Philadelphia Flyers forward Danny Briere blogged about his Winter Classic experience exclusively for NHL.com, from his first turns on the ice at Citizens Bank Park and the family skate, to the his thoughts the morning of the game, to a wrap-up of the entire Classic experience, which ended with a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers.
This game was going to overtime.
That's all I had in my mind as I stood at center ice and waited to take the penalty shot in the last minute today.
Coming in on Lundqvist, I had beaten him once on the blocker side, once on the glove side. He had stopped me a couple times before as well in shootouts, but I was still convinced I was going to score. I tried to surprise him with a quick little shot, unfortunately he was quicker than me. I've got to give him credit for that.
I thought the whole day was really cool. Coming out of the tunnel, seeing the whole place in mostly orange; that was a great experience. This was almost like the preparation, the whole thing going into it, was like a playoff atmosphere.
The second period we played really good. We really took control of the game. We were really good on the forecheck, controlling the end zone, winning all our battles.
And when Brayden Schenn scored, everybody was so happy for him. He's played some good hockey lately, had lots of chances. It was just a matter of time for him to get his first goal. What a special moment for him, to be able to say he scored his first goal in a Winter Classic. We were all thrilled for him. We were hoping we could give him a win as well so he could probably appreciate it and celebrate it even more.
Up 2-0, we thought we were in control.
Unfortunately we gave up a bad goal near the end of the second and that gave them some life. Going back into the room, we still felt like we were in control. We played the way we wanted to. It was just a matter of keeping the same pressure on them in their zone. Then they came out and they scored two quick goals. And then you're playing hockey from behind, trying to catch up. We got some chances but Lundqvist made some key saves.
With that chance in the last minute, I thought I had the chance then. I was so close to his pad I had to shovel it in. And as the puck was going across the line, their defenseman jumped from behind and swiped it with his hand. And the penalty shot was called.
After I missed the penalty shot, you have to try to forget about. I didn't have the time to feel sorry about myself or to let bad thoughts creep into my head. All I was thinking was there's 20 seconds left, let's try to find a way to crash the net and find a loose puck.
We created a couple chances, too. We had our chances after that. In the end, it was a game like that. Everything was really tight, there wasn't much out there. They came out on top. It's frustrating. I take the blame for this one, but at the same time, I'm also hoping that it makes us better for when we have big games again.
Right now we're probably just thinking about this a little more for the rest of the night. But tomorrow, going back to the rink it's going to be back to reality, I guess. Try to get back on track.
Overall, it was a great experience. I don't regret it; just disappointed about the outcome. You can't dwell on it too long. You've got to move on and get ready for the next game. Chicago is also a tough team, probably first in the West. It's not going to get any easier for us.