On April 20 in NYR history: Two straight OT goals for “Bones” Raleigh

NY Rangers (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NY Rangers (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

What happened on April 20 in the history of the New York Rangers

In 1950 on this date, Don Raleigh became the first NHL player to score overtime goals in consecutive games in the Stanley Cup Final.   He did it in Games Four and Five of the series, giving the Rangers a 3-2 lead.

Don Raleigh, nicknamed “Bones,” scored the overtime game winner in Game Four, breaking a 3-3 tie with Detroit at 8:34 of the first overtime.  In Game Five it was Raleigh again with the heroics,  He scored just 1:38 into the first overtime, overcoming a Red Wings goal by Ted Lindsay with just two minutes left in regulation that tied the game 1-1

Unfortunately for the Rangers, they dropped Games Six 5-4 to the Red Wings and in a heartbreaker, lost Game Seven in double overtime on a goal by Pete Babando. .

Raleigh still holds the record, but it was tied in1993 by the Philadelphia Flyers John LeClair.

MacTavish retires

He wasn’t a Ranger when he retired, but on this date in 1997, Craig MacTavish played his final game, the last player in the NHL to play without a helmet. MacTavish was with the St. Louis Blues when they lost the game in overtime to the Detroit Red Wings, 3-1.

Of course, MacTavish was the last New York Ranger to play without a helmet as well, playing for the 1994 Stanley Cup champions.  He will go down in Blueshirt lore for winning the final faceoff of Game Seven of the Final against Vancouver.

Today’s birthdays

29 NHL players have been born on April 20, but only one has worn a Rangers uniform and will go down in Rangers draft history as another bad pick.

Dylan McIlrath was born on this date in 1992 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  The defenseman was picked in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft,  the 10th overall pick.  Nicknamed “The Undertaker” for his mean disposition, he  spent five years in the Rangers organization, making it to New York for 38 games.  The team finally gave up on him and traded him to Florida for Steven Kampfer.   He has stuck around the AHL with brief stops in Florida and Detroit.

McIlrath’s selection will go down in infamy because of who the Rangers could have picked. Those players include Evgeny Kuznetsov, Cam Fowler, Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz, Nick Bjugstad, Kevin Hayes, Charlie Coyle, Brock Nelson, Justin Faulk, Tyler Toffoli, Jason Zucker, Radko Gudas, Bryan Rust and John Klingberg.  Ouch.

The numbers

The Rangers split their only two regular season games played on April 20.  They have had a solid record in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with nine wins in 14 games, including that Final OT win in 1950.  Their other overtime win was on a goal by Mika Zibanejad in the 2017 first round series against the Canadiens.  It gave the Blueshirts a 3-2 lead in that series.

Playoffs games: 14
Wins: 7
Losses: 4
Overtime wins: 2
Overtime losses: 1
Winning percentage: 64%

Regular season games: 2
Regulation wins: 1
Regulation losses: 1
Ties: 0
Points percentage: .500

Must Read. 3 straight shutouts and 50 wins!. light