Blowing a big lead in the playoffs in unforgivable and the good news is that it has happened rarely to the New York Rangers. On this date in 2008, the Rangers took a three goal lead in the second period, but the Pittsburgh Penguins came back and won the game 5-4.
It was the second time in franchise history that they had blown a three goal lead, the first time being on April 6, 1967 when they lost 6-4 to the Montreal Canadiens.
The Rangers were on a roll going into the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals after steamrollering the New Jersey Devils in five games. They got off to a great start against the Penguins in Game One, scoring the first three goals of the series. The big problem was the Rangers took that 3-0 lead too early in the game and they were playing in Pittsburgh. They were up on goals by Martin Straka, Chris Drury and Sean Avery just 3:37 into the second period, giving an offensively loaded Pittsburgh team too much time to come back.
The Pens scored two second period goals and went ahead in the third period on goals by Marian Hossa and Petr Sykora. To the Rangers credit, they came back and tied the score on a goal by Scott Gomez, but when Straka was called for interference on Sidney Crosby, the Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin scored a power play goal with just 1:41 left in the game.
The Rangers never recovered and fell into a 3-0 hole before winning Game Four, but the Penguins won the series in five games.
21 players have been born on April 25 with four former New York Rangers in that group.
Christian Dube was born on this date in 1977 in Sherbrooke, Quebec. He was drafted in the second round of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft by the Rangers and they looked like geniuses when he scored 52 goals in 65 games in the QMJHL. Unfortunately, the center never lived up to that promise making it to the NHL for only 33 games over two seasons, scoring one goal. After the 1998-99 season the Rangers let him go and he went on to have a long career in the Swiss League, playing until 2015.
Pat Egan was born on this date in 1918 in Blackie, Alberta. He was a defenseman who played 11 years in the NHL for four teams. He made his debut with the New York Americans in 1939, named a Second Team All-Star in 1942. He played in Detroit and spent most of his career in Boston. He finished his NHL career playing two seasons with the Rangers. He is remembered for an AHL incident in November 1952 when he was banned for life after assaulting a linesman. The suspension was lifted a short time later and he went on to become a coach, taking the Springfield Indians to three straight Calder Cup Trophies, the only time that has ever been done.
Bob Dill was born on April 25, 1920 in St. Paul, Minnesota. A defenseman, he played 76 games with the Rangers during the war years from 1943-45. After the war, he finished his career in the minor leagues.
James Sheppard was born on this date in 1988 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A first round pick in 2006 by the Minnesota Wild, he made it to the NHL with the Wild, then was traded to the San Jose Sharks. The center was a deadline depth acquisition by the Rangers in 2015 He played 14 games for New York at the end of that season and played in 13 playoff games that spring. Not offered a contract after the season, he went on to continue his career in Switzerland and Germany.
The Rangers haven’t played a lot of games on April 25 with only two regular season games, both wins. In the playoffs, the Rangers are just under .500.
Playoffs games: 9
Overtime wins: 1
Overtime losses: 1
Winning percentage: 44%
Regular season games: 2
Regulation wins: 1
Regulation losses: 0
Overtime wins: 1
Points percentage: 1.000