What happened on April 21 in the history of the New York Rangers
April 21 is not a distinguished day in New York Rangers history, but the Rangers did win a playoff game on this date in 1982 that was worth recalling. It was Game Five of the Patrick Division Finals against the Stanley Cup Champion New York Islanders and the Blueshirts had their backs to the wall, down 3-1 and playing on the road.
Not only that, but the Rangers were missing Mark Pavelich and Mikko Leinonen and they lost top scorer Mike Rogers to a wrenched knee on his first shift. Goalie Ed Mio came back from a bad back to star in goal as the Rangers won 4-2, staving off elimination. They had to rely on rookie winger Gary Burns and veterans Claude Larose and Cam Connor , none of whom had played a regular season game for the Blueshirts.
Don Maloney scored twice, Dave Silk had an unassisted goal and Connor even chipped with a third period insurance goal. It was the last highlight of the season as the Islanders won Game Six 5-3 at Madison Square Garden. It was the second of four straight years the Rangers were eliminated by the Isles in the middle of their run of four straight Stanley Cups.
23 players were born on April 21 who went on to play in the NHL with five of them former Rangers.
Steve Vickers was born on this date in 1951 in Toronto, Ontario. He is one of eight Rangers to win the Calder Trophy as top rookie, earning the honor in 1973. He played ten years in the NHL, all with the Rangers and the left winger holds the franchise record for most points in a game with seven, scored against the Washington Capitals in February1976. When he slumped to nine goals in 1982 he was sent to the AHL and he retired shortly after that.
Reg Fleming was born on this date in1936 in Montreal, Quebec. Nicknamed “Reggie the Ruffian,” he was a tough player who led the league in penalty minutes in 1966, the season he was traded from Boston to New York for John McKenzie. He totaled over 100 penalty minutes eight times including the three full years he played in New York. He played 12 years in the NHL and two season in the WHA.
Doug Soetaert wasa goalie born on this date in 1955 in Edmonton, Alberta. He played 12 years in the NHL, the first six with the Rangers as backup to John Davidson. Traded to Winnipeg, he was their number one goalie until he was traded to Montreal. He had one last year with the Rangers, signing as free agent in 1986.
Nick Beverley was born on this date in 1947 in Toronto, Ontario. He was a stay-at-home defenseman best know as the player traded to the Rangers for Vic Hadfield. Hadfield was exiled after the 1974 playoffs when he was seen on national television laughing in the penalty box with the Rangers down a goal in the third period of an elimination game. Beverly played two seasons in New York before being traded to Minnesota in 1976.
Jack Evans was born on April 21, 1928 in Morriston, U.K. He was a defenseman who played 14 years with the Rangers and the Black Hawks. He was a defensive blueliner who scored no more than four goals in a season (he did it twice). After he retired he coached the California Golden Seals, Cleveland Barons and the Hartford Whalers. He holds the distinction of being the only New York Rangers player born in Wales.
The Rangers have played only once on April 21, a number that will be doubled after this year. As for the playoffs, it hasn’t been a great story, with only three wins in eight playoff games.
Playoffs games: 8
Winning percentage: 38%
Regular season games: 1
Regulation wins: 1
Regulation losses: 0
Points percentage: 1.000