THIS DATE IN NHL HISTORY: May 6
1976: Reggie Leach ties a single-game playoff record by scoring five goals in the Philadelphia Flyers’ 6-3 series-clinching victory against the Boston Bruins at the Spectrum in Game 5 of the Semifinals.
Leach scores once in the first period, has three consecutive goals in the second and scores again in the third, giving him five goals on seven shots. He equals the mark set by Maurice Richard of the Montreal Canadiens in 1944 and matched by Darryl Sittler of the Toronto Maple Leafs two weeks before Leach did it. The record-tying performance extends Leach’s goal-scoring streak to nine games, also a playoff record.
“I was in the right place at the right time,” Leach says after the game, according to The New York Times. “Once you get going, you get all the confidence in the world. I started thinking after the first goal that all I had to do way shoot and I’d score.”
1982: The Vancouver Canucks advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time by defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 in Game 5 of the Campbell Conference Final at Chicago Stadium. Defenseman Lars Lindgren sets up three of the Canucks’ six goals, the most they’ve scored in a playoff game to that time. Richard Brodeur makes 36 saves for the Canucks, who get third-period goals by Darcy Rota, Stan Smyl and Ivan Boldirev to put the game away.
1994: Ulf Dahlen scores three goals for his first playoff hat trick and the first in the history of the San Jose Sharks in a 5-2 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals at San Jose Arena (now SAP Center). Dahlen scores twice in San Jose’s three-goal second period and finishes his hat trick by scoring late in the third.
1995: Joe Sakic completes a hat trick by scoring at 19:22 of the third period to give the Quebec Nordiques a 5-4 victory against the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the Colisee. Sakic starts Quebec’s comeback from down 4-2 by scoring his second goal at 9:44 of the third period and completes it by beating Rangers goalie Mike Richter for the win.
2010: Johan Franzen of the Detroit Red Wings scores the second-fastest three goals from the start of a game in playoff history in a 7-1 win against the San Jose Sharks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals at Joe Louis Arena. Franzen completes a natural hat trick by scoring 11:16 into the game; only Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins (three goals in the first 6:55 on April 25, 1989) has a faster playoff hat trick. Franzen has two assists before scoring a third-period power-play goal to complete a four-goal, six-point night.
2012: Martin Brodeur celebrates his 40th birthday by making 20 saves to help the New Jersey Devils to a 4-2 victory against the Flyers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Prudential Center. He becomes the oldest goaltender to start a Stanley Cup Playoff game on his birthday, passing Tony Esposito, who shut out the St. Louis Blues 2-0 on April 23, 1982, his 39th birthday. Brodeur also becomes the first goaltender to play in a Stanley Cup Playoff game as a teenager and a 40-year-old.