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Mike Smith’s save of year candidate on Marian Gaborik OT penalty shot (Video)

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

Marian Gaborik is, arguably, the New York Rangers' deadliest offensive player. Giving him a penalty shot in overtime — which Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin did, slashing him on a breakaway on Tuesday night — would appear to be a handy way to effectively end the game.

Coyotes goalie Mike Smith, however, had other plans: Stopping Gaborik with his stick on a spectacular clutch save to extend the game. Check it:

"Are you kidding me?! What did he stop this puck with?!"

Uh, a cast iron skillet? Or a dead trout? No, wait, probably that large stick he uses to occasionally block shots. Yeah, that.

The Rangers would go on to win the game, 2-1, as Derek Stepan scored in the sixth round of the shootout and Henrik Lundqvist saved a Shane Doan attempt.

This is one of those saves in which half the hockey world will marvel at it and the other half will say, "Meh, all he had to do was elevate the puck." In fairness to Smith, it did appear he had his stick raised on the save, so it was a more difficult save than it looked.

Check out this Smith stop on a Nik Antropov penalty shot from earlier this season, and Sean Avery of the Rangers beating him on a penalty shot in 2010.

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