PHILADELPHIA — Alone in the cold, it was up to Henrik Lundqvist to preserve a Classic comeback.
His signature moment came with 19.6 seconds left after New York defenseman Ryan McDonagh was whistled for covering the puck in the crease. Flyers center Danny Briere streaked down the ice – a replica of the Liberty Bell and bundled-up fans behind his back – trying to send this one into overtime.
Lundqvist dropped to his knees on top of a chilly baseball field and stoned Briere with his pads when the center tried to sneak it through his legs.
This made-for-TV showcase had found its brightest star.
Lundqvist stopped 34 shots, Brad Richards scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and the New York Rangers rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in the Winter Classic on Monday at Citizens Bank Park.
“I was just trying to be patient and do my thing,” Lundqvist said. “He’s a sneaky guy, and there was a lot of pressure on me.”
More pressure than any other regular-season games in January. While this game meant two points in the standings, it received the kind of hype normally reserved for the Stanley Cup finals. NBC televised the game and HBO had 12 camera crews filming the game and behind-the-scenes action for its 24/7 series.
Mike Rupp scored twice for New York.
SENATORS 3, DEVILS 2 (OT)
In Ottawa, Daniel Alfredsson scored his 401st goal on a power play 4 minutes into overtime to give Ottawa a win over New Jersey.
Alfredsson, who scored his 400th in overtime Friday against Calgary, beat Martin Brodeur with 59.4 seconds left in the extra period after David Clarkson was called for hooking 2:58 into overtime.
Ottawa’s Erik Condra tied it at 2 with a short-handed goal 13:17 into the third. The Senators scored a pair in the third to erase a two-goal deficit.
Jason Spezza scored 1:21 into the third to spoil Brodeur’s bid for his first shutout of the season.