New York Rangers top outdoor moments

NHL: Winter Classic-New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers hope to continue their outdoor success Sunday when they play the New York Islanders in the NHL Stadium Series at MetLife Stadium. The Rangers are 4-0-0 in NHL outdoor games and will try to remain undefeated, this time playing in front of an estimated 70,000 fans at MetLife Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Jets and Giants.

The Rangers won the Winter Classic in 2012 and 2018, and two Stadium Series games in 2014. Interestingly, they defeated Peter Laviolette, then coaching the Philadelphia Flyers, outdoors in 2012 and knocked off the Islanders 2-1 in one of the Stadium Series games at Yankee Stadium in 2014.

There’ve been quite a few highlights in their four previous outdoor games. Lets’ look at the best of them.

Related: Rangers by the numbers at 2024 Stadium Series against Islanders

Top 5 Rangers moments in outdoor games

5. Rangers finish sweep of 2014 Stadium Series at Yankees Stadium

It was a frigid night in the Bronx on Jan. 29, 2014, when the Rangers took on the Islanders in the second game of the 2014 Stadium Series. Entering the third period tied 1-1, Rangers forward Daniel Carcillo was the unlikely hero, netting the winner at 4:36 in a 2-1 Blueshirts’ victory. Henrik Lundqvist made it stand up, finishing the game with 30 saves and being named No. 1 star.

4. Rangers set NHL outdoor game record in 2014 Stadium Series

Fans packed Yankees Stadium on a sunny Sunday afternoon on Jan. 26, 2014 to watch the Hudson River Rivalry take it outdoors. The game was delayed an hour due to sun glare, but the Rangers shined brightly all afternoon at the 2014 Stadium Series game.

The Rangers trailed 3-1 late in the first period, but this quickly changed as the Rangers started scoring at will. Marc Staal’s goal at 16:59 of the first opened the floodgates and six unanswered goals propelled the Rangers to a 7-3 win. An added bonus was hearing Blueshirt fans chant “Marty” when Devils goalie Martin Brodeur was pulled from the game after allowing the first six goals. Derek Stepan welcomes Brodeur’s back up Cory Schneider with a penalty-shot goal. Mats Zuccarello scored twice and the Rangers scored seven goals, tied for most in an NHL outdoor game.

3. J.T. Miller scores overtime goal in 2018 Winter Classic

On New Years Day in 2018, the Winter Classic was played in New York City for the first time. The Rangers jumped to an early 2-0 lead at Citi Field on goals by Paul Carey and Michael Grabner, but the Buffalo Sabres fought back to send the game to overtime, when Rasmus Ristolainen tied it 27 seconds into the third period.

Fans were treated to free hockey in the minus-12 degrees wind chill in Flushing. But it didn’t last too long. J.T. Miller knocked in a rebound for a power-play goal at 2:43 for a 3-2 Rangers win. Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves and improved to 4-0-0 all-time in outdoor games, tops among all goalies.

Related: Rangers react to ‘heartbreaking’ Blake Wheeler injury ahead of Stadium Series

2. A Salute to Mike Rupp’s performance in 2012 Winter Classic

The Ranger’s first NHL outdoor game was one to remember on Jan. 2, 2012. Facing the Philadelphia Flyers at Citizens Bank Park in the Winter Classic, the Rangers fell into a 2-0 hole at 14:21 of the second period.

But an unlikely goal scorer would soon be cemented in NHL outdoor game history. Mike Rupp scored two goals to tie the game, the first just 30 seconds after Claude Giroux made it 2-0 for the Flyers. After scoring, Rupp took off his right glove and gave a salute to the Philly crowd, a sarcastic jab at the celebration made famous by then-Flyers forward Jaromír Jágr.

Rupp’s second goal 2:41 into the third period tied the game and Brad Richards scored at 5:21 to give the Rangers a 3-2 victory.

1. Henrik Lundqvist penalty-shot save in 2012 Winter Classic

The Rangers didn’t clinch that victory at the 2012 Winter Classic until Henrik Lundqvist provided some last-minute heroics.

In the dying seconds of the third period, Ryan McDonagh dove into the crease and covered the puck with his glove after it slipped behind Lundqvist. Daniel Briere was awarded a penalty shot. With 19 seconds left in the game, Briere had a chance to send the game to overtime. 

Everyone was on their feet when Briere skated in on Lundqvist, who stood his ground and made a pad save, pumping his stick in celebration. The save preserved the 3-2 victory and has now become one of the King’s top highlights of his Hall of Fame career.

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