June 7 NHL History
1976: Denis Potvin of the New York Islanders breaks Bobby Orr’s eight-year lock on the Norris Trophy when he’s named the NHL’s top defenseman for the 1975-76 season. Potvin’s teammate Bryan Trottier wins the Calder Trophy as the League’s top rookie.
1989: Wayne Gretzky becomes the first player in NHL history to win the same award nine times when he is named the recipient of the Hart Trophy as MVP. This one comes after his first season with the Los Angeles Kings; he won the previous eight playing with the Edmonton Oilers.
1997: The Stanley Cup returns to Hockeytown for the first time in 42 years.
The Detroit Red Wings complete a sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers with a 2-1 victory in Game 4 of the Final at Joe Louis Arena to win their first championship since 1955. Nicklas Lidstrom scores late in the first period to put the Red Wings up 1-0, and Darren McCarty makes it 2-0 at 13:02 of the second. Goaltender Mike Vernon makes 26 saves, allowing only a goal by Eric Lindros with 15 seconds remaining.
One year after being benched for Detroit’s final 10 playoff games, Vernon wins the Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason MVP with a 16-4 record, a 1.76 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage.
1993: John LeClair scores at 14:37 of overtime to give the visiting Montreal Canadiens a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 of the Final. It’s the Canadiens’ NHL-record 10th straight playoff overtime win. LeClair beats goalie Kelly Hrudey to become the second player in NHL history to score an overtime goal in back-to-back games during the Final. The first was Don Raleigh of the New York Rangers in 1950.
2004: The Tampa Bay Lightning edge the Calgary Flames 2-1 in Game 7 of the Final at St. Pete Times Forum to win the Stanley Cup for the first time since entering the NHL in 1992. Ruslan Fedotenko scores once in each of the first two periods for the Lightning, enabling them to survive a power-play goal by the Flames’ Craig Conroy midway through the third. Tampa Bay goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin makes 16 saves. The victory is especially sweet for Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk, who’s played an NHL-record 1,759 games (regular season and playoffs) during his 22 NHL seasons before winning the Cup.
2006: Cam Ward becomes the first rookie goaltender to earn a shutout in the Final since Montreal’s Patrick Roy in 1986 when the Carolina Hurricanes defeat the Edmonton Oilers 5-0 in Game 2 at RBC Center. Center Matt Cullen assists on three of the five goals by Carolina, which takes a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.
2013: The Pittsburgh Penguins are swept in a playoff series for the first time since 1979 when they lose 1-0 to the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final at TD Garden. Defenseman Adam McQuaid scores 5:01 into the third period, and goaltender Tuukka Rask makes 26 saves. Pittsburgh’s streak of 45 consecutive playoff series without being swept is the second-longest in NHL history, behind only the Canadiens’ run of 56 series from 1953 through 1980.
2014: Dustin Brown scores at 10:26 of the second overtime to give the Kings a 5-4 victory against the Rangers in Game 2 of the Final at Staples Center. New York leads 2-0 after one period and 4-2 after two, but the Kings get third-period goals by Dwight King and former Rangers forward Marian Gaborik to tie it and force overtime. The Kings become the third team in NHL history to overcome two-goal deficits and win back-to-back games in the Final. They also become the first team in NHL history to win three straight games in one playoff year after not leading for even one second of playing time in any of them.