June 20 NHL History
1995: Defenseman Scott Niedermayer’s spectacular goal and a more conventional one by forward Jim Dowd carry the New Jersey Devils within two wins of their first Stanley Cup championship.
Niedermayer uses his speed to blast through the neutral zone and drive in on Detroit Red Wings goaltender Mike Vernon. His shot misses the net, but the puck comes right back to Niedermayer, who scores at 9:47 of the third periodto tie Game 2 of the Final at 2-2. Dowd puts the Devils ahead 3-2 with 1:24 left by knocking in the rebound of a shot by defenseman Shawn Chambers, and Stephane Richer’s empty-netter wraps up a 4-2 win at Joe Louis Arena that gives the Devils a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.
Dowd’s goal is the winner, but Niedermayer’s is the one that Detroit coach Scotty Bowman wants to talk about.
“The Niedermayer goal was tough to take,” Bowman says. “We know his speed and we let him take the puck from his own goal line through a pretty wide gap in the neutral zone.”
2008: The Tampa Bay Lightning use the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft at Ottawa to select center Steven Stamkos from Sarnia of the Ontario Hockey League. The Los Angeles Kings, picking second, take Guelph defenseman Drew Doughty. The Atlanta Thrashers and St. Louis Blues, picking third and fourth, respectively, also take defensemen; Atlanta selects Zach Bogosian and St. Louis selects Alex Pietrangelo.
2012: Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins picks up a hat trick of honors at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas. Malkin wins the Hart Trophy as most valuable player to go along with the Art Ross Trophy as the leading regular-season scorer and the Ted Lindsay Award, given to the most outstanding player as voted by members of the NHL Players’ Association.
“It’s a special day to me,” Malkin says. “I hope it’s not the last one. I try to work every year and I hope to be here again.”