On June 13 in NYR history: A heartbreaker in Los Angeles

What happened on June 13 in the history of the New York Rangers

On June 13, 2014, the New York Rangers hope for a Stanley Cup evaporated on an Alex Martinez goal 14:43 into the second overtime, giving the Los Angeles Kings their second championship in three years.  It was the third overtime win for the Kings in the five game series.

The Rangers had fought back after the Kings had taken the lead on a Justin Williams goal that held up until there were less than five minutes left in the second period.  Chris Kreider scored a power play goal to tie the game and then the Blueshirts took the lead on a Brian Boyle goal in the final minute of the second period.

They surrendered that lead in the third period, just as they had in two previous losses.  It was not without controversy as Mats Zuccarello was called for tripping Jake Muzzin,a call that had to be described as soft.  Of course, it was Marian Gaborik who got the equalizer on the power play at 7:46 of the third period, sending the game to overtime.

The first overtime was frenetic with Ryan McDonagh hitting a post and Tyler Toffoli hitting the crossbar.  Chris Kreider missed on a breakaway.  No play symbolized the Rangers frustration more than Rick Nash’s shot at an open net being deflected halfway into the second overtime.

 

The Kings won the series in five games in the 93rd game of the postseason, a new NHL record.  They got to celebrate the win in from of a home crowd at the Staples Center in a game that was filled with bad omens.  It was the 666th game  of Henrik Lundvist’s career and the game was played on Friday the 13th under a full moon.

A draft first and a tragedy

In 1987 on this date, the Rangers picked a player in the NHL Entry Draft from Czechoslovakia for the first time in franchise history.   The Blueshirts selected defenseman Ludek Cajka  in the sixth round of the draft.  Cajka never played for the Rangers and the first player from Czechoslovakia to play in New York was Vaclav Nedomansky who spent one year as a Ranger in 1982-83.

But a tragedy involving Cajka is why he is better known since it is the reason the “no touch” icing rule was introduced.  In January 1990, Cajka was severely injured when he was hit during an icing play in the Czech league. He suffered a spinal injury and was left in a coma.  He died a month later and as a result, the no touch icing rule was adopted first in Europe and by the NHL in 2013.

Today’s birthdays

22 NHL players were born on June 13 with two former Rangers among them.

Ryan McDonagh was born on this date in 1989 in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Originally drafted by the Montreal Canadiens out of the University of Wisconsin, he was acquired in what was Glen Sather’s best deal as Rangers’ GM. McDonagh patrolled the blue line for the Rangers for eight years, becoming captain of the team om 2014.  He was traded to Tampa at the deadline in 2018 when the Rangers announced their rebuild and won a Stanley Cup with them in 2020.

Randy Gilhen was born in 1963 on this date, in Zweibrucken, Germany. He played for seven NHL teams in an 11 year career.  He spent two seasons in New York totaling 10 goals and 19 points in 73 games. The center was traded to Tampa in 1993 for Mike Hartman, narrowly missing a shot at the Stanley Cup, though he had won one with Pittsburgh in 1991.