Rangers were half inch from 4th Stanley Cup championship in 1950

In the annals of sports history, there are moments that become etched into the collective memory of fans, moments that define teams, players, and entire seasons.

For the New York Rangers, the year 1950 holds such a moment, a moment that saw them come agonizingly close to securing their fourth Stanley Cup championship.


It was a season filled with drama, excitement, and heartbreak, culminating in a legendary Game 7 that would forever be remembered as one of the greatest finals in NHL history.

The 1949-1950 NHL season had been a rollercoaster ride for the Rangers. Led by their captain, Frank Boucher, and star goaltender, Chuck Rayner, the team had fought tooth and nail to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.

Facing off against the Detroit Red Wings, a formidable opponent boasting the likes of Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay, the Rangers knew they were in for a fierce battle.

The series began with a back-and-forth affair, each team trading blows and victories.

The Rangers showcased their offensive prowess, led by the “Bread Line” of Edgar Laprade, Buddy O’Connor, and Tony Leswick, while Rayner stood tall between the pipes, frustrating the Red Wings’ shooters at every turn.

As the series progressed, tensions ran high, and the rivalry between the two teams intensified.

But it was Game 7 that would go down in history as one of the most thrilling and heartbreaking contests ever played.

With the series tied at three games apiece, everything was on the line.

The Madison Square Garden faithful packed the arena, their excitement palpable as they watched their beloved Rangers take the ice.

From the opening faceoff, it was clear that neither team was willing to back down.

The intensity was palpable as the Rangers and the Red Wings traded scoring chances, each goaltender making miraculous saves to keep their team in the game.

As the clock ticked down in the third period, the score remained deadlocked at 2-2.

Then, with just seconds remaining in regulation, the Rangers launched one final desperate attack.

A flurry of shots peppered the Red Wings’ net, but somehow, goaltender Harry Lumley managed to keep the puck out of the net.

As the final buzzer sounded, the score remained tied, sending the game into overtime.

What happened next would go down in infamy. Just minutes into the overtime period, Rangers forward Pete Babando found himself with the puck on his stick and a chance to etch his name into hockey lore.

With a quick move, he beat Rayner and fired a shot towards the net.

The puck sailed through the air, seemingly destined for the back of the goal.

But fate had other plans. In a cruel twist of irony, the puck struck the goalpost, bouncing harmlessly away from the net.

The Garden crowd gasped in disbelief as the Red Wings regained possession and quickly turned the play up the ice.

Moments later, Tony Leswick found himself on a breakaway, but his shot sailed wide, and the opportunity was lost.

As the overtime period wore on, both teams continued to battle valiantly, but neither could find the back of the net.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the Red Wings managed to capitalize on a Rangers turnover, with Pete Babando redeeming himself by scoring the game-winning goal.

The final score read 3-2 in favor of the Red Wings, securing their fourth Stanley Cup championship in franchise history.

For the Rangers and their fans, it was a bitter pill to swallow. They had come so close to glory, only to have it slip through their fingers in the cruelest of fashions.

In the years that followed, the 1950 Stanley Cup Finals would be remembered as one of the greatest series ever played, a testament to the skill, determination, and heart of both teams involved.

And while the Rangers may have fallen just half an inch short of victory, their legacy would endure, serving as a reminder of the highs and lows that come with the pursuit of greatness in the world of sports.

Leave a Comment