May 25 NHL History
1978: The Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup for the third consecutive season by defeating the Boston Bruins 4-1 in Game 6 of the Final. After defenseman Brad Park scores a power-play goal 4:05 into the game to give the packed house at Boston Garden some hope, Steve Shutt and Mario Tremblay score in a span of 2:19 to give Montreal a 2-1 lead. Tremblay and Rejean Houle score late in the second period to make it 4-1. Ken Dryden finishes with 15 saves. Montreal defenseman Larry Robinson wins the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
1985: Wayne Gretzky scores three goals in the first period and the Edmonton Oilers hold on for a 4-3 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 3 of the Final at Northlands Coliseum. Defenseman Paul Coffey assists on all three of Gretzky’s goals, as well as a second-period power-play goal by Mike Krushelnyski that proves to be the game-winner when the Flyers rally in the third period. Mark Howe and Brian Propp score to make it a one-goal game with 5:34 remaining, but Grant Fuhr finishes with 27 saves to give the Oilers a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.
1989: Lanny McDonald finishes his career as a Stanley Cup champion when the Calgary Flames defeat the Canadiens 4-2 in Game 6 of the Final at the Forum. McDonald scores at 4:24 of the second period to put the Flames ahead 2-1, and Doug Gilmour scores twice in the third to seal the first championship in Flames history. It’s the first time since 1926, the final year before the NHL takes control of the Stanley Cup, that the Canadiens lose the last game of the Final in their own building.
1994: Mark Messier delivers on his guarantee that the New York Rangers will defeat the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final, scoring three goals in a 4-2 victory at Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
“We will win tonight,” Messier tells reporters with the Rangers down 3-2 in the best-of-7 series. His words are splashed on the front pages of newspapers all around the city.
With the Rangers down 2-0 late in the second period, Messier sets up Alex Kovalev before intermission to cut the Devils’ lead to 2-1. He ties the game early in the third period, puts New York ahead 3-2 with 7:48 remaining and caps his performance by shooting the puck the length of the ice into an empty net.
“I felt that [guaranteeing a win] would be a great way to let my players know that I believed we could go in there and win Game 6, because we had beaten them six times during the regular season — three times in their building,” Messier said.
1998: Bill Clinton becomes the first sitting U.S. president to attend an NHL game. He’s at MCI Center to see the Washington Capitals defeat the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 in overtime in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final. Buffalo forces overtime when Matthew Barnaby scores a power-play goal with 57 seconds remaining in the third period to make it 2-2. But Todd Krygier scores 3:01 into OT to even the best-of-7 series at one win apiece.