MILLER’S OVERTIME GOAL LIFTS RANGERS TO WINTER CLASSIC WIN
The Sabres erased a 2-0 deficit, but J.T. Miller (1-1—2) scored at 2:43 of overtime to power the Rangers to a victory in the 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citi Field in New York, N.Y. Miller recorded his fourth career overtime goal and second of the season – he also potted the overtime winner Nov. 2..
The Rangers and Sabres played the fifth overtime game in the NHL’s 24 regular-season outdoor contests – and second straight on New Year’s Day:
Overtime Games/Results, Outdoor NHL History
2008 Winter Classic: Pittsburgh 2, Buffalo 1 (SO)
2010 Winter Classic: Boston 2, Philadelphia 1 (OT)
2014 Winter Classic: Toronto 3, Detroit 2 (SO)
2017 Centennial Classic: Toronto 5, Detroit 4 (OT)
2018 Winter Classic: NY Rangers 3, Buffalo 2 (OT)
The Rangers improved to 15-5-0 in their last 20 meetings with the Sabres dating to Dec. 10, 2011 (BUF: 5-10-5).
LUNDQVIST CONTINUES OUTDOOR NHL GAME DOMINANCE
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves to continue his perfect record in regular-season outdoor NHL games, improving to 4-0-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average and .934 save percentage in four such appearances. No other goaltender has more than two wins in outdoor games.
Lundqvist in Outdoor NHL Games
2012 Winter Classic (at PHI): 34 SV/36 SA, 60:00 MIN
2014 Stadium Series (at NJD): 19 SV/22 SA, 60:00 MIN
2014 Stadium Series (at NYI): 30 SV/31 SA, 60:00 MIN
2018 Winter Classic (at BUF): 31 SV/33 SA, 62:43 MIN
Total: 114 SV/122 SA, 242:43 MIN (4-0-0, 1.98 GAA, .934 SV%)
Lundqvist also earned his 423rd career victory to tie Tony Esposito for eighth place in NHL history (among goaltenders). He now is 14 wins shy of equaling Jacques Plante (437) for seventh place on the all-time list.
RANGERS, VIGNEAULT ALSO REMAIN PERFECT OUTDOORS
The Rangers improved to 4-0-0 in their four regular-season outdoor NHL game appearances – no other team has more than two such victories. They also won in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia (3-2 W at PHI) and two games in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Yankee Stadium in New York (7-3 W at NJD, 2-1 W at NYI).
Three Rangers have played in each of their four outdoor games: Lundqvist, Ryan McDonagh and Marc Staal. Head coach Alain Vigneault, who served behind the bench in each of New York’s games in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, became the first NHL head coach to record three victories in outdoor game play (3-0-0). He also earned his 635th career win to move past Darryl Sutter and into sole possession of 11th place in League history.
POULIOT TIES OUTDOOR NHL GAME RECORD
Sabres forward Benoit Pouliot played in his fifth regular-season outdoor NHL game, matching Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brad Richards, Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews for the most such appearances in League history.
Pouliot, who has 1-2—3 in his five outdoor contests, also skated with the Canadiens in the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, the Rangers in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Yankee Stadium in New York (2 GP) and the Oilers in the 2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg.
SELLOUT CROWD RAISES OUTDOOR NHL GAME ATTENDANCE
A sellout crowd of 41,821 attended the 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citi Field. Total attendance for the League’s 24 regular-season outdoor games now stands at 1,284,097 – an average of 53,504 per game. The sellout crowd also raised attendance for the NHL’s 10 Winter Classics to 569,171 – an average of 56,917 per game.
WINTER CLASSIC QUICK HITS
* There now have been 24 total regular-season outdoor NHL games: 10 Winter Classics, eight Stadium Series, four Heritage Classics, one Centennial Classic and one NHL100 Classic.
* Road teams improved to 15-7-2 in the NHL’s 24 outdoor games. Home clubs fell to 9-12-3, but are 4-0-1 in the last five and 5-2-1 in the past eight.
* Teams that score first improved to 14-7-3 in the League’s 24 outdoor games, including a 9-1-1 record in the last 11 such contests.
* Twenty players appeared in their first outdoor game (not including backup goaltenders Chad Johnson or Ondrej Pavelec). Buffalo’s Phil Housley also coached in his first outdoor game.
* Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner made 39 saves, two shy of the record for an outdoor game set by Toronto’s Jonathan Bernier in the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at DET (41 SV in 3-2 SO W).
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* Information provided via NHL Press Release