THIS DATE IN NHL HISTORY: May 11
1968: The Montreal Canadiens send coach Toe Blake into retirement with one last Stanley Cup championship.
The Canadiens edge the first-year St. Louis Blues 3-2 at the Forum to complete a four-game sweep in the Final and win the Cup for the 15th time. Eight of those come during Blake’s 13 seasons as coach; he also won the Cup three times during his 13 seasons as a player.
Defenseman J.C. Tremblay scores the Cup-winning goal when he beats Glenn Hall at 11:40 of the third period.
“Toe Blake hated to lose so much that he made us the same way,” Tremblay says of his fedora-wearing coach, who opts to step down despite winning the Cup for the third time in four years because “the pressure is too much.”
Hall’s heroics in the four one-goal losses don’t go unrecognized; he wins the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
1972: Bobby Orr scores his second Cup-winning goal in three seasons, helping the Boston Bruins defeat the New York Rangers 3-0 at Madison Square Garden in Game 6 of the Final. Orr beats Gilles Villemure during a power play midway through the first period, then sets up the first of Wayne Cashman’s two third-period goals. Gerry Cheevers makes 33 saves for his fifth playoff shutout. Orr becomes the fourth player to score two Cup-winning goals in his NHL career.
1978: The Boston Bruins defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3 at Boston Garden in Game 5 of the Semifinals, earning a return trip to the Cup Final. Peter McNab scores one goal and has four assists for Boston, which earns a rematch with the Canadiens in the Final after being swept in 1977.
1988: Mark Messier scores one goal and assists on three more, helping the Edmonton Oilers overpower the Detroit Red Wings 8-4 at Northlands Coliseum in Game 5 to win the Campbell Conference Final. Messier sets up each of Craig Simpson’s two goals in the first period, then scores early in the second to give the Oilers a 3-2 lead and spark a four-goal outburst that put the game away. The Oilers advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the fifth time in six seasons.
1993: Gary Shuchuk scores at 6:31 of the second overtime to give the Los Angeles Kings a 4-3 victory against the Vancouver Canucks at Pacific Coliseum in Game 5 of the Smythe Division Final. It’s one of Shuchuk’s two career playoff goals. Kelly Hrudey makes 36 saves for the Kings.
1996: The Pittsburgh Penguins’ combination of Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr is too much for the Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Lemieux scores three goals and has an assist, and Jagr also scores three goals in Pittsburgh’s series-clinching 7-3 victory at the Civic Arena. Lemieux scores once in each period; Jagr gets all three of his goals in the second.
2013: Defenseman Brooks Orpik scores the first playoff goal of his NHL career at 7:49 of overtime to give the Penguins a series-clinching 4-3 victory against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. It’s Orpik’s first goal in his past 106 regular-season and playoff games. Orpik enters the night having played 77 playoff games without scoring a goal, the third-highest total in NHL history, behind two other defensemen, Craig Muni (113) and Hal Gill (110).