Lundqvist seals Winter Classic win for RangersJan 3, 2012 - 2:04 AM Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Henrik Lundqvist snapped his legs shut, saving Ryan McDonagh and the New York Rangers.
Indeed, McDonagh may owe his goaltender a cheesesteak on their way out of Philadelphia.
Or is it the other way around?
The Rangers scored three unanswered goals against backup goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and Lundqvist stopped Danny Briere on a penalty shot with 19.6 seconds remaining, lifting the Rangers to a 3-2 win over the Flyers in the Winter Classic on Monday.
"Will never forget this game," Lundqvist tweeted afterward -- and how could he?
Mike Rupp pulled the Rangers out of a 2-0 hole, scoring goals late in the second period and early in the third, and Brad Richards netted the eventual game-winner less than three minutes later.
But the Flyers were awarded a penalty shot as time ticked down after McDonagh was called for putting his glove over the puck while it was in the crease.
Replays showed the puck drifting slowly toward the line, so McDonagh may have actually saved a goal. Either way, Briere was given a chance to tie the game in front of 46,967 fans.
"All I was thinking was, 'This game's going to overtime,'" Briere said.
Lundqvist seemed to invite the Flyers forward to shoot five-hole. After Briere did just that, Lundqvist dropped to close the gap, sealing a unique road win for New York in the NHL's annual outdoor showcase.
"I could see it going in. That's all I was thinking about," said Briere. "I tried to surprise him, but he's also one of the best in shootouts and breakaways in the league."
The game, played at Citizens Bank Park, was pushed back two hours to a 3 p.m. (et) start time because the NHL wanted optimal weather conditions at the converted baseball stadium.
The gametime temperature was 41 degrees.
The Flyers, despite taking the lead on two second period goals from Brayden Schenn and Claude Giroux, fell to 0-2 at the Winter Classic. They lost to the Bruins in overtime, 2-1, at Boston's Fenway Park in 2010.
The Rangers played in their first Winter Classic and got to face Bobrovsky, who played again for struggling starter and emerging cable TV star Ilya Bryzgalov.
"It's such a crazy atmosphere," said Rangers captain Ryan Callahan. "You're dealing with the elements, the wind and everything. We got the lead and we just wanted to get pucks out and keep it in their end. I think we did a good job of that."
Bobrovsky made 30 saves, but gave up three goals in a span of 10 1/2 minutes between the second and third periods. Lundqvist had 34 saves and the Rangers won for the seventh time in eight games.
The Flyers, with a seven-game winning streak not too far in the past, have suddenly dropped to 2-4-1 in their last seven.
Bryzgalov signed a nine-year, $51 million contract in the offseason and has become a curiosity for his humorous -- and sometimes off-the-wall -- comments on HBO's "24/7" reality series documenting the lead up to Monday's game.
But he was benched after going 0-3-1 and allowing 16 goals in four starts, putting Bobrovsky in charge for the moment of trying to pull the Flyers out of their funk.
The Rangers got a lift Monday from defenseman Marc Staal, who made his season debut after sitting out the first 36 games while recovering from a concussion he suffered in February on a hit by his brother, Carolina forward Eric Staal.
But a scoreless first 32 1/2 minutes gave way to a pair of quick Flyers goals, the first one coming at 12:26 of the second period when Matt Carle threw the puck on net from the left boards and Schenn was there for the rebound and his first NHL goal.
Giroux made it 2-0 less than two minutes later, taking a nice pass in the slot from Maxime Talbot and flipping a shot past Lundqvist. Rupp's first goal came just 30 seconds after that, a snap shot that was too quick for Bobrovsky's glove hand.
Rupp then tied the game just 2:41 into the third period on a sharp angle shot from the left side that Bobrovsky couldn't stop despite squeezing himself against the post.
"I thought he played a strong game, but he'd probably like to have another crack at that one," Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette said of his goaltender. "He seemed steady and confident in there, but I think [that goal] set us back for a little bit."
Moments later, after Brandon Dubinsky jammed at the puck in front of the Flyers goal, Richards caught the rebound low on the right side and scored to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead 5:21 into the period.
Matt Read was among several Flyers banging away down low when the refs blew the whistle after losing sight of the puck late in the game.
Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr injured his left leg splitting the defense in the first period and played just over seven minutes. Jagr was asked if his status was day-to-day and he said, "I hope so"...Staal played 12 minutes and 41 seconds...This was the fifth Winter Classic. The game is normally played on New Year's Day, but that fell on an NFL Sunday this year and the NHL moved it to avoid a conflict.
- NEW YORK: 3
Jan 2 6:03 PM
- Brandon Dubinsky wrist shot on Sergei Bobrovsky.
Rangers 3, Flyers 2 3rd - 14:43Jan 2 5:29 PM
- NY Rangers Goal - Mike Rupp (3), at 2:41.
Rangers 2, Flyers 2 3rd - 17:19Jan 2 5:24 PM
- NEW YORK: 1
End of 2nd
Jan 2 4:58 PM
- NY Rangers Goal - Mike Rupp (2), at 14:51.
Rangers 1, Flyers 2 2nd - 5:09Jan 2 4:46 PM
- Philadelphia Goal - Claude Giroux (18), from Maxime Talbot at 14:21.
Rangers 0, Flyers 2 2nd - 5:39Jan 2 4:45 PM
- Philadelphia Goal - Brayden Schenn, from Matt Carle at 12:26.
Rangers 0, Flyers 1 2nd - 7:34Jan 2 4:41 PM
- NEW YORK: 0
End of 1st
Jan 2 3:58 PM
- NEW YORK: 0
1st Period - 20:00
Jan 2 3:21 PM
- Blank Friday: Talbot stymies Flyers again 5:08p
- McDonagh returns for Rangers 12:00p
- Flyers aim to get on track against Rangers 10:43a
- Callahan, Bolts nip Rangers to spoil St. Louis' homecoming Thu
- Datsyuk scores twice as Red Wings beat Flyers Thu
- Rangers battle Lightning in St. Louis' return to Tampa Wed
- Flyers visit Red Wings hoping to find offense Wed
- Islanders beat Mason, Flyers 1-0 in SO Tue
- Isles seek to stay hot against Flyers Mon
- Rangers blank Canadiens Mon
- Rangers host Canadiens hoping to start win streak Nov 23
- Flyers beat Blue Jackets to end losing skid Nov 23