What happened on April 13 in the history of the New York Rangers
For most Ranger fans, June 14 is the greatest day in the history of the team. Ending the drought by beating the Canucks and winning the Cup is tough to top, but April 13 is truly the greatest day in Rangers history and possibly New York sports history. On this date, the New York Rangers won TWO Stanley Cups.
The drought begins
On this date in 1940, the Rangers won their third Stanley Cup, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in six games, 3-2 on a Bryan Hextall overtime goal. This championship should go down in team history as the greatest since they had to do it despite having to play the last four games at Maple Leaf Gardens.
These were the days when the circus kicked the Rangers out of Madison Square Garden. That meant that the first two games were played in New York, but Games Five and Seven were on the road instead of at home.
It was a thrilling series with the Rangers winning the first two games at home. The Leafs took the next two before the Rangers won Game Five in double overtime on a goal by Muzz Patrick.
Game Six got off to a bad start as Toronto took a two goal lead on goals by Syl Apps and Nick Metz. The Rangers came charging back and tied the score midway through the third period on goals by Neil Colville and Alf Pike. After a scoreless overtime period, it was Bryan Hextall who beat Turk Broda, scoring 2:07 into the second overtime to give the Blueshirts the Cup.
Little did anyone know that it would be 54 years before the Rangers would raise the Cup again.
The second Cup win
On this date in 1933, the Rangers won their second Stanley Cup, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in four games in the first best of five series. The Rangers won in overtime 1-0 and they won on a power play goal with a two-man advantage.
The Rangers won the opener 5-1 at Madison Square Garden before traveling to Toronto for the next three games. They won Game Two 3-1, but let Toronto back into the series, losing Game Four by a 3-2 score.
Game Four was a goaltending duel, between Toronto goalie Lorne Chabot and the Rangers’ Andy Aitkenhead with Aitkenhead credited with 48 saves to Chabot’s 34. After a scoreless regulation, the teams went to overtime and the Rangers got a rare overtime two-man advantage when Toronto’s Alex Levinsky and Bill Thoms were penalized. Coach Lester Patrick put out five forwards on the power play and the Rangers Bill Cook scored on a two-on-one break-in with Butch Keeling. The goal came 7:34 minutes into the overtime.
Jagr’s 54th goal
On this date in 2006, Jaromir Jagr scored his 54th goal of the season, establishing a target for all future Rangers (especially Chris Kreider) to aim for. Appropriately, it came against his former team, the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 5-3 loss at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. It was the final goal for the finest offensive season of any New York Ranger as Jagr set franchise records for goals (54), points (123), power play goals (24) and shots (368) in one season.
Four straight goals against the Rangers
On this date in 1985, Philadelphia Flyers forward Tim Kerr set a playoff record by scoring four straight goals against the Rangers in a 6-5 Flyers win at Madison Square Garden. Kerr’s goal outburst came with the Rangers holding a 3-2 lead in the second period of Game Three of their best-of-five Patrick Division Semi-Finals series. The win gave the Flyers a sweep of the series.
Kerr scored four straight goals in eight minutes and 16 seconds with three of the goals coming on the power play. The four goals by Kerr in one period is still a Stanley Cup record, although it was equaled by Mario Lemieux in 1989. The three power play goals in one period is a record that still stands.
The Rangers scored two third period goals to make it a close game, but the Kerr goals proved to be the margin of victory.
Kerr was the quintessential power forward who planted himself in front of the net and scored on deflections and rebounds. He was a prolific scorer who topped the 50 goal mark four straight seasons, but his career was derailed by a shoulder injury. He eventually made it to the Rangers for one season, traded from San Jose for Brian Mullen. In 32 games he scored seven goals in that one season, not even double the number of goals he scored in that one game against the Rangers.
28 NHL players have been born on April 13 with two of them former New York Rangers.
Arron Asham was born on this date in 1978 in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. He was a right winger better known for his physical play than his ability to score goals. Drafted by Montreal, he played 13 seasons in the NHL for six teams, ending his NHL career with the Rangers in 2014. He played two seasons in New York and was on the Rangers team that made it to the Conference Semi-Finals in 2013. The next season he spent most of his time in Hartford and chose to retire.
Hub Macey was born on this date in 1921 in Big River, Saskatchewan. He was a left winger who played parts of two seasons in New York, playing 18 games and scoring six goals in 1941-43. He spent most of his career in the minor leagues, though he did make his way back to the NHL for 12 games in 1946 with Montreal.
Playoffs games: 17
Overtime wins: 3
Overtime losses: 3
Winning percentage: 41%
Regular season games: 4
Regulation wins: 1
Regulation losses: 2
Overtime wins: 1
Points percentage: .500