On October 17 in Rangers history: One down, 63 more to go

What happened on October 17 in the history of the New York Rangers.

On this date in 2005, Henrik Lundqvist registered the first shutout of his career. The rookie Swedish netminder shut out the Florida Panthers 4-0 at Madison Square Garden. He got the shutout in his fourth NHL start and it came after he allowed only five goals in his first three starts.

Lundqvist made 23 saves while weathering six Panthers power plays. Jaromir Jagr had two goals to lead the Rangers.

Lundqvist would go on to register 64 shutouts in his career, the most by any Ranger goaltender.  He had seasons with 11 and 10 shutouts making him one of only three Ranger goaltenders (John Ross Roach, Lorne Chabot) to hit double figures in a single season.

He would also shut out the Panthers five times in his career, the third most against any team.  He shut out the Devils eight times and the Bruins six times in his 15 years in the NHL.

Two firsts

On this date in 1999, the Rangers faced the Atlanta Thrashers for the first time in their history.  The expansion Thrashers were new to the NHL and this was the sixth game in the franchise’s history. The Rangers won 4-1, dropping Atlanta’s record to 1-3-2.

The Thrashers were in the NHL for 11 seasons before they moved to Winnipeg as the second incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets.

Also on this date in 1976, the Colorado Rockies visited Madison Square Garden for the first time in their history.   The team had spent two seasons in Kansas City as the Scouts before moving to Denver in 1976.  The Rangers won 4-3, but it wasn’t easy.  The Rockies jumped out to  3-1 lead and it took three third period goals for the Rangers to pull out the win.

This wasn’t the first time the two teams had faced each other.  The Rangers had defeated the Rockies 5-3 in Colorado in the team’s second game.

Of course, after six years in Colorado, the team move again, this time to New Jersey as the Devils.

Today’s birthdays

14 NHL players have been born on October 17 with only one of them a New York Ranger.

Bert Wilson was a left winger, born on this date in 1949 in Orangeville, Ontario. Drafted by the Rangers in the second round of the 1969 NHL Amateur Draft, Wilson made it to the Rangers in 1973-74 for five games and was with the team for most of the next season.  Along with Jerry Butler and Ted Irvine, Wilson was part of the package the Rangers sent to St.Louis in 1975 for goalie John Davidson and winger Bill Collins.  Later, Wilson found a home in Los Angeles and he played five productive seasons for the Kings.

The numbers

The Rangers have played 32 games on October 16 and have been pretty successful with 15 regulation, overtime and shootout wins and 11 losses to go with six ties.

Games: 32
Regulation wins: 13
Regulation losses: 9
Ties: 6
Overtime wins: 1
Overtime losses: 2

Shootout wins: 1
Points percentage: .600