What happened on March 25 in the history of the New York Rangers
On this date in 2021, the New York Rangers beat the Philadelphia Flyer 8-3 on the road and set several scoring records. Mika Zibanejad scored a natural hat trick with three straight power play goals and added three assists for his second straight six point game against the Flyers, a new NHL record.
Zibanejad was one off the franchise record of seven points, held by Steve Vickers, and he became the sixth Ranger to get three power play goals in the same game, one behind Camille Henry’s record of four.
Zibanejad became one of three NHL players to post six points against the same opponent twice in once season, joining Doug Bentley (1942-43) and Joe Malone (1919-20). He was the third NHL player with two natural hat tricks against the same team in one season, joining Thomas Vanek (2007-08) and Peter Bondra (1995-96).
Adam Fox tied a franchise record for most points by a defenseman with five points, all assists, a mark achieved previously by Brian Leetch and Tony DeAngelo. Fox tied the franchise record for five assists in one game by a defenseman, set by Brian Leetch in 1995.
Hadfield’s PP goal record
This is one Rangers’ franchise record that has been broken and we may see a new record this season. Chris Kreider has a very good chance of bettering this record and taking over as the team’s leader in this category.
On this date in 1972, Vic Hadfield scored his 23rd power play goal of the season, the most in franchise history. The goal came in a 3-3 tie with the Montreal Canadiens at the Forum. Half of his 46 goals so far that season had come with the man advantage. It came in the 74th game of the season and Hadfield would go on to score four goals in the last four games to become the first Ranger to hit the 50 goal mark.
Hadfield’s 23 power play goals was the third most in NHL history at that time. Phil Esposito had scored 24 the previous year and on the same night in 1972, Espo notched his 27th power play goal, a new NHL record.
Hadfield’s PP goal record held up until 2005-06 when Jaromir Jagr finished with 24 power play goals to take the franchise lead. That is Chris Kreider’s target this season.
Despite leading the NHL, no scoring trophy for Bathgate
It’s typical for the New York Rangers and their fans. On this date in 1962, Andy Bathgate clinched the NHL scoring lead when he scored a goal to finish with 84 points. So, did he get the Art Ross Trophy? Of course not, because in the same game, Bobby Hull got his 84th point when he became the third player in NHL history to score 50 goals in a season. He did it by scoring the only goal for the Chicago Black Hawks in a 4-1 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
With 50 goals he equaled the NHL record set by Rocket Richard in 1945 and tied by Bernie Geoffrion in 1961. It is worth nothing that Richard scored his 50 goals in 50 games while Geoffrion and Hull did in 70 game seasons.
This was the last time a New York Ranger led the league in scoring as Bathgate finished with 28 goals and a league leading 56 assists. Of course, the Art Ross Trophy tiebreaker was goals and that mean that Hull was awarded the Trophy because he scored more goals.
That was the last time a New York Ranger led the league in scoring. The 60 years without a league scoring leader is the longest streak of any Original Six team. Bathgate joined Bryan Hextall (1942) and Bill Cook (1933) as the only Blueshirts to accomplish that feat. The Art Ross Trophy was established in 1947-48 meaning no Ranger has ever won that award. Jaromir Jagr came close in 2006, finishing two points behind Joe Thornton.
Good-bye Quebec (sort of)
On this date in 1995, the Rangers played their last regular season game in Quebec, losing 2-1 to the Nordiques. The Rangers finished with a record of 10-14-3 at the Quebec Coliseum. This wasn’t the last game they ever played there as the two teams met in he Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Rangers eliminated the Nordiques in the first round.
The Nordiques relocated to Colorado the following season. The move wasn’t for lack of success on the ice as the team finished in first place in the Northeast Division in 1994-95.
Faced with the financial difficulties that came with being located in the smallest media market in the NHL, the team was sold and moved to Denver where they were named the Colorado Avalanche and won the Stanley Cup the next season.
26 NHL players have been born on March 25 with two former Rangers in that mix.
Bert Gardiner was a goalie born in 1913 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and he is the holder of an unusual New York Rangers record. He is the only goaltender in franchise history to appear in only one game for the team and win it. Signed as a free agent in October 1935, he made that on appearance before being returned to the minor leagues. The Blueshirts regular goalie was Davey Kerr who routinely play every game each season.
Gardiner’s record held until Mackenzie Skapski won both of his appearances in the NHL, beating Buffalo each time. Magnus Hellberg joins Gardiner and Skapski as the only undefeated goaltenders in club history (with at least one decision) though Hellberg appeared in three games.
Chad Wiseman was born in 1981 on this date in Burlington, Ontario. Wiseman, a left winger, played five games over two seasons for the Rangers, scoring one goal in 2004. It was the only goal he scored in a nine game NHL career.
The Rangers have played 32 regular season games and five playoff games on March 25. Unfortunately, they have lost more than they have won.
Regulation wins: 11
Regulation losses: 14
Overtime wins: 1
Overtime losses: 3
Shootout wins: 1
Points percentage: .484
Playoffs games: 5
Overtime wins: 1
Winning percentage: 40%