HBO 24/7: Final Episode Recap

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 02: (***EDITORS NOTE*** THIS PANORAMIC COMPOSITE IMAGE WAS CREATED USING PHOTO STITCHING SOFTWARE) The Philadelphia Flyers take on the New York Rangers during the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park on January 2, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Tonight marked the finale for HBO's 24/7 Flyers/Rangers. We all were in for a great showing, and it made it even sweeter to view a Rangers win in the 2012 Winter Classic. HBO put on a great show in all of their episodes leading up to the 2012 Winter Classic. We got to see behind the scenes on how both of these teams prepared for the Winter Classic.

Follow after the jump for the full recap of tonight's episode.

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Tonight's episode began with a a look inside of the Rangers preparations for their match-up against the Florida Panthers. We witnessed John Tortorella going over the tape in their game against the Washington Capitals. Again, Brian Boyle was on the chopping block as he was called out on yet another defensive flaw in his game.

About halfway through the meeting, the video projector died on Tortorella, and I honestly thought he was going to throw a fit. After some time, the projector finally booted back up, just before John Tortorella was about to break something.

Shortly after, we got a glimpse of Sean Avery and Brandon Prust sitting down for breakfast in their Florida hotel. While Sean Avery was aggravated he couldn't get an internet connection, Brandon Prust was enjoying the free orange juice during breakfast.

We quickly switched over the Philadelphia side, with the spotlight Max Talbot, as he returned to Pittsburgh for the first time since signing with the Flyers. About halfway through the game, Talbot received a generous video tribute for his entire time he played in Philadelphia. Nearing the end of the game, Max Talbot would eventually score on the empty net, to seal the deal for the Flyers.

Following that, we jumped over the Sunrise, Florida where the Rangers were taking on the Florida Panthers. After leading 3-0 in the first period, the intermission was a rather cooled off performance from John Tortorella. Just five minutes later, Michael Del Zotto received a sucker punch from Panthers forward Tomas Kopecky. There we saw Brandon Prust leap on top of Kopecky, sharing some words with him. However, Mike Rupp found Kopecky after the scrum and had some words of his own.

Before Rupp gave Kopecky a good beating he stated, "You f*cking piece of s*it, you suckered him." The camera quickly switched over the Brandon Prust who was by the bench sharing some words with his teammates, "My first thought was to jump on him and beat the f*ck out of him. I didn't want to get suspended for the Winter Classic, ya know? I tried to restrain myself." Shortly after we saw Michael Del Zotto receiving treatment on a nasty gash he received from the sucker punch courtesy of Tomas Kopecky.

Del Zotto was quick to ask who jumped in for him after he was punched. Medical trainer Jim Ramsey quickly responded with "Rupper." The Rangers were shown on their flight to Philadelphia, where Ryan Callahan was playing a joke on defenseman Marc Staal. Callahan was sticking the HBO microphone in the face of Staal as he was trying to take a nap. Callahan thought it was pretty hilarious, while the rest of the team was taking a look out the window as they passed over Citizens Bank Park.

We finally jumped into where both teams next game would be the 2012 Winter Classic. We first saw the Flyers last practice before heading into the game, and it wouldn't go out without a bang. Wayne Simmonds blocked a shot with his hand, and it came to the point where he thought his finger was fractured. However, after some treatment, Simmonds was able to remain in the line-up for the Winter Classic.

We had our first Ilya Bryzgalov sighting of the night as he was in his pre-game press conference, on whether he would start in the Winter Classic or not. Bryzgalov was asked about his mindset heading into tomorrow's game, and he responded with "Well to wake up early tomorrow and not forget my thermos, and enjoy the bench." Classic Bryzgalov.

Meanwhile the Rangers were spending their New Years, in a Philadelphia hotel, where they gathered in the meeting room with all of their families. Dubinsky definitely had a few drinks that night as he introduced his grandpa to make a speech to the camera's of HBO, and had some trouble getting the words out.

The Flyers than took to the ice the next morning on the ice of Citizens Bank Park where Ilya Bryzgalov got a short pep talk from Jeremy Roenick. As if that pep talk wasn't enough, Peter Laviolette made sure his players didn't drink too much that night, and got a good nights rest. Shortly after the players families were allowed to join the players on the ice for a family skate. Max Talbot introduced his mother to Jaromir Jagr, and it gave Jagr a perfect opportunity to make a knock on Talbot. Talbot's mother was stumbling to stay on her feet, and Jagr stated that Talbot skated just like his mother.

We than jumped over to the Rangers outdoor practice where Brian Boyle quickly switched into baseball mode. "No batter, no batter, shawinggg batta," Boyle stated as he sat in the dugout waiting to take the ice at Citizens Bank Park. Brandon Prust joined in shortly after as he stated the Rangers were putting in Carl Hagelin to pinch run at second base.

We got see behind the scenes when it was announced that Marc Staal would be in the line-up for tomorrow's Winter Classic. We got to see a quick glimpse of fans entering the stadium for today's Winter Classic. Fans from both sides were excited to get the game underway. We finally got into the Winter Classic, where we saw Claude Giroux giving Artem Anisimov some kind words. "Ref watch Anisimov on the interference, watch him."

After Mike Rupp notched his first goal of the game, and followed it with the Jagr-like salute, the Rangers took exception. Claude Giroux had a hard time believing that Rupp did it, but shortly after took a knock at Rupp by stating he only has two career goals. We finally moved on to the final five minutes of the game where a couple questionable calls were made in favor of the Flyers.

Ryan Callahan didn't take to kindly on being called for holding the stick after he was hooked in the face from Kimmo Timmonen. Than we took a look at the call on Ryan McDonagh that eventually led to a penalty shot coming from Daniel Briere. There was a ton of anticipation revolving around that shot, and HBO showed it perfectly.

Following the Rangers win, we saw John Tortorella's best friend Liam, make an appearance in the locker room. Tortorella shared a hug with his best buddy, and it almost brought tears to my eyes once again. Overall it was a great episode and HBO did a great job with all of the anticipation building. I hope everyone enjoyed the final episode as much as I did.

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