On March 27 in NYR history: A 1st place finish…finally!

NY Rangers (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NY Rangers (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
new york rangers
The New York Rangers logo (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

What happened on March 27 in the history of the New York Rangers

On this date in 1990, the New York Rangers beat the Quebec Nordiques at Le Colisee and clinched their first division title in almost 50 years.  Believe it or not, it was the first time the Rangers finished first in their division since 1941-42.

The Rangers won the game 7-4, but they didn’t do it the easy way. Five minutes into the third period, they trailed the Nordiques 4-2, but spurred on by two power play goals in less than three minutes, they went on to score five unanswered goals for the win.

Seven different Rangers scored and there were nine rookies in the lineup for New York.  It’s a good thing they won as they dropped the next three games to end the season with a record of 26-31-13 and 85 points and the Patrick Division crown.  The 85 points were the fewest for any division leader and six other NHL teams finished with more points, in fact, if the Blueshirts had been in the Adams Division they wouldn’t have made the playoffs.

As for the  playoffs, they beat the Islanders in the first round in five games, but lost the Division Finals to the Capitals.   Before 1990, the only Rangers teams to finish in first place were in 1927, 1932 and 1942.  Four teams have finished first since the 1990 team.

A fast goal from an unexpected source

The Rangers record for the fastest goal from the start of a game is nine seconds.  74 NHL players have scored in nine second or less and four Rangers share the record.  It was accomplished first by Fred Cook in 1927 and at the time he was only the second NHL player to score in under 10 seconds.   That nine seconds record was tied by Jean Ratelle and Ron Duguay.

On this date in 1985, the record was tied for the last time and it came from the least expected scorer.  Jim Weimer was a defenseman who scored 29 goals in 325 NHL games, but on this date, he was the guy in a 3-2 loss in Buffalo .  After the Rangers won the opening faceoff, Weimer carried the puck into the Sabres’ zone and fired a slapshot past goalie Bob Sauve.

Incidentally, the NHL record for fastest goal is five seconds, accomplished four times, most recently by Alexander Mogilny in 1991.  The fastest goal this season was by Anthony Beauvilier of the Islanders who scored in nine seconds just three days ago in a win over Detroit.

A quadruple overtime loss

On this date in 1938, the Rangers lost the fourth longest game in NHL history when the New York Americans beat the Rangers 3-2 on a Lorne Carr goal in the fourth overtime period.  The loss eliminated the Rangers from the playoffs as they dropped the best of three series in heartbreaking fashion.

The goal came 40 seconds into the fourth overtime as Lorne Carr beat Dave Kerr for his second goal of the game.

Giving the Bruins a record

On this date in 1974, the Bruins beat the Rangers 3-2 at Madison Square Garden and became the first team in NHL history to win 50 games in a season for four straight years.  The record was matched by the Montreal Canadiens in 1975-79 and the Detroit Red Wings from 2006-09.

The Rangers have won 50 games only four times in franchise history and never in consecutive season.

Today’s birthdays

Only 15 NHL players were born on March 27 and just one played for the Rangers.

Curt Bennett was born on this date in 1948 in  Regina, Saskatchewan.  He was a classic example of a trade for the short term that probably shouldn’t have been made.   The Rangers got him from St. Louis in a trade for Steve Durbano.  When the 24-year-old was scoreless in 16 games, they traded him to the Atlanta Flames for Ron Harris in November, 1972.

Harris was a physical defenseman who played three seasons in New York, while Bennett played seven years for Atlanta, with seasons of 34 and 31 goals scored.  The left winger finished his career back with the Blues.

The numbers

The Rangers have played 28 games on March 27 with a losing record including in the playoffs.

Games: 28
Regulation wins: 10
Regulation losses: 13
Ties: 2
Overtime losses: 2
Shootout wins: 1
Points percentage: .464

Playoffs games: 5
Wins: 2
Losses: 2
Overtime losses: 1
Winning percentage: 40%

light. Related Story. A rare trade with the Flyers