Sunday.

This was not Embiid's first participation in the Harambe Internet meme.

Regardless, the tragic killing of Harambe, a popular male gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, sparked outrage and then Harambe became an Internet meme.