PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia Flyers will play host to the New York Rangers on the date reserved for the Winter Classic, and will open their season at Stanley Cup-champion Boston.

Among the highlights of the 2011-12 schedule released Thursday, the Flyers and Rangers are set to play in the annual outdoor game at 1 p.m. Jan. 2 at Citizens Bank Park, home of Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies.

A league spokesman said an announcement about the ever-popular outdoor game is expected soon.

The Flyers open the season Oct. 6 at Boston in a rivalry that is growing with each year. The Bruins swept the Flyers in the second-round of the playoffs last season, and the year before, the Flyers overcame an 0-3 series deficit to rally past Boston in the same round.

The home opener is Oct. 12 against Vancouver, the defending Western Conference champions.

The season finale is April 7 at Pittsburgh.

Philadelphia is coming off a 106-point regular season, in which it won the Atlantic Division. The Flyers did fizzle down the stretch, though, and struggled through a seven-game win over Buffalo in Round 1, before being swept by Boston a round later.