New York Rangers list of Game 7 winning goals has many unlikely heroes

The New York York Rangers will be playing their 16th Game 7 in franchise history on Sunday night. The setting for this one is at Madison Square Garden against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Their record stands at 9-6 in those contests and for all NHL teams that have played in at least three Game 7’s, they hold the highest winning percentage.

Furthermore, the Rangers have won six of their last seven Game 7 contests and hold a 7-1 record in Game 7’s played at Madison Square Garden.

New York played their last Game 7 in the 2015 postseason, where they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final on home ice by a 2-0 score.

New York Rangers Game 7 heroes

Stanley Cup Mark Messier
Rangers Mark Messier (11) celebrates with fans as he skates around with the Stanley Cup after the Rangers defeated Vancouver 3-2 in game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals at Madison Square Garden June 14, 1994. Rangers Win Stanley Cup

As the teams prepare for action tonight, many will be looking to the big stars to be the difference maker in Game 7. If history has anything to say about it, the game-winning goal is likely to come off the stick of someone you wouldn’t expect.

Need a recent example? Last night, the Lightning beat the Maple Leafs 2-1 in Game 7 thanks to two tallies from Nick Paul. The Oilers shutout the Kings with Cody Ceci netting the game-winner. And the Hurricanes Max Domi registered his team’s deciding goal.

A quick look at the game-winning markers for the New York Rangers does have stars like Mark Messier, Adam Graves and Brad Richards on the list. But more often it was players like Benoit Pouliot, Aaron Asham, and Dan Girardi lighting the lamp.

And let’s not forget the biggest playoff goal in Rangers history came off Stephane Matteau’s stick in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final in double OT over the New Jersey Devils. A noted role player if there ever was one.

GAME 7 GWGYearRoundOpponent
Derek Stepan (OT)2015RD 2Washington Capitals
Brad Richards2014RD 2Pittsburgh Penguins
Benoit Pouliot2014RD 1Philadelphia Flyers
Aaron Asham2013RD 1Washington Capitals
Michael Del Zotto2012RD 2Washington Capitals
Dan Girardi2012RD 1Ottawa Senators
Mark Messier1994SCFVancouver Canucks
Stephane Matteau (2OT)1994ECFNew Jersey Devils
Adam Graves1992RD 1New Jersey Devils
List of Game 7 Heroes

So if the New York Rangers win tonight, it could very well be a goal off the stick of Artemi Panarin. Maybe it will Mika Zibanejad or Chris Kreider.

Just don’t be surprised if Tyler Motte, Kevin Rooney, or Ryan Lindgren becomes the next name on the list above.

Note: Thank you to NYR PR staff on some of the research in this article.

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