May 23 NHL HISTORY
1979: The New England Whalers, one of four teams from the World Hockey Association slated to join the NHL for the 1979-80 season, officially change their name to the Hartford Whalers.
1991: The Pittsburgh Penguins score four times in the first 13:41 and hold on to defeat the Minnesota North Stars 6-4 at the Civic Center in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. Mario Lemieux scores 5:36 into the game and Kevin Stevens makes it 2-0 at 10:08. Mark Recchi then scores twice in less than two minutes to give the Penguins the fastest 4-0 lead in Final history. The North Stars twice get within a goal before Pittsburgh’s Troy Loney scores with 1:39 remaining in the third period. Defenseman Larry Murphy finishes with four assists for the Penguins, who take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.
1995: Paul Coffey of the Detroit Red Wings ties Denis Potvin as the highest-scoring defenseman in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Coffey has a goal and an assist in Detroit’s 6-2 victory against the San Jose Sharks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals at Joe Louis Arena. The two points give him 164, matching the record Potvin set with the New York Islanders before retiring in 1988.
2000: Joe Nieuwendyk scores at 12:10 of overtime to give the Dallas Stars a 3-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Reunion Arena in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final. Ed Belfour makes 29 saves for Dallas before defenseman Richard Matvichuk takes a shot from the left point and Nieuwendyk deflects it past Patrick Roy for the victory. The win gives the Stars a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.
2010: Chicago Blackhawks advances to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1992 by defeating the Sharks 4-2 at United Center to complete a four-game sweep in the Western Conference Final. Dustin Byfuglien scores his third game-winner of the series when he gets the go-ahead goal with 5:55 remaining in the third period, and Kris Versteeg scores into an empty net to cap Chicago’s comeback from down 2-0. Goaltender Antti Niemi finishes with 16 saves.
2015: The Chicago Blackhawks continue their success in extra-long Stanley Cup Playoff games when Antoine Vermette scores 5:37 into the second overtime for a series-tying 5-4 victory against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final at United Center.
It’s the fourth win for Chicago in as many overtime games during the 2015 playoffs; each of the four goes past the first overtime. The Blackhawks are the first team in NHL history to win four multiple-overtime games in the same playoff year.
Vermette, a healthy scratch in Game 3, ends the game by tucking the puck past Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen. It’s a disappointing finish for the Ducks, who take a 4-3 lead by scoring three times in 37 seconds in the third period but allow the Blackhawks to tie the game 4-4 on a power-play goal by Patrick Kane with 8:21 remaining.