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Henrik Lundqvist Steals 2012 NHL Winter Classic For New York Rangers

Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers trailed the Winter Classic 2-0 at one point in the second period, but aside from the 1:55 span where he allowed goals from Brayden Schenn and Claude Giroux, the league's best goaltender on the East's best team was just that on Monday afternoon.

It was evident all afternoon long that Lundqvist was on top of his game, and he made it look easy for most of the game. The Flyers outshot the Rangers just 36 to 33, but those numbers aren't a complete indication of how the Flyers basically controlled the first 40 minutes of play.

Without Lundqvist coming up big throughout that stretch, the outcome could have been very different than the 3-2 Rangers win we saw on the scoreboard.

"He's a big guy, he takes up a lot of space," Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn said after the game. "I don't even think he sometimes saw those pucks coming in, but he's got great positioning and it just hits him and that's a credit to his technique."

No save was bigger than his stop on a Danny Briere penalty shot with just 20 seconds remaining in the game. Briere was awarded the shot when Ryan McDonagh covered the puck in the crease, and any Flyer who had been on the ice had the opportunity to shoot. Head coach Peter Laviolette chose Briere, but the goaltender won the battle and sealed the two points for his team.

Thanks to Lundqvist, the Rangers have opened up a four point lead on the Flyers in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference races.

For more on this year's Winter Classic, head over to SB Nation's Rangers blog Blueshirt Banter and Flyers blog Broad Street Hockey. For everything Winter Classic in the build-up to the game, head over to our NHL Winter Classic StoryStream.