Lundqvist stopped Briere with 19.6 seconds remaining, securing the Rangers' 3-2 made-for-TV win over the Flyers.
The Rangers, who got two goals from Mike Rupp, overcame a 2-0 deficit and used Lundqvist's late save to notch their third win in three games against the Flyers this season.
"I tried to be patient. He's a tricky guy," Lundqvist said after a 33-save performance. "If I make the first move, he's going to score. There was a lot of pressure on me there. I can't believe they called a penalty shot."
Briere tried to go between Lundqvist's legs, but the goalie closed his pads quickly.
"Most players have a few go-to moves," said Briere, who is 1 for 3 lifetime in penalty shots. "Coming in, you try to read on where he's at. He came far out. I saw a little something, five-hole, and tried to go there.
". . . That's what I saw coming in, and, unfortunately, it wasn't the right call."
In a decision that will be second-guessed from Manayunk to Medford, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette chose Briere over Claude Giroux to take the penalty shot.
The Flyers were awarded the shot when Ryan McDonagh closed his hand on the puck in the crease, and Laviolette could have selected anyone who was on the ice at the time.
"It comes down to - really - between Danny and Claude," Laviolette said. "They're both guys that are regulars in the shootout. I think Danny being a natural goal-scorer and maybe thriving in that area a little bit more, and it was my decision."
Lifetime, Briere is 3 for 9 in shootouts; Giroux is 2 for 9.
Rangers coach John Tortorella was stunned that the Flyers were awarded a penalty shot, and he called the third-period refereeing "disgusting."
"I'm not sure if NBC got together with the refs or what to turn this into an overtime game," he said.
"Maybe they wanted to get into overtime. I'm not sure if they had meetings about that or what."
The game turned when Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky allowed a soft goal, scored by Rupp from the left circle, to tie the score, 2-2, after 2 minutes, 41 seconds of the final period. The shot sailed over the goalie's right shoulder to the short side.
"Certainly, he'd probably like to have that one back," Laviolette said, adding that he thought Bobrovsky (30 saves) played a strong game overall. "It did set us back there for a little bit."
The game was played in cold, perfect conditions, and there were even snow flurries for a brief time.
Brad Richards scored on a rebound with 14:39 to go, giving the Rangers a 3-2 lead. It was the third consecutive goal scored by New York.
Earlier, the Winter Classic looked more like a summer pitching duel. The "pitchers" weren't Halladay and Sabathia. They were Bobrovsky and Lundqvist, and they were in a scoreless goaltenders duel until a flurry that produced three goals late in the second period.
Brayden Schenn and Giroux scored 1:55 apart to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead before Rupp countered for the Rangers.
Schenn scored on a rebound and punched the chilly air triumphantly to celebrate his first NHL goal. (When the Flyers lost to Boston, 2-1, in the 2010 Winter Classic, Danny Syvret also scored his first career goal.)
Less than two minutes later, Giroux took a pass from Max Talbot and beat Lundqvist with a clever backhander with 5:39 left in the second period.
Thirty seconds later, Rupp scored from the high slot, then mocked Flyers veteran Jaromir Jagr with a salute. It was Rupp's 51st career goal - 607 behind Jagr, who was used sparingly Monday because of a leg injury.
According to a report, Flyers winger Scott Hartnell had words with Rupp at center ice, telling him, "He's a Hall of Famer."
But Rupp had the last laugh, beating Bobrovsky for a second time. It was the type of goal Bobrovsky had not allowed in his previous eight appearances, during which he had a 1.55 goals-against average.
That hot streak was one of the reasons Laviolette had given him the nod over Ilya Bryzgalov, the usual starter. Bryzgalov has lost four straight.
The Flyers are 0-3 against the Rangers this season, and they fell four points behind New York in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.
"They're an opponent I think we'll have to deal with in the future," Laviolette said.
Players and coaches from both sides raved about the Winter Classic experience.
"To play in an atmosphere like tonight was [great]," Laviolette said. "The only thing disappointing for us was the result."
Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at firstname.lastname@example.org or @BroadStBull on Twitter.