Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

The penalty shot that nearly changed the Winter Classic

2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 02: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers makes a save on a penalty shot by Danny Briere #48 of the Philadelphia Flyers late in the third period during the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park on January 2, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Getty Images

The Rangers came away with a 3-2 win in the Winter Classic, but it almost didn’t end that way thanks to late penalty shot.

With 19.6 seconds left in the game, a scrum near the Rangers net resulted in a puck that got behind Henrik Lundqvist. Ryan McDonagh dove into the crease to sweep the puck away from the goal line. At least he thought he did. Turns out the referees thought he covered it up giving the Flyers a penalty shot.

To say that the Rangers hated the call would be an understatement.

“I didn’t talk to the ref about it. He’s got to go with his gut,” McDonagh said. “I thought I did a good job and I know he sees the puck trickling and almost going in and me laying there... He’s just going to go with his gut.”

Was he worried about Lundqvist having to make the save? Not at all.

“Actually I was pretty confident. I’ve taken about 100 penalty shots on him in practice and only got one or two this year,” McDonagh said. “He’s definitely one of the best in the league at them.”

Danny Briere got the call from Peter Laviolette to take the shot and was promptly stopped by Lundqvist. Laviolette had his choice of who took it and chose Briere over Claude Giroux. Laviolette said he went with the pure goal scorer Briere over the NHL points leader who scored his 18th goal of the year earlier in the game.

Briere was confident before being shut down.

“I’m thinking I’m going to score and we’re going overtime. That’s the way you have to think. I tried to go five-hole, I saw some space and he sealed it off.”

Did Lundqvist think they made the call to up the drama? Have a look at what he had to say and at the penalty shot that almost changed the game completely.