Behind a 29-save performance and a 3-2 OT win over the Phoenix Coyotes, Mike Richter
became just the 19th goaltender in NHL history to reach the 300 win plateau. In his 14th season with the Rangers, Richter holds eight Blueshirt goaltending records, including most wins (300), most games in one season (72 in 1997-98), most wins in a single season (42, 1993-94) and most saves in a game (59 on January 31, 1991 at Vancouver).
"On a personal level it’s exciting," he said after the win. "I was hoping to get it earlier in my career. A couple of injuries the last few years, and not as many wins as we wanted was a disappointment. But I’m glad I’ve been able to stay with this organization long enough to set it with one team. That’s been a good feeling. Any time you have a milestone on the personal level playing a team game, it feels good."
Richter became the Rangers' all-time leader in wins on January 18, 2001 when he recorded his 267th career victory, eclipsing the mark previously held by Ed Giacomin
. The 36-year old also ranks sixth among all active NHL goaltenders in wins.
"I think we’re both disappointed with the way the last few years have gone," said longtime teammate Brian Leetch
. "He’s worked through a lot to get to this point where he’s back and playing, healthy and one hundred percent. Off the ice we talk, and his commitment is greater than any I’ve seen. It’s good to see him have moments like this- to reach a milestone and play well."
"He takes a lot of pride in how he prepares himself and he expects to see the results," Leetch added. "So certainly we were both disappointed at the end of these last years. To be able to get through a good summer once he felt better after his knee healed, he’s been able to do more and come in prepared. I know he’s excited for this year."RANGERS ALL-TIME WINS LEADERS:1. Mike Richter – 300
2. Ed Giacomin – 266
3. Lorne Worsley – 204
4. John Vanbiesbrouck – 200
5. Dave Kerr – 157NHL ACTIVE WINS LEADERS:
1. Patrick Roy – 519
2. Tom Barrasso – 368
3. Ed Belfour – 365
4. Curtis Jospeh – 349
5. Martin Brodeur – 3286. Mike Richter – 300