PHILADELPHIA -- Jaromir Jagr played just seven minutes during the Flyers' 3-2 loss to New York in the Winter Classic on Monday evening, leaving the game with a left leg injury.
He was seen leaving the ice late in the first period to head to the locker room with what was originally described as an equipment issue. But when he left the game for good after just two shifts in the second period it was obvious that it was something related to an injury.
When asked after the game if it was an old injury Jagr simply said, "I got speared last game and there was swelling in that muscle. Maybe because it was too cold and we couldn't heat it."
|More Winter Classic Coverage|
He would only say that the injury was to his left leg and would not specify where, exactly, the injury was bothering him. He also said that he knew immediately after his second shift in the second period that he wouldn't be able to return to the game, and even though he never took another shift, he remained on the bench the remainder of the game and even hinted that he might have had an opportunity to play in the third period if the Flyers would have had a two-man advantage.
"I like my teammates and wanted to part of that," said Jagr of his decision to return to the bench. "I knew it wasn't going to get any worse if I sit on the bench, and I want to be part of that. I'm part of the team and to sit here I would watch it on TV anyway. That way I was close, and you never know, maybe there would be a power play or a 5-on-3 and coach would put me back in there."
Jagr said he didn't think the injury was serious and that he "should be back soon."
Even though he never returned to the game, or factored into the goal scoring during his limited time on the ice, his presence was still felt in some small way as Rangers forward Mike Rupp celebrated the first of his two goals by saluting the crowd at Citizens Bank Park, a celebration that Jagr has been doing after every goal he scores throughout his NHL career (including in his first return to Pittsburgh as a member of the Flyers last week).
"I don't really pay attention to that stuff," said Jagr when asked about his reaction to Rupp's celebration. "He decided to do it, and he scored, and it was a good goal, too.
He then paused for a moment and smiled, "We still got to play them three more times and I think I'm going to score and salute him back."
For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.