THIS DATE IN NHL HISTORY: May 13
1975: The defending champion Philadelphia Flyers earn a return trip to the Stanley Cup Final by defeating the New York Islanders 4-1 at the Spectrum in Game 7 of the Semifinals, The Flyers bring out their lucky charm, Kate Smith, for a live version of “God Bless America”; Islanders captain Ed Westfall presents her with flowers before the music starts. But once the puck drops the night belongs to Philadelphia’s Rick MacLeish, who scores twice in a three-goal first period and caps his hat trick by scoring an empty-net goal. The Islanders come up one win short of rallying from 3-0 deficits in back-to-back series.
1978: The Montreal Canadiens win their their ninth consecutive Cup Final game since 1976 by defeating the Bruins 4-1 in Game 1 at the Forum. Guy Lafleur scores Montreal’s first goal and assists on the next two. Ken Dryden makes 15 saves to set a record for consecutive wins in the Final by a goaltender. Overall, it’s their 10th consecutive victory in the Final; their last loss comes in Game 5 in 1973.
1980: Islanders defenseman Denis Potvin scores the first overtime power-play goal in the history of the Cup Final, giving New York a 4-3 victory against Philadelphia in Game 1 at the Spectrum. Potvin assists on the tying goal by Stefan Persson with 3:42 remaining in the third period, then beats Pete Peeters at 4:08 of overtime, one second before a penalty to Jim Watson would have expired. It turns out to be the only victory by the road team in the six-game series.
1993: The Los Angeles Kings advance to the conference finals for the first time in their 26-year history. Wayne Gretzky scores one goal and has two assists in a 5-3 victory against the visiting Vancouver Canucks in Game 6 of the Smythe Division Final. Gretzky sets up second-period goals by Tomas Sandstrom and Warren Rychel before scoring an unassisted goal midway through the third period. It’s the first time since entering the NHL in 1967 that the Kings win multiple Stanley Cup Playoff series in the same year.
2006: Jason Pominville becomes the first player in playoff history to score a series-ending shorthanded goal in overtime. His goal at 2:26 of OT gives the Buffalo Sabres a 3-2 win against the Ottawa Senators in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
2009: Sidney Crosby comes out on top against Alex Ovechkin in their first playoff series against each other when the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Washington Capitals 6-2 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Crosby opens the scoring at 12:36 of the first period and Craig Adams makes it 2-0 eight seconds later; it’s the fastest two goals by one team in a Game 7. Crosby finishes the game with two goals and an assist; Ovechkin scores a power-play goal in the second period; but not until the Penguins have a 5-0 lead.
2013: The Boston Bruins become the first NHL team to win Game 7 of a Stanley Cup Playoff series after trailing by three goals in the third period. The Bruins rally to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 in overtime at TD Garden to win the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal.
Toronto leads 4-1 after Nazem Kadri scores 5:29 into the third period. The Bruins make it 4-2 when Nathan Horton scores at 9:18, but the Maple Leafs appear to have the game in hand until Boston pulls goaltender Tuukka Rask with two minutes remaining. Not only do the Maple Leafs not hit the empty net, the Bruins get sixth-attacker goals by Milan Lucic at 18:38 and Patrice Bergeron at 19:09 to tie the game 4-4.
Bergeron caps the comeback when he beats Toronto goaltender James Reimer at 6:05 of overtime.