As the New York Rangers launch another campaign to capture Lord Stanley's mug, we look back to their very first trip to the Stanley Cup final in 1927-28.
With their best-of-five Cup final knotted at two games apiece, the New York Rangers and Montreal Maroons met on Saturday April 14, 1928, to decide a champion.
In a hard fought contest, the Rangers emerged from a defensive battle to hand the Maroons a 2-1 loss.
Two goals by Frank Boucher gave the visiting Rangers what appeared to be a comfortable lead late in period three. But at the 17:50 mark, Merlyn Phillips pulled the Maroons to within one goal.
"The Rangers were down to five men as the game ended, but the Maroons could not crash through for another one...," noted Seabury Lawrence in The New York Times.
Along with Frank Boucher, Rangers goalie Joe Miller made a huge contribution. Before Boucher's second tally, he held-off the Maroons, who were pressing for the equalizer. "A battle royal raged around Miller, and only more heroic work by the little goalie saved the situation," detailed The Times. "Twice he came out of the net to bat the disk away, once the whole length of the rink."
What makes Miller's accomplishment stand-out is the fact he replaced New York's regular netminder, as Lorne Chabot was sidelined due an eye injury. Miller was loaned to the Rangers by the New York Americans to fill-in for Chabot.
Much like Miller's performance 86 years-ago, Henrik Lundqvist will have to be on the top of his game if New York hopes to add another Stanley Cup to their trophy case.