May 20 NHL HISTORY
A hot, humid evening in Buffalo combines with a non-air conditioned Memorial Auditorium to slow things down. Play is interrupted five times during regulation. After Sabres defenseman Bill Hajt scores midway through the third period to tie the game 4-4, it’s interrupted seven times during overtime so players and rink attendants can skate around and try to dissipate the fog.
Despite the conditions, neither team is able to score until Buffalo’s Rene Robert beats Bernie Parent at 18:29 to give the Sabres the victory.
“I saw Robert’s shot too late for me to come out and stop it,” Parent said. “I’m surprised the overtime took so long. It was hard to see the puck from the red line. If three men came down and one made a good pass from the red line, you couldn’t see the puck. A good shot from the red line could have won it.”
1986: The Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames combine for four goals in a span of 1:34 during the first period of Game 3 of the Final; it’s the fastest four goals by two teams in a Final game. Joel Otto’s power-play goal at 17:59 puts the Flames ahead 2-1, but the Canadiens get goals by Bobby Smith, Mats Naslund and Bob Gainey to take a 4-2 lead after one period. Montreal wins 5-3 to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.
1992: The Chicago Blackhawks tie a single-year record with their 10th consecutive playoff victory when Jeremy Roenick scores at 2:45 of overtime to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in Game 3 of the Campbell Conference Final at Northlands Coliseum. The Blackhawks trail 2-0 before scoring three times in the second period; Oilers defenseman Brian Glynn’s goal with less than 13 minutes left in the third period forces overtime.
1993: Montreal sets an NHL record with its seventh straight playoff overtime victory when Guy Carbonneau scores at 12:34 of OT to give the Canadiens a 2-1 win against the New York Islanders in Game 3 of the Wales Conference Final at Nassau Coliseum. Vincent Damphousse scores with 5:14 remaining in the third period to tie the game 1-1, and Patrick Roy makes 31 saves before Carbonneau wins it to give the Canadiens a 3-0 lead in the series.
1997: Eric Lindros scores three goals for the first playoff hat trick of his NHL career to help Philadelphia defeat the New York Rangers 6-3 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Madison Square Garden. Lindros scores the first of Philadelphia’s two goals in the first period, then breaks a 2-2 tie at 6:35 of the third. After Trent Klatt’s goal with 5:01 remaining puts the Flyers ahead 4-3, Lindros powers his way down the ice and puts the puck into an empty net to complete his hat trick.
2002: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios becomes the first U.S.-born player to appear in 200 Stanley Cup Playoff games when he takes the ice for Game 2 of the Western Conference Final against the Colorado Avalanche at Joe Louis Arena. Captain Steve Yzerman has an assist on Nicklas Lidstrom’s third-period goal to become the second player in Red Wings history to have 100 NHL playoff assists. However, the Avalanche go home with the victory when Chris Drury’s goal 2:17 into overtime gives them a 4-3 win.