What happened on April 11 in the history of the New York Rangers
April 11 is notable in the history of the New York Rangers. It was the date of one of their best playoff triumphs, but is also the date of two of the worst days in franchise history, games that were like a dagger in the hearts of the Rangers and their fans. We’ll start with the worst one.
The Parise goal
On this date in 1975 the New York Islanders shocked the Rangers and the hockey establishment by winning the third game of their best-of-three series, eliminating the Rangers and establishing that they were a team to be reckoned with. The winning goal will darken the memories of Ranger fans forever as J.P. Parise scored just 11 seconds into overtime to win 4-3.
The Rangers had dropped the first game of their series at Madison Square Garden 3-2 with the Islanders scoring three third period goals to surprise the Blueshirts. Game Two at the Nassau Coliseum was a rout as the Rangers won 8-3 as the Rangers jumped out to 6-1 lead. it was a game that nobody saw as it was televised on a fledgling pay television service called Home Box Office with all of 100,000 subscriber at the time.
In the game on April 11, it was the Islanders who jumped out to a 3-0 lead, led by Denis Potvin’s two second period goals. Facing elimination, the Blueshirts charged back, tying the score on two goals by Bill Fairbairn and the tying goal by Steve Vickers.
The game went to sudden death overtime, Jean Ratelle lost the opening draw, Jude Drouin got the puck to Parise and he put it past Ed Giacomin who had replaced started Gilles Villemure in the second period. It was the shortest overtime in NHL playoff history at 11 seconds, only exceeded later by the Montreal Canadiens who scored nine seconds into overtime in 1986. It remains the shortest overtime in a Stanley Cup elimination game.
The Islanders made more history that year, becoming only the second team in playoff history to come back from a 3-0 deficit to win, beating the Penguins in the Quarter-Finals, only to fall to the Flyers in seven games in the Semi-Finals.
Eliminated in a shootout
In 2010 on this date, the Rangers met the Philadelphia Flyers in the final game of the season, a game that would determine which of the two teams would make the playoffs. Both teams went into the game with 86 points and the game was as tight as you would expect. Jody Shelley scored a first period goal for New York and Matt Carle tied the score on a third period power play goal. The five minute overtime was scoreless, meaning the season would be determined by a skills competition.
In the shootout it was Henrik Lundqvist versus Brian Boucher. Daniel Briere scored on the first attempt and Erik Christensen failed for the Rangers. Lundqvist then stopped Mike Richards while P.A. Parenteau scored for New York. It came down to Claude Giroux for the Flyers and he beat Lundqvist with a shot between the legs, forsaking his usual dekes. That left it up to Olli Jokinen of the Rangers. A deadline acquisition by New York, he had a career success rate of 35% in shootouts. He tried to beat Boucher through the five hole, but the Flyers’ goalie made the pad save and the season was over.
The Flyers went on to make it to the Stanley Cup Final, losing in six games to the Black Hawks. As for the Rangers, it was the only time in 12 years that they failed to make it to the postseason.
A good playoff day
On this date in 1981, the Rangers scored more goals in a playoff game than in any time in their history, beating the Los Angeles Kings 10-3. It was the only time the Rangers have hit double figures in a playoff game and it was one goal off the NHL record of 11 goals in one playoff game achieved by four different teams.
The current record for scoring the most goals in a playoff game belongs to the Edmonton Oilers who scored 13 goals in a Semi-Finals game in 1987. Their opponents? The Los Angeles Kings
A record for Jagr
On this date in 2006, Jaromir Jagr had two assists in a 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden. It was the 37th multi point game of his franchise record 123 points season, setting a new club record.
Jean Ratelle had 35 multi-point games in 1971-72 and Bernie Nicholls had 36 multi-point games in 1989-90 when he was traded from Los Angeles to New York. Is Jagr’s record reachable by anyone on the current Rangers’ team? Artemi Panarin had 28 such games in 69 games in 2020-21 and this season he has done it 26 times.
It makes you appreciate Jagr’s greatness, that he had multi-point production in almost half of the games that season.
25 NHL players have been born on April 11 with only one a former Ranger.
Gus Mancuso was a right winger born on this date in 1914 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He played parts of four season in Montreal before he was sold to the Rangers in 1942. He played 21 games in New York in the 1942-43 season, scoring six goals and 14 points. After that, he finished his career with five seasons in the Pacific Coast Hockey League.
Six regulation games have been played on April 11 with only one win. The team has a losing record in the playoffs, but have been a little more successful with seven wins in 20 games.
Regulation wins: 1
Regulation losses: 3
Overtime losses: 1
Shootout losses: 1
Points percentage: .250
Playoffs games: 20
Overtime wins: 1
Overtime losses: 2
Winning percentage: 40%