As the Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay Lightning prepare to make some Stanley Cup history of their own tonight, on this day 10 years ago, another brilliant moment in Stanley Cup Finals history was taking shape.
The date ... June 7, 1994. The place ... Vancouver, British Columbia. The play ... Mike Richter's
stop of Vancouver Canucks All-Star winger Pavel Bure on a second period penalty shot in Game Four of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals.
Many consider Richter's save on Bure to be the biggest save in Rangers history. It's tough to disagree.
Trailing 2-1 at 6:31 of the second, Brian Leetch pulled down a streaking Bure while on a breakaway. Referee Terry Gregson immediately signaled for a penalty shot. Making an acrobatic right skate save in reaction to Bure's nifty right-left deke - identical to the save that Richter made on Bure at the 1994 All-Star Game - Richter gave the Rangers life and the opportunity to battle back. And that they did.
A second period goal by Sergei Zubov and third period tallies from Alex Kovalev and Steve Larmer sealed a 4-2 win for New York as they moved to within one game of the Stanley Cup championship.
"It was a classic confrontation between one of the most, if not the most electrifying forward in the NHL and one of the outstanding goaltenders in the league," said Rangers coach Mike Keenan after the game. "It was the most important save of Michael's career. It gave us a chance to come back."
One week later, on June 14, 1994, Richter helped lead the Blueshirts to their first Stanley Cup championship in 54 years.