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This Date in NHL History

June 14: Rangers win Stanley Cup for first time in 54 years

Plus: Panthers join NHL; Pisani scores shorthanded OT goal in Final

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

Memories: Rangers win the Cup

Memories: Rangers win the Stanley Cup after 54 years

On June 14, 1994, the New York Rangers ended their 54-year Stanley Cup drought after defeating the Vancouver Canucks on home ice

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1994: The NHL's longest championship drought ends at 54 years when the New York Rangers hold off the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Rangers get the packed house at Madison Square Garden revved up when Brian Leetch and Adam Graves score to give them a 2-0 lead after one period. Trevor Linden scores a shorthanded goal for the Canucks early in the second period, but a power-play goal by Mark Messier at 13:29 makes it 3-1.

Linden scores a power-play goal at 4:50 of the third period to make it a one-goal game again, but goalie Mike Richter excels and the Rangers hold on until center Craig MacTavish, one of seven former Edmonton Oilers brought in by general manager Neil Smith to instill a winning atmosphere, wins a final face-off to trigger one of the biggest celebrations in New York sports history.

Video: 1994: Rangers capture first Stanley Cup since 1940

It's the fourth Stanley Cup championship for the Rangers, but their first since 1940. It's also the first time since entering the NHL in 1926 that they've won it at the Garden.

"We had played so much hockey and had so much emotion -- the semifinals and Final both went seven games -- that the biggest thing I felt after the game was relief," says Leetch, who becomes the first U.S.-born player voted as winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. "I went home that night and went to bed feeling tired, but when I got up the next day, I began to feel the excitement. We spent the next few days celebrating."



1993: The Florida Panthers officially receive their membership in the NHL. The franchise is to be based in Miami and begin play in the 1993-94 season, along with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, giving the League 26 teams.


2006: Fernando Pisani becomes the first player to score a shorthanded overtime goal in the Final, giving the Edmonton Oilers a 4-3 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 5 at RBC Center. With defenseman Steve Staios off for tripping, Pisani beats Cam Ward at 3:31 to cut the Hurricanes' lead in the best-of-7 series to 3-2. Pisani also scores 16 seconds into the game, joining Sid Smith of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Game 1 in 1951, against the Montreal Canadiens) as the only players to score a first-minute goal and an overtime goal in the same Final game.

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