The New York Rangers will pay tribute and honor the ’94 Stanley Cup Champions before taking on the Carolina Hurricanes (8:00 P.M. ET, MSG+, NHLN).
The Blueshirts are coming off one of their most impressive wins of the season, when the defeated the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a shootout. After finding themselves down 3-1 after a tough second period, the Rangers scratched and clawed their way back into the game. Kevin Hayes and Filip Chytil each scored, helping the Blueshirts tie the game in the third period. After an eventful but scoreless overtime, Tony DeAngelo would score the game winning shootout goal in the seventh round.
In addition to the 27 saves Alexandar Georgiev made over the course of 65 minutes, he also stopped six shootout attempts.
“I love shootouts,” Georgiev said. “I try to practice and compete with the guys when we have a chance in practice.”
Mika Zibanejad continued contributing for the Rangers in a big way. The Swede scored in the first period and the shootout earning the games second star.
“We just looked forward and kind of put the 2nd period behind us,” said Zibanejad. “I thought we did a good job with that and just going out and playing.”
Tonight, the ’94 Stanley Cup team will be honored in a ceremony prior to the game nearly 25 years after winning it. Many players are excited to get the chance to interact with that team.
“Anytime you get a chance to meet the alumni and rub elbows with them, it’s amazing, but when a lot of them are your childhood idols and heroes… That doesn’t lose its specialness for me,” said New Rochelle native Kevin Shattenkirk.
“For me, it was personal a little bit because of Leetchy and Mike Richter – guys that I played with and knew – so I was certainly rooting for them,” said head coach David Quinn. Quinn was apart of the 1986 USA World Junior team with Leetch and Richter.
“It’s cool to get this opportunity to honor that team and create a mask,” Henrik Lundqvist said. Lundqvist will pay tribute to Richter by wearing a special mask when he starts tonight.
The 93-94 NHL season contained many special moments for Blueshirts fans across the globe. Some moments include:
Outscoring the Islanders 22-3 in a first-round sweep
Messier guaranteeing a game six win in the Eastern Conference finals
Stephane Matteau double overtime goal in game seven of the Eastern Conference finals
John Amirante’s singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals.
The New York Rangers winning game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals and becoming champions for the first time since 1940.
After the ceremony, the Blueshirts will continue their homestand against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes, who sit three points back of the final wildcard spot, will look to snap a 16-game losing streak at Madison Square Garden. The Canes will hope their two top point scorers Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen can help break the drought. Aho has 62 points and Teravained has 48.
Each team won a meeting on home ice thus far this season. Between both games, 21 goals were scored between the two franchises.
With Curtis McElhinney starting last night, Petr Mrazek will get the nod for the Canes. Mrazek is 11-11-3 with a .894 save percentage.
The Rangers will likely start the same lineup (besides the goalies) as they did Wednesday night. If Quinn elects to start the same lineup, Neal Pionk will be a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game.
Smith – Shattenkirk