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 particular installment of “Remember When,” we revisit the night of October 9th, 2010 the then-rookie Derek Stepan hat trick against the Buffalo Sabres with his first career goal and a hat trick to propel the Rangers to a 6-3 win in Buffalo.
Stepan showcased an impressive performance, becoming the fourth player in history to score three goals in his inaugural game. Leading the New York Rangers to a season-opening 6-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres, Stepan’s remarkable feat included a fluke opening goal, where a deflection off Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers contributed to the puck finding the net.
Stepan’s hat trick unfolded late in the second period, with goals scored just 3:12 apart, propelling the Rangers to a commanding 4-1 lead. His precise shots, all beating last year’s Vezina Trophy winner, Ryan Miller, marked a historic achievement. Stepan joined Ron Murphy as the second Rangers player to begin a season with a three-goal performance, a feat last accomplished in 1955.
Brandon Dubinsky added two goals, while Erik Christensen contributed another for the Rangers. Jordan Leopold scored twice for the Sabres, with Derek Roy adding his third of the season. Despite the Sabres outshooting the Rangers in the final two periods, Stepan’s extraordinary debut proved decisive.