NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — “Fetisov for the Devils plays it cross-ice … into the far corner … Matteau swoops in to intercept … Matteau behind the net … swings it in front … He scores! MATTEAU! MATTEAU! MATTEAU! Stephane Matteau! And the Rangers have one more hill to climb, baby! But it’s Mount Vancouver! The Rangers are headed to the finals!”
New York has had its share of great calls. But some are immortal.
Let’s fire up the flux capacitor and dial back the calendar 20 years to May 27, 1994, when Rangers playoff hero Stephane Matteau scored the double-overtime winner against New Jersey in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals:
Howie Rose’s call still gives Rangers fans the chills. But believe it or not, Rose was actually worried that he bungled it.
“He said he was afraid for a few minutes that Esa Tikkanen might have touched the puck, which would have spoiled the whole thing,” John Kreiser, author of “The Wait Is Over: The New York Rangers and the 1994 Stanley Cup,” recently told WFAN’s Peter Schwartz.
Of course, the Rangers went on to win the Stanley Cup, ending a 54-year drought.
Now the Blueshirts have a chance to advance to the championship series for the first time since Matteau’s goal sealed the deal 20 years ago. All they need is a win Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5.
“It’s a moment that a lot of broadcasters work their entire careers for and never get,” Rose told the New York Post. “Particularly now, with the 20th anniversary and the Rangers on a pretty great run, there are even more reminders today than the last couple of years.
“For it to have endured for 20 years, it’s pretty neat. I will say that I don’t think it would have taken on the apparent life it has had they not won the Cup.”
Matteau will celebrating the anniversary Tuesday at Big Shots Sports Club in Woodbridge, N.J., signing autographs from 6-8 p.m.
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