What happened on March 7 in the history of the New York Rangers
On this date in 1998, Wayne Gretzky scored the 1,000th goal of his career, a total that included regular season and playoffs. His regular season total of 894 is the number that everyone is familiar with, as it is the target that Alex Ovechkin has set his sights on, but Gretzky’s total of 1,016 total goals may never be equaled. While the Russian is 130 behind Gretzky’s regular season total, Ovi’s combined total is 835 goals, so he is 181 behind in total goals including the postseason.
The milestone goal was a second period power play goal scored against Marty Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils in a 6-3 loss in the Meadowlands. Gretzky would score 16 more goals through the rest of that season and the next.
Lundqvist’s last game
On this date in 2020, Henrik Lundqvist came in to relieve Igor Shesterkin in a 6-4 loss to the New Jersey Devils. Shesterkin was pulled after the second period after allowing five goals on 23 shots in his first start since suffering fractured ribs in a Brooklyn car accident.
No one realized it at the time, but this was to be Henrik Lundqvist’s last regular season appearance in a Rangers uniform. No one even dreamed that the season would be halted in just four days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lundqvist held the Devils scoreless, stopping all five shots he faced.
This was also his last appearance in a game at Madison Square Garden as he returned to play two games in the Stanley Cup Qualifier, but those games were played in the pandemic “bubble” in Toronto.
On this date in 1948, the Rangers played a 2-2 tie with the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden. It was the 13th tie of the season for the Blueshirts, setting a new franchise record. The record didn’t last long as the Rangers registered what still stands as the club record, 21 ties in the 1950-51 season.
In that record setting season, the Rangers tied 21 of 70 games, fully 30% of their games. The most ties in a Rangers season in the post-expansion era came in 1997-98 when the team had 18 ties in 82 games.
The most ties ever registered in a season was 24 in 1969-70 by the Philadelphia Flyers.
30 NHL players have been born on March7. Four of them played for the Rangers.
Terry Carkner was born on this date in 1966 in Smith Falls, Ontario. He was a first round draft pick (14th overall) in 1984 and the defenseman made it to the Rangers in 1986-87, playing 52 games. He took 118 minutes in penalties as a rookie, the first of eight straight seasons over 100 minutes. In 1987 he was traded to Quebec for John Ogrodnick and David Shaw. He played 12 more years in the NHL for four other teams.
Tomas Kloucek was a defenseman born in 1980 on this date in Prague, Czechoslovakia . A fifth round draft pick, Kloucek played two seasons for the Rangers before he was traded to Nashville for goalie Mike Dunham. Played four more years in Nashville and Atlanta before returning to Europe.
Geoff Smith was a defenseman born on this date in 1969 in Edmonton, Alberta. He was a regular on the blue line for Edmonton and Florida for nine years before finding himself in New York in 1997. He played 19 games over two seasons before he was traded to the St. Louis Blues. Smith did win a Stanley Cup in 1980 with the Oilers.
Alex Ritson was born on this date in1922 in Peace River, Alberta. He was a center who played one game for the Rangers in 1944-45. He is one of a long list of players who played only one game in the NHL for the New York Rangers. He did have a long career in the minor leagues.
The Rangers have played 40 games on March 7, but have won only 11 of those games in regulation.
Regulation wins: 11
Regulation losses: 20
Overtime wins: 1
Overtime losses: 1
Shootout losses: 1
Points percentage: .400