New York Rangers Game 7 History
In the New York Rangers’ 96-year history, they have played in 18 Game 7s – the ultimate, winner-take-all game of a playoff series. To date, they’re 11-7 in those matches.
This is the New York Rangers Game 7 history:
April 2nd, 1939 – Rangers vs. Bruins – 2-1 L
The first ever Game 7 in Rangers history was an absolute marathon. Both teams scored a goal in the 2nd period, but none in the 3rd, so they went to overtime. Then they went to a 2nd overtime, and then a 3rd. Mell Hill of the Bruins finally put the game to bed in the 3rd overtime, and while shots on goal weren’t tracked back then, it’s astonishing that Rangers goalie Bert Gardiner played 108 minutes. This was also their inaugural coach Lester Patrick’s last season at the helm of the Rangers, who would then turn to Frank Boucher to lead them back to the Stanley Cup, which he would do the very next season.
April 23rd, 1950 – Rangers vs. Red Wings – 4-3 L
The next time the Rangers played in a Game 7 wasn’t for 11 years, but they went to overtime again – this time, double overtime. The first 4 goals of the game were scored on the powerplay to tie the game up at 2. The Rangers and Red Wings would trade goals again, before Pete Babando would end the game in 2OT for the Red Wings.
May 2nd, 1971 – Rangers vs. Blackhawks – 4-2 L
The Rangers would carry their 0-2 record in Game 7s for another 21 years before meeting Bobby Hull and the Blackhawks in the 1971 playoffs semi-finals. Emile Francis lead New York to a 2nd place finish, but they couldn’t get past the Blackhawks, or Hull who had 3 points in this game.
May 5th, 1974 – Rangers vs. Flyers – 4-3 L
Rangers fans would only have to wait 3 more years for another Game 7, but it ultimately be another loss. The Broad Street Bullies peppered Rangers goalie Ed Giacomin with 46 shots, and even though he stopped 42 of them, the Rangers would fall in the semi-finals again, and drop to 0-4 in Game 7s.
May 1st, 1992 – Rangers vs. Devils – 8-4 W
It would be another 18 years before the Rangers played another Game 7, but this one would finally have a winning result. Adam Graves would lead the team with 4 points as the Rangers would put away their in-state rivals the New Jersey Devils. This Game 7 win would ultimately lead them to losing in the next round of the playoffs, and missing the playoffs the next year.
May 27th, 1994 – Rangers vs. Devils – 2-1 W
The Rangers had missed the playoffs the year previous, but they had a new coach and a renewed sense of purpose. They would dispatch of their Garden State rivals once again, this time with Stephane Matteau playing hero. This, however, would not be the last Game 7 they would play during this historic playoff run.
June 14th, 1994 – Rangers vs. Canucks – 3-2 W
The most important Game 7 in Rangers history. It had been 54 years since the Rangers last won the Stanley Cup, and Mark Messier was determined to lead this team back to the promised land. 3 Rangers legends all scored in this game, as Leetch, Graves, and Messier found the back of the net for New York on their way to a 3-2 victory, and a long-awaited Stanley Cup.
April 28th, 2009 – Rangers vs. Capitals – 2-1 L
Another 15 years would pass before the Rangers would see another Game 7, as newly minted coach John Tortorella would lose in the first round of the playoffs to the Washington Capitals with Nik Antropov scoring the lone goal for the Blueshirts.
April 26th, 2012 – Rangers vs. Senators – 2-1 W
After only seeing 7 Game 7s in their first 82 years of existence, the Rangers would then begin a run of 7 in 4 post-seasons. Two gritty defensemen would propel the Rangers to victory, as Marc Stall and Dan Girardi both scored on their way to a 2-1 win.
May 12th, 2012 – Rangers vs. Capitals – 2-1 W
That same playoff run would be extended by another Game 7 victory on their way to the Conference Finals. Carl Hagelin and Michael Del Zotto would both put up 2 points in a low-scoring affair, as Henrick Lundqvist only needed to make 22 stops to get the win.
May 13th, 2013 – Rangers vs. Capitals – 5-0 W
The very next year, the Rangers would see the Capitals again in another Game 7. Henrik Lundqvist would shut the door on the Capitals, stopping 35 shots while Aaron Asham, Taylor Pyatt, Michael Del Zotto, Ryan Callahan, and Mats Zuccarello would all score to put this game to bed.
April 30th, 2014 – Rangers vs. Flyers – 2-1 W
The Rangers would make their way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014, and had to win a couple of Game 7s to get there. The first was against the Flyers, in another low-scoring affair. Depth players Daniel Carcillo, and Benoit Pouliot would score goals for the Rangers as Lundqvist would make 26 saves to win the game.
May 13th, 2014 – Rangers vs. Penguins – 2-1 W
The next would be against the other team from Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Unsurprisingly, Lundqvist would be the difference again, making 35 saves, while Brian Boyle and Brad Richards would score to put the Rangers ahead in the game, and close out the series.
May 13th, 2015 – Rangers vs. Capitals – 2-1 W
It wouldn’t be long before the Rangers jumped into another Game 7, as the very next season they played against their 2012 and 2013 opponents, the Washington Capitals. Another 35 save performance, and goals from Kevin Hayes, and Derek Stepan pushed the Rangers into the next round.
May 29th, 2015 – Rangers vs. Lightning – 2-0 L
The very next round, the Rangers found themselves up against another Game 7, this time against the Lightning. Lundqvist stopped 23 of 25 shots, but the Rangers couldn’t solve Ben Bishop and fell to the Lightning.
May 15th, 2022 – Rangers vs. Penguins – 4-3 W
It would be another 7 years before the Rangers saw Game 7 again, but their fortunes would be different. The Rangers would force overtime, and Artemi Panarin would tuck one home past Tristin Jarry to send the Rangers into the next round.
May 30th, 2022 – Rangers vs. Hurricanes – 6-2 W
That same year, the Rangers would face the Hurricanes in a Game 7. This one was never in doubt, as New York jumped out to an early lead, and was up 3-0 at the end of the 2nd period. They would add another 3, with Igor Shesterkin making an incredible 37 stops to push the Rangers forward.
May 1st, 2023 – Rangers vs. Devils – 4-0 L
Not all Game 7s against the Devils can be wins, as the Rangers’ luck would eventually run out. The Blueshirts would fire off 31 shots, but rookie goaltender Akira Schmid would stop them all for the Devils, and the Rangers would fail to advance to the 2nd round of the playoffs.
With an impressive 11-8 record in Game 7s, the Rangers have had their fair share over the last 10 years – could there be more staring them in the face as they look to continue their push for another Stanley Cup?
Related: The Latest New York Rangers Schedule
What is a Game 7?
An NHL playoffs series is a best-of-seven affair – you have to be the first one to win 4 games in order to win the series, as the other team could at most, win 3 games.