What happened on March 5 in the history of the New York Rangers
On this date in 2020, Mika Zibanejad had one of the greatest offensive nights in franchise history. He scored five goals including the overtime game winner in a thrilling 6-5 win over the Washington Capitals.
Zibanejad was already one of the hottest goal scorers in the NHL and this performance was one of the finest of the NHL season. It gave Zibanejad 38 goals in just 54 games, the best goal scoring percentage in the NHL.
Zibanejad and Alex Ovechkin exchanged goals twice in the third period with the Capitals scoring the tying goal with only 43 seconds left in the third period. Still in the playoff hunt, the Rangers got their second crucial point when Artemi Panarin fed Zibanejad for a breakaway just 33 seconds into overtime.
An NHL players has scored five goals or more only 59 times in league history. Zibanejad joined Don Murdoch and Mark Pavelich as the only Rangers to accomplish the feat.
Martin St. Louis becomes a Ranger
On this date in 2014, Glen Sather pulled the trigger on one of the biggest deals of his tenure. It was controversial, but it did help propel the Rangers into the Stanley Cup Finals. He traded team captain Ryan Callahan along with a 2015 first round pick and a conditional 2014 second round pick to Tampa for Martin St. Louis and a conditional 2015 second round pick.
It was a complicated trade,but it made history as the teams swapped team captains. Callahan was facing an expiring contract and St. Louis had demanded a trade from Tampa and said that New York was his preferred destination.
The trade worked out for both teams. St. Louis was the inspiration behind the Rangers’ drive to the Finals in 2014, but played only one more season before retiring. Callahan was re-signed by Tampa and played five injury plagued seasons before he was forced to retire.
As for the draft picks, both the Rangers and Lightning traded away the picks and got little in return. There’s no doubt that the Rangers gave away potential in their two first round draft picks, but neither team ended up with a game changing long term return.
A scoring mark for Brad Park
On this date in 1972, Brad Park became only the fourth defenseman in NHL history to score 20 goals in season. He did it in a 6-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks at Madison Square Garden.
The first NHL player to score 20 goals was Flash Hollett of the Detroit Red Wings in 1944-45. That record held for 25 years until he was surpassed by Bobby Orr in 1969-70 who scored an mind blowing 33 goals. Carol Vadnais scored 24 goals the same year as Orr and Park was the fourth in 1972. Park finished with 24 goals, a club record that now belongs to Reijo Ruotsalainen who scored 28 goals in 1984-85.
Only 19 NHL players have been born on March 5 with two of them New York Rangers.
Bryan Berard was born on this date in 1977 in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. He was the first overall draft pick by the Islanders in 1995. Traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, he suffered what many thought was a career ending eye injury in 2000. The defenseman missed the entire 2000-01 season and underwent seven eye operations and signed with the Rangers as a free agent. In returning to hockey, Berard had to return an insurance award of $6.5 million.
He played only one season in New York and was released after scoring only two goals and 23 points. He continued his career with the Bruins, Blue Jackets and Blackhawks before ending up where he started, playing one last season with the Islanders in 2007-08.
Pat Hannigan was a left winger born on this date in 1936 in Timmins, Ontario. He played five years in the NHL, with two of them in New York. He played 109 games in two season, scoring 19 goals. Hannigan is best known for combining with Andy Bathgate to score two goals in five seconds in 1961, tying a franchise record.
The Rangers have played 37 games on March 5, but have only 11 regulation wins making this one of their least successful days in the month of March.
Regulation wins: 11
Regulation losses: 18
Overtime wins: 1
Overtime losses: 2
Shootout wins: 1
Points percentage: .432