Philadelphia Flyers coach Dave Hakstol went with his backup goalie for the second-straight game and it turned out to be a genius move as Michal Neuvirth made a diving stick save that is being called the Save of the Year.
With less than five seconds to go, the Minnesota Wild were trailing 3-2 and using an extra attacker when it looked like they were going to get a last-second game-tying goal. Only it never happened.
Center Mikael Granlund had the puck on the right wing. At this point, he has Thomas Vanek (1) in front of the net and Charlie Coyle (2) on the left side. The obvious play is to Vanek and hope he can punch one past the goalie.
Sure enough, Vanek passes the puck into the middle. Neuvirth goes full-butterfly, dropping to his knees, anticipating a shot by Vanek.
But Vanek doesn’t shoot. Instead, he deflects the pass to Coyle who is waiting on the left wing.
With Neuvirth on his knees towards the right side of the goal, he is woefully out of position. At this point, Coyle doesn’t have the easiest angle ever, but he is right-handed and he basically has an empty net to shoot at.
Luckily for the Flyers, Coyle had to control the puck with skate which gave Neuvirth an extra split-second to dive back towards the net.
Still, by the time Coyle collects the puck, there is still a lot of empty net to shoot at and just 3.4 seconds left on the clock.
When Coyle does unleash his shot, Neuvirth dives, and the puck deflects off his stick just as it was about to cross the line.
What a save. It was so good, all of the Wild players throw their arms up thinking they had scored a goal.
Here is another angle, with the puck hitting the stick with 1.6 seconds to go.
You can see the entire incredible sequence here.
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