May 21 NHL HISTORY
1979: The Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup for the fourth consecutive season, and for the sixth time in the 1970s, by defeating the New York Rangers 4-1 in Game 5 of the Final at the Forum.
The game is tied 1-1 entering the second period, but Montreal forward Jacques Lemaire scores a power-play goal at 1:02, Bob Gainey makes it 3-1 midway through the period and Lemaire scores again at 18:49. The Canadiens limit the Rangers to four shots in the third period and 15 for the game, making life easy for goaltender Ken Dryden.
The Canadiens win the Cup for the 22nd time in their history. It’s the last game for Lemaire, Dryden and captain Yvan Cournoyer; all three retire before the start of the 1979-80 season.
1981: Butch Goring scores two goals in the first period to help the New York Islanders defeat the Minnesota North Stars 5-1 at Nassau Coliseum in Game 5 of the Final and win the Stanley Cup for the second consecutive season. Billy Smith makes 24 saves but faces 10 shots after the first period. Goring wins the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after scoring 10 goals and finishing with 20 points in 18 games.
1991: The Pittsburgh Penguins get the jump on the North Stars in Game 4 of the Final at Met Center by scoring three goals during a two-minute span in the first 2:58. Kevin Stevens scores 58 seconds into the game, Ron Francis makes it 2-0 at 2:36 and Mario Lemieux beats Jon Casey 22 seconds later. The early three-goal lead sparks Pittsburgh to a series-tying 5-3 victory.
1995: Detroit Red Wings goaltender Mike Vernon makes 15 saves in a 6-0 victory against the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals at Joe Louis Arena. It’s the fourth NHL playoff shutout for Vernon but his first since 1989. Sergei Fedorov has a goal and three assists for Detroit.
2009: Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins becomes the third player in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to score the first goal of the game six times in one playoff year. Crosby opens the scoring 1:51 after the opening faceoff and the Penguins defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 7-4 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final at Mellon Arena. Evgeni Malkin scores three goals for the Penguins, who go on to sweep the series.
2014: The Los Angeles Kings score five goals in the third period to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final at United Center, becoming the second team in NHL history and the first in 23 years to win a playoff game by four or more goals in a game it trailed after two periods. The Blackhawks lead 2-0 late in the second period, but a goal by Justin Williams with 1:46 remaining gives Los Angeles some life. Jeff Carter scores three times during the third, helping Los Angeles win in Chicago for the first time in eight Stanley Cup Playoff games. It’s the first time a team wins by four or more goals when trailing after two periods since 1991, when the Boston Bruins score six third-period goals to overcome a 1-0 deficit in Game 5 of their first-round series against the Hartford Whalers.