The 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs are about to get underway in a few days, and we anticipate all-out action and more memorable moments to be written down in the history books. Meanwhile, as the regular season comes to a close, let’s take a look back at some of the best moments in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including underdog wins, astonishing performances by rookies, late winners, and other memorable occasions during the postseason.
Without further ado, here are some of the best Stanley Cup Playoff moments brought to you by the NitroBetting news team. Be sure to check out for all the latest 2021 Stanley Cup odds and lines at out online Bitcoin sportsbook before placing your bets!
The Phantom Goal by the Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks had been on a Stanley Cup drought for a while before Patrick Kane scored one of the most controversial goals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs history. Kane’s goal against the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals gave the Blackhawks the title after six games in the series. What makes this one of the best moments in the Stanley Cup Playoffs was the fact that no one saw right away that the puck went into the net. There was a brief moment of silence before Kane and his teammates celebrated the goal. This was then coined as “The Phantom Goal” incident.
The Longest Game in Finals History
The longest game in history deserves a place on this list, which happened in Game 1 of the 1990 Stanley Cup Final between the Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins. It went on to a triple-overtime marathon. A 25-minute power failure in the building dragged out the game even further. The game did not end until 1:22 in the morning. A total of 115 minutes of hockey was played. Eventually, the Oilers claimed victory and finished the series in five games to seal a well-earned dynasty.
Expansion Team Wins the Cup
The Philadelphia Flyers are the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup after the league expanded and added more franchises in 1967. First claiming the title in 1974, the Flyers were able to defend their title to win their first two straight Stanley Cups. They had a 7-game skirmish with the Rangers in the semifinals to also become the first expansion team to overcome an Original Six franchise. This was then followed by a victory against the Boston Bruins in six games to win their first title.
Steve Smith Own Goal
The Edmonton Oilers would have secured five-straight Stanley Cup wins but Steve Smith’s blunder prevented them from accomplishing that. This happened in Game 7 of the Campbell Conference Semifinals against the Calgary Flames wherein Smith tried to push the puck up the ice from behind the goal. But, this move did not go as planned, as the puck bounced off the goalie’s skates and went straight to the goal. This also ended the Oilers’ campaign for a three-peat. The team would eventually win two championships in 1987 and 1988, with this 1986 loss holding the team back from five straight championships.
Ovechkin Game-Winner vs. Penguins
Ovechkin triggered the turning point when Washington squared off with Pittsburgh, which happened during his Game 3 winner. He impressed the crowd with a play that saw a streaking Ovechkin up the ice to face a 2v1 battle against Nicklas Backstrom before smashing a shot off the post. Ovi kept his composure and caught his rebound out of midair and through Matt Murray. Ultimately, this move that featured top hand-eye coordination is one of the best we’ve seen during the playoffs.
Lester Patroc Plays at 44
Lester Patrick’s short time in front of the net was one of the most amazing moments in NHL history. The Rangers’ coach was forced to play after goalie Lorne Chabot suffered an injury in Game 2 of the series against the Montreal Maroons. Backup goalies weren’t a thing then, which prompted Patrick to play goal. This occurrence boosted the team’s confidence as Patrick saved 18 of the 19 shots on goal to claim the 2-1 victory in overtime. New York went on to win the series in 5 games.
Mario Lemieux’s Unforgettable Playoff Performance
Darryl Sittler once held the record for most points in one game with 11 to his name. But, Mario Lemieux remains the epitome of individual performance in a postseason game following a tremendous showcase in Game 5 of the 1985 division finals. The Penguins squared off with Philadelphia. Just 7 minutes into the game, Lemieux already recorded a hat trick, and by the second intermission, he already put up another 4 goals and three assists. Although Lemieux and his team would eventually lose the series in seven games, he made his way to the best moments in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Maple Leafs Come Back from a 3-0 Deficit
The Toronto Maple Leafs etched their name in the history books in 1942 when they clawed their way back from a 3-0 deficit. Pete Langelle scored the game-winner before the third period ended. Although there have been other comebacks from 0-3 down, the Leafs are still the only team to do this in the Stanley Cup Finals. The New York Islanders were the second team to pull off the comeback when they took down the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1975. In addition, the Flyers are the third team to bounce back in 2010 against the Bruins. However, what makes this a monumental moment is the fact that the Leafs are the only team to recover from a 3-0 deficit in the Stanley Cup Finals.