Twenty Years Later - Rangers 4, Penguins 3 - 10-20-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

"Twenty Years Later" is a segment, with a highly unimaginative name, which will appear on Empty Netters throughout the 2010-11 season. We will examine the Penguins' 1990-91 season which led to the first Stanley Cup title in franchise history. We will look back on games on a particular date and catch up with former players, coaches, executives and media members who were a part or around that team.

Today, we look at the Penguins' 4-3 loss against the Rangers, Oct. 20, 1990.

The Penguins returned home to the Mellon Arena and faced the defending Patrick Division champion Rangers. Right winger Mike Gartner gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead 11:02 into the first period by putting a rebound off a shot by right winger Brian Mullen behind Penguins goaltender Tom Barrasso. Mullen and defenseman Brian Leetch had assists.

At 3:46 of the second period, center Bernie Nicholls swept a rebound of a shot from defenseman Randy Moller into the cage and gave New York a 2-0 lead. Moller and right winger Ray Sheppard.

Midway through the period, a potential goal by Penguins rookie right winger Jaromir Jagr was waved off by referee Denis Morel.

Late in the second period at 18:45, the Rangers went up 3-0 when center Mark Janssens snapped a shot by the glove hand of Barrasso from the hash marks. Left winger Kris King and defenseman David Shaw were credited with assists.

At 4:22 of the third period, the Penguins mounted a comeback. Right winger Joey Mullen, brother of the Rangers' Brian, beat Rangers goaltender Brian Vanbiesbrouck. Defenseman Paul Coffey and center John Cullen had assists.

Less than half a minute later at 4:43, Cullen made it 3-2, off assists from Coffey and right winger Tony Tanti.

At 12:14, the penguins managed to tie the game, 3-3, when Coffey put a shot by Vanbiesbrouck with Cullen getting an assist.

Any hopes of a comeback were dashed however at 16:43 of the period when Brian Mullen knocked a rebound off a shot by center Darren Turcotte out of the air and behind Barrasso. Turcotte and Leetch had assists.


-Barrasso made 28 saves in the loss.

-The three stars were 1.) Brian Mullen 2.) Coffey 3.) Nicholls

-Penguins left winger Kevin Stevens had an eight-game scoring streak snapped.

-Penguins defenseman Zarley Zalapski was "knocked out" according to head coach Bob Johnson when he was hit head first into the boards by King.

Also in the news that day:

-Despite wide receiver Ronald Redman and quarterback Alex Van Pelt connecting on two touchdown passes, Pitt lost to Louisville, 27-24 at Pitt Stadium.

-Running back Shelly Hammonds ran for 206 yards and two touchdown for Penn State in a 40-21 win against Boston College at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

-Wide receiver Raghib "Rocket"  Ismail accounted for 258 yards of total offense and a touchdown for Notre Dame in a 29-20 defeat of Miami in Notre Dame Stadium. It was the final meeting in football between the two schools to date.

-The Cincinnati Reds claimed the World Series by beating the Athletics, 2-1, in Game 4 at Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. Reds pitcher Jose Rijo claimed series MVP honors after allowing 1 earned run and recording nine strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings. At one point, he retired 20 consecutive batters.

-A federal judge ruled oil giant Exxon must stand trial for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

(Photo: Penguins Hockey Cards)

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.