Mike Richter

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 18th, 2001 when Mike Richter passed Eddie Giacomin for all-time wins in Rangers history.

Hailing from Philadelphia, goaltender Mike Richter cemented his status as one of the most cherished Rangers in history. Stepping into the skates of the previous fan favorite, John (The Beezer) Vanbiesbrouck, Richter not only lived up to the challenge but also steered the Rangers to their last Stanley Cup victory in 1994.

Yet, Richter’s story didn’t conclude there. Seven seasons after savoring the taste of Cup champagne, he set his sights on a seemingly unattainable record: “Most Franchise Wins By A Rangers Goalie.” The elusive milestone was set at 266, and with unwavering determination, Richter inched closer, eventually surpassing the mark early in the New Year of 2001.

Richter’s moment arrived at The Garden on the night of January 18, with the Toronto Maple Leafs as the opposition. Unfazed by the record, the visitors dominated the Rangers, leading 1-0 in the third period. However, spurred on by their teammate’s pursuit of history, the New York squad launched an offensive. Mike York’s goal against Leafs goalie Curtis Joseph leveled the score, propelling the game into overtime.

Richter steadfastly guarded the net for over four minutes until his teammates stormed the Toronto zone. Brian Leetch, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner from the 1994 Cup triumph, fired a shot off the near-side post and past Joseph at 4:33 of the extra session, sealing Richter’s triumphant ascent to Rangers goaltending history.


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