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The penalty shot that nearly changed the Winter Classic

Jan 2, 2012, 7:40 PM EDT

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.

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  1. jkay1818 - Jan 2, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    That was one of the worst officiated games I have ever seen. The last 6 minutes were tough to watch. The McDonagh penalty was atrocious when van riemsdyk clearly should have gotten a penalty and the matching penalties with Callahan and timonen was worse than the penalty shot call……tortorella will def be fined for those comments but it’s worth it.

    • spiffy53 - Jan 2, 2012 at 8:15 PM

      the mcdonagh penalty was bad. but callahan embarrassed himeself and the rest of us. there is no excuse for acting like a Sedin out there. he deserved the call. the rangers are better than that. there were a couple missed the other way as well.

      • jkay1818 - Jan 2, 2012 at 8:31 PM

        You’re kidding right? Why would Callahan dive when he had a clear path to the open net to ice the game. So he’d rather draw a penalty than make it 4-2?

      • spiffy53 - Jan 2, 2012 at 8:42 PM

        jkay, look at the replay again. there was a defensemen on the other side of the ice. he gets hooked near the top of the chest and his skates flail like his ankles are made of rubber? he looks longingly in the eyes of the ref like an abandoned vancouver canuck left by the side of the road? cmon chief.

  2. kmcgin - Jan 2, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    I think the refs wanted to see the game get some higher ratings ;p

    • jkay1818 - Jan 2, 2012 at 8:01 PM

      Exactly, but it was too impt of a game. It was a joke

  3. 8man - Jan 2, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Great game! Thank you Philly and New York. They play again in a month at 1pm, on a Sunday, in the Big Apple. Get the rink into Yankee Stadium now!

  4. icelovinbrotha215 - Jan 2, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Should’ve went with G. Danny has been off this year.

    • spiffy53 - Jan 2, 2012 at 8:21 PM

      off is an understatement. invisible maybe a better description.

  5. stakex - Jan 2, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Ive seen some games where the refs tried like hell to make it interesting in the end… and this was the worst by far. A Rangers player gets pushed into his own net (should have been interference) and gets called for delay of game? Follow that up with the complete and utter joke of a call on McDonagh with just 20 seconds left that basicaly gave the Flyers a free, un-earned try to tie the game. Oh, and lets not forget the missed call when Gaborik was CLEARLY, and I mean CLEARLY hooked really bad on a breakaway.

    All three of the calls against the Rangers were phantom calls, and bad phantom calls at that. Either the refs were totaly blind, or they were playing to the crowd and trying to make the game as interesting as possible. Either way it was a sad display for the NHL on the second biggest stage for the sport. At least the Rangers were still able to win despite the clear bias of the refs over the last 10 minutes.

    • spiffy53 - Jan 2, 2012 at 8:20 PM

      i can only give you one thumbs down. if i could, it would be more. let’s not be a drama queen on here. and you can take the homer glasses off.

      • stakex - Jan 3, 2012 at 2:44 AM

        Great comment…. I just missed the part where you explain where my post is wrong, and present facts to back up your point like I did.

  6. acieu - Jan 2, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Fairly officiated game. I thought the coincidental minors call on the holding and grabbing he stick was perfect, the Ranger player covered the puck in the crease and the ps was warranted. Torts last name should be “hole” given his reaction to a win. Real smart.The Flyers choked and gave up a two goal lead on national TV. Justice was served.

  7. chenso103 - Jan 3, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Wow almost every comment you are all bitchin about the ref’s and bad calls. Talking about looking for excuses!!! The Phillies lost two winter classics. One at Fenway Park against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Bruins, the other was the Rangers and lost. They suck.. And got swept 4-0 in year 10/11. Face it Philly fans there just not good enough to beat the Bruins!! They are back to the old style hockey. Tough,gritty,smart, and loyal team. Best goal tending in the NHL period!!!

  8. chenso103 - Jan 3, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    Stop wyning about the refs!! There goalie sucks. Its clearly a problem…

  9. flyeredup2 - Jan 3, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Did Ryan McDonagh cover the puck with his hand? It was hard to tell, but his hand was close to the puck on the replay, maybe thats why they made the call? The resulting penalty shot was weak at best anyway.

    Where the matching penalties with Callahan and Timonen deserved? Yeah. If you watch closely you can see Callahan holding Timonens stick to his chest and flopping.

    Was Gaborik hooked on his break away? I think the replay clearly shows a hook.

    I’m not just a Flyers fan, I’m a hockey fan and thats how I answered those questions. Arguing over missed/bad calls is really stupid anyway, its not like it will change the outcome of the game now one way or another.

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