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This Date in NHL History

June 14: Rangers hoist Stanley Cup, end 54-year wait

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

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


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 Mark Messier's power-play goal at 13:29 makes it 3-1 entering the third.

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 Craig MacTavish, one of seven former Edmonton Oilers brought in by general manager Neil Smith to instill a winning atmosphere, wins a final faceoff to trigger one of the biggest celebrations in New York sports history.

Video: Memories: Rangers win the Stanley Cup after 54 years

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 American to win 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 will be based in Miami.


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 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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