This marked the last season in which the Rangers (and all other MSG properties) were owned by Paramount Communications (formerly Gulf+Western), which was sold near the end of the season to Viacom, which in turn sold them to ITT Corporation and Cablevision. A couple of years later, ITT would sell their share to Cablevision, who owned the Rangers until 2010, when the MSG properties became their own company.
On February 21, 1994, Tony Amonte scored just 8 seconds into the overtime period to win the game to give the Rangers a 4–3 home win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. It would prove to be the fastest overtime goal scored during the 1993–94 NHL regular season.
In the opening round, the Rangers faced their crosstown rivals the New York Islanders, this series would turn out to be an extremely one sided affair as the Rangers outscored their rivals 22 to 3 in a four game sweep.
Next, the Rangers faced the Washington Capitals who were coming off a shocking six game win over the second seeded Pittsburgh Penguins, the Rangers appeared to have the series in hand after they won the first three games, although the Capitals avoided the sweep with a game 4 win, the Rangers got back in control and won the series in five.
After going down in the Eastern Conference Finals 3–2 to the New Jersey Devils, Rangers' captain Mark Messier made one of the most famous guarantees in sports history, stating that the Rangers would win Game 6 in New Jersey to tie the series 3–3. Not only did the Rangers back up Messier's guarantee, but Messier scored a hat trick in the Rangers 4–2 win, sending the game back to New York for game 7. In Game 7, the Rangers held a 1–0 lead after a 2nd period goal by Brian Leetch. The lead would hold up until 7.7 seconds remaining, when Valeri Zelepukin was able to beat Mike Richter to send the game to overtime. In double overtime, Stephane Matteau scored his second second-overtime goal of the series to send the Rangers to the Finals. The series-winning goal prompted the famous call of "Matteau, Matteau, Matteau!" by Rangers radio announcer Howie Rose.
MSG Network broadcaster Al Trautwig said that this Stanley Cup win by the Rangers was seen as the coming of age of the NHL's influence in Europe. It marked the first time that the Russians got their names on the Stanley Cup and there were four who got that honor—Alexander Karpovtsev, Alexei Kovalev, Sergei Nemchinov and Sergei Zubov—giving a huge European television audience, including those watching on the brand-new television screens across the former Soviet Union, a Stanley Cup story to remember.
Key: Win Loss
1994 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Eastern Conference Quarter-finals: vs. (E8) New York Islanders – New York Rangers win series 4–0
Christer Rockstrom, Tony Feltrin, Martin Madden, Herb Hammond, Darrwin Bennett (scouts)
Dave Smith (medical trainer)
Joe Murphy (equipment trainer)
Mike Folga (equipment manager)
Bruce Lifrieri (massage therapist)
Stanley Cup engraving
1991, 1992 Pittsburgh, and 1993 Montreal included at least one player on the Stanley Cup who did not officially qualify. When the New York Rangers submitted their list of names for engraving, Ed Olczyk and Mike Hartman were included. Ed Olczyk played 37 regular-season games, and played 1 game in the conference finals. Mike Hartman played 35 regular-season games, but did not play in the playoffs. Both players spent the entire season with New York Rangers, and missed over 10 games due to injuries. When the Stanley Cup was engraved, Olczyk and Hartman's names were not included. The Rangers protested so the NHL added Olczyk and Hartman to the bottom of the cup. The NHL does not add missing names after the cup has been engraved, but made an exception in this case.
NHL now agrees to allow players who do not officially qualify on the Stanley Cup (40 regular season games, or played in the finals) on the Cup. However, some players who played in playoffs are still left off the Cup, while other players who played less than 10 regular season games and are not dressed in playoff are included.
^"Howie Rose". MSG.com. Madison Square Garden, LP. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
^Ohler, Shawn (February 26, 2002). "Lucky Loonie Stunt Pays Off". The Calgary Herald. p. A1. "A record-busting average of 8.7 million Canadians watched on television as the men's hockey team snatched gold from the United States in Salt Lake City...The audience actually peaked at 10.6 million, the CBC said Monday...CBC says that prior to Sunday, its highest-rated sports show was Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup between the New York Rangers and the Vancouver Canucks, which attracted an average of 4.97 million viewers."
^Houston, William (November 6, 1997). "Cole's Close Call". The Globe and Mail. p. S4. "Cole's three most memorable TV games: 1. Game 7 of the 1987 Stanley Cup Finals (Edmonton 3, Philadelphia 1). The Oilers at their peak. 2. Game 3 of 1996 World Cup of Hockey Final (United States 5, Canada 2). 'I was devastated.' 3. Game 7, 1994 Stanley Cup Finals (New York Rangers 3, Vancouver 2). 'A great series.'"