Claude Lemieux
1986: Claude Lemieux becomes the first rookie to score an overtime goal in Game 7 of an NHL playoff series.


1959: The Boston Bruins and New York Rangers begin a 23-game, 26-day exhibition tour of Europe, playing games in England, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Germany and Austria. The Rangers finish 11-9-3 against the Bruins, thanks in part to the addition of Bobby Hull. The 20-year-old Chicago Blackhawks forward, who makes the trip in place of the Rangers’ Andy Bathgate, becomes “The Golden Jet” on the bigger ice surfaces, transforming from a checking center into a freewheeling left wing with great speed and a tremendous shot; he goes on to score 39 goals and win the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s top scorer in 1959-60.

1986: Rookie Claude Lemieux scores 5:55 into overtime to give the Montreal Canadiens a 2-1 victory against the Hartford Whalers at the Forum in Game 7 of the Adams Division Final. Lemieux sends the crowd of 17,546 into pandemonium when he picks up a loose puck behind the Whalers’ net, whips around in front and lifts a backhand over the shoulder of goaltender Mike Liut and just under the crossbar for his sixth goal of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Lemieux, a 20-year-old who’s spent most of the season in the minors, becomes the first rookie to score an overtime goal in Game 7 of an NHL playoff series.

It’s a bitter loss for the Whalers, who tie the game when Dave Babych beats rookie goaltender Patrick Roy with 2:48 remaining in the third period.

1989: Goaltender Ken Wregget, a last-minute substitute for an injured Ron Hextall, makes 39 saves to help the Philadelphia Flyers defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 in Game 7 of the Patrick Division Final at the Civic Center. The Flyers limit the Penguins to a second-period goal by Mario Lemieux. Dave Poulin’s shorthanded goal 6:57 into the second period puts the Flyers ahead 2-1 and Mike Bullard scores a power-play goal early in the third period. Scott Mellanby hits the empty net with 28 seconds left and the Flyers advance to the Wales Conference Final.

1993: Dino Ciccarelli of the Detroit Red Wings becomes the first player in NHL history to score three goals in a playoff game with three teams. Ciccarelli, who’s had playoff hat tricks with the Minnesota North Stars and Washington Capitals, scores a record-tying three power-play goals in a 7-3 road win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 6 of the Norris Division Semifinals. He scores twice in the second period, then completes hat trick by beating Daren Puppa at 19:37 of the third. 

1997: The Anaheim Ducks wrap up the first playoff series victory in their history by defeating the visiting Phoenix Coyotes 3-0 in Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Guy Hebert makes 31 saves for the first playoff shutout of his NHL career. David Karpa gives the Ducks a 1-0 lead when he scores 3:11 into the first period, and second-period goals by Steve Rucchin and Joe Sacco put the game away.

On the same night, Derek Plante of the Buffalo Sabres becomes the first player in NHL history to score the tying goal in the third period and the overtime winner in a Game 7. Plante ties the game by scoring 6:29 into the third period, then gets the winner at 5:24 of OT to give the Sabres a 3-2 victory against the visiting Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

2011: Rookie forward Benn Ferriero, playing in his first Stanley Cup Playoff game on his 24th birthday, celebrates by scoring at 7:03 of overtime to give the San Jose Sharks a 2-1 victory against the Red Wings in the opener of their Western Conference Semifinal series at HP Pavilion (now SAP Center). Ferriero’s harmless-looking shot from the left circle becomes the game-winning goal when it hits the stick of Detroit defenseman Brad Stuart and goes through the legs of goaltender Jimmy Howard. It’s the Sharks’ fifth playoff win of the 2011 postseason and the fourth in overtime.


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