Jaromir Jagr OT winner on Mark Messier Night.
Mark Messier and his family cheer while the #11 New York Rangers banner is being raised . (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In the dynamic realm of hockey, the sport offers a plethora of highlights that linger in our memories. The New York Rangers, a team with a rich history, have contributed numerous moments that resonate with many fans. In this feature titled “Remember When,” we delve into some of these moments—some noteworthy, others less so.

In this installment of “Remember When,” we revisit January 12th, 2006, a significant date for the New York Rangers as they took on the Edmonton Oilers. On this memorable night, the Rangers honored Mark Messier by retiring his number 11 jersey and raising it to the rafters. Losing on such a special occasion was not an option, and Jaromir Jagr ensured that by securing a victory.

The emotional evening began with the touching ceremony of raising Messier’s No. 11 to the Garden rafters, lasting 78 minutes and evoking tears from Messier multiple times. Jagr added the perfect ending by scoring 14 seconds into overtime, securing a 5-4 triumph over the Oilers. The Rangers had the additional motivation of defeating Messier’s original NHL team.

Petr Sykora, who had previously contributed a goal and an assist in his Ranger debut, replicated that performance in his second game. Sykora played a pivotal role in setting up Steve Rucchin for the opening goal in the first period. Despite Edmonton scoring the first three goals of the second period, the Rangers managed to level the score with late goals from Fedor Tyutin and Sykora in the final 3:31.

Petr Prucha then gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead with his 21st goal at 2:14 of the third period. However, Edmonton’s Michael Peca responded with his second goal of the night at 7:40, including the Oilers’ second short-handed goal. The fans’ emotionally charged night concluded with a final burst of excitement when Jagr found the net, securing the Rangers’ second overtime victory of the year.

“I’m glad I scored,” Jagr said. “I didn’t want a 15-player shootout. It would have been a five-hour game.”

“It was his night, and it made it a lot better when we won,” Jagr said. “We want to win every game, but this was a special night for every hockey fan in New York.


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