January 13 in New York Rangers history: The longest unbeaten streak

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A 19 game unbeaten streak for the New York Rangers

What happened on January 13 in the history of the New York Rangers

On this date in 1940 the New York Rangers set an NHL record of 19 straight games without a loss.  With 14 wins and five ties, they hadn’t lost since November 19, an overtime loss to the Canadiens.  In the process, the Rangers set a franchise record ten straight wins, a mark that has been equaled, but never surpassed.

The Blueshirts did it with a 4-1 win in Toronto.  Rangers’ netminder Davey Kerr was the star of the game while they got goals from Bryan Hextall,  Kilby MacDonald, Phil Watson and Neil Colville.  The game was tied 1-1 going into the third period when the Rangers exploded for three goals to win.

With their 19 game unbeaten streak, they broke the record of 18 set in 1927-28 by the Montreal Canadiens.   That record stood for just one year as the 1940-41 Boston Bruins set a record with a 23 game unbeaten streak.   The current record is 35 games, set by the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers., but the Rangers’ streak is still a franchise record and is the ninth longest in NHL history.

The ten game winning streak was tied by the 1972-73 Rangers.    The longest winning streak in NHL history belongs to the 1992-1993 Pittsburgh Penguins who won 17 games in a row.  The 2015-16 Blueshirts came close with a nine game winning streak.

Goaltender Kerr also set an individual record with 19 straight games in net without a loss, broken by Frank Brimsek with the Bruins.  Mike Richter set a franchise record with 20 straight games in the 1993-94 season.

The Rangers streak was halted the next day when they lost in Chicago 2-1.  After the loss, they reeled off an additional five straight wins for 15 out of 16 games.

Marks for Messier

On this date in 1993, Mark Messier scored a goal and added three assists in a 5-4 win over the Washington Capitals.  With the four points, he reached the 1,200 point mark.  He ended his career with 1,887 points, third most in NHL history.

A rare penalty shot

On this date in 2007, Jed Ortmeyer arguably had his finest moment as a New York Ranger, scoring on a penalty shot at Madison Square Garden as the Rangers beat the Bruins 3-1.  It was an insurance goal at 17:13 of the third period and counted as a shorthanded goal, his only one as a Blueshirt.

How rare was it?  The Rangers have had 31 penalty shots awarded in the last 16 years, but have scored on only eight of them.

Some firsts

On this date in 1927 the Toronto Maple Leafs played their first game against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.  The game ended in a 1-1 tie.   The Leafs had a lot of success at the third version of the Garden.  In 275 games they garnered 271 points, the most points gained at any opponents’ arena in Toronto franchise history.

In 1968 on January 13, the Rangers made their first trip to St. Louis as the league had doubled in size from six to 12 teams.   It was a 3-1 win for the Rangers.  The Blueshirts won three of their four games against the expansion Blues, losing on their next visit to the St. Louis Arena.

Today’s birthdays

27 NHL players were born on January 13.   Six of them have played for the Rangers.

Jack Johnson is a current Blueshirt who was born on this date in 1987 in Indianapolis, Indiana.   He has yet to play an NHL game for the Blueshirts, but should officially become a Ranger on Thursday.  Signed as a free agent, he replaces veteran Marc Staal in the lineup and in a coincidence, they share the same birth date and year.

Marc Staal was born on this date in 1987 in Thunder Bay, Ontario.  He was a first round draft p ick by the Rangers in 2005 and was a stalwart on the team’s defense until he was traded to Detroit in 2020 in a cap space clearing move.

When he left the team he was sixth all-time in games played with 892.   His later years with the team were hampered by a concussion and an eye injury.  Brothers Marc, Eric, Jared and Jordan all played in the NHL with Eric joining Marc on the Rangers briefly in 2016.

Mike  Rupp  was a well travelled NHLer who was born on this date in 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio.  Rupp played 68 games for the Rangers over two seasons from 2011 to 2013.   His finest moment as a Ranger was when he scored two goals in the 2012 Winter Classic  as the Rangers beat the Flyers 3-2.  “Rupper” played 11 years in the NHL for six different teams.

Cesar Maniago was a goalie born on January 13 in 1939 in Trail, British Columbia.    He played 15 seasons in the NHL, including 34 games for the Rangers.  With Eddie Giacomin ensconced as the number one goalie, Maniago was claimed by the  Minnesota North Stars in the 1967 expansion draft.  Besieged as an expansion team goalie, he led the league in saves in 1968-69 while also facing the most shots of any goalie in the NHL.

Graeme Nicolson was a defenseman who played ten games for the Rangers in 1983.   He was born on this date in 1958 in North Bay, Ontario.   He came to the Rangers on a waiver claim in 1982 and left after the 1983 season via free agency.

Ryan  Sproul was born on this date in 1993 in Mississauga, Ontario.  A second round pick by Detroit in 2011, the Rangers acquired him in 2017 in a trade for Matt Puempel.   He played 16 games in New York in 2018 when the Rangers began their rebuild and traded Ryan McDonagh and Nick Holden.   After one year in the AHL, Sproul has found a home in the KHL, playing for coach Alex Kovalev with Kunlun Red Star.

The numbers

The Rangers have played 39 times on January 13 with a very solid 20 regulation wins and only 13 losses.

Games: 39
Regulation wins: 20
Regulation losses: 13
Ties: 5
Overtime wins: 1
Points percentage:  .602

One year ago

Last year – 2020:  Rangers 6, Islanders 2

One year ago, the Rangers began a stretch when they played the Islanders three times in eight days.  The first game was overwhelming for the Blueshirts as they destroyed the Isles 6-2 at the Garden.  Artemi Panarin tied his career high with five points on two goals and three assists.  It was Panarin’s fourth straight home game with three of more points, tying Andy Bathgate‘s mark, set in 1961.

Adam Fox played the first game against the team from his native Long Island and had a goal and an assist. Alexandar Georgiev had 32 saves for the win, improving his record against the Isles to 3-1.  The Blueshirts were buoyed by two fights as Micheal Haley took on Ross Johnston and Brendan Smith fought Matt Martin.