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TieBreaker! Greatest Stanley Cup Finals Overtime Goals

TieBreaker! Greatest Stanley Cup Finals Overtime Goals

Hockey

Stanley Cup overtime winners

We are Tiebreaker.com. We are all about your favorite sports. And, sometimes, we are about tiebreakers. Nowhere are tiebreakers more dramatic than in the Stanley Cup Finals, where games can go two, three, sometimes four overtimes deep into the night. Sometimes a championship is won (or lost) on a tie-breaking overtime goal. Only twice in Stanley Cup history have the finals been decided on a Game 7 overtime goal, and none since 1954. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t had some classic tiebreaker moments. Here are our Top 10 Stanley Cup Finals “tiebreakers.”

Pete Babando, Detroit Red Wings (1950)

From 1940-94, New York Rangers fans suffered through one of sports’ worst “curses,” right there with the Cubs, Red Sox and Buffalo Bills. It was said that, after the Rangers won the 1940 Stanley Cup, the team burned the paid-off mortgage to Madison Square Garden in the Cup’s bowl, thereby angering the hockey gods. Another theory held that a rival owner had placed a curse on the team in the mid-1940s. Regardless, it wasn’t until Mark Messier, Brian Leetch and Mike Richter finally delivered in 1994 against Vancouver that Rangers fans were free of the taunting chant from opposing fans: “Nineteen-FORTY!” …

Stanley Cup overtime winners

New York Daily News

But if the curse was set in motion in 1940, it first manifested itself in 1950, when the Rangers faced the Detroit Red Wings in the finals, who were without Hall of Famer Gordie Howe due to injury. In one of the most unusual finals rounds in NHL history, the Rangers did not play a single home game in New York, as Madison Square Garden was booked at the time with a circus. Games 2 and 3 were played in Toronto, while Detroit hosted the other five games …

Stanley Cup overtime winners

NHL.com

Don Raleigh scored overtime winners for the Rangers in Games 4 and 5 to give New York a 3-2 series lead, but the Red Wings took Game 6, then went to double overtime in Game 7 before Pete Babando scored 8:31 into the period to clinch the Cup. It was the first time a Stanley Cup Finals Game 7 was decided in overtime, the second coming four years later, also won by the Red Wings. The Rangers would wait another 22 years to reach the Finals and 44 before finally winning it.

Stanley Cup overtime winners

NHL.com

Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins (1970)

The image is unforgettable. There is Orr, the Bruins’ all-everything defenseman, the man who changed the game of hockey and launched a thousand youth rinks across New England. He is literally flying, his arms outstretched, his face contorted in joy, his shot having found the back of the net in overtime of Game 4 of the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals to complete a four-game Boston sweep …

greatest Stanley Cup finals overtime goals

NHL.com

Orr resides in the pantheon of players who revolutionized the way hockey is played at the NHL level. With his unique skill-set, a fast, play-making scorer, Orr changed the role of the defenseman forever, turning the position into a potent offensive force. He still holds the record for most points and assists in a single season by a defenseman and was a three-time MVP.

Stanley Cup overtime winners

Jared Wickerham / Getty

Orr led the Bruins to two Stanley Cup titles, the second coming in 1972. But it was the sweep of the St. Louis Blues, and the cup-clinching overtime goal in Game 4, that cemented Orr as a sports icon. The goal came just 40 seconds into overtime, with Orr taking a feed from behind the goal from Derek Sanderson and one-timing a shot on the give-and-go as he was being tripped by a defeated Blues defesneman. The image of the soaring Orr was captured by photographer Ray Lussier and remains arguably the most famous hockey photo of all time …

Stanley Cup overtime winners

Bruce Bennett / Getty

Bobby Nystrom, New York Islanders (1980)

From the mid-1970s through the 80s, the NHL was ruled by three consecutive dynasties. The Canadiens won four straight Cups from 1976-79 and Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers won five championships between 1984-90. In between, there were the New York Islanders, who ruled the hockey world from 1980-83 with four consecutive titles of their own …

Stanley Cup overtime winners

Newsday

The Long Island dynasty was launched on May 24, 1980, with a series-clinching overtime goal by Bobby Nystrom in Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers. The game was broadcast by CBS and would be the last NHL game to air on one of the three major U.S. networks until 1990. Nystrom scored at 7:11 of overtime to give the Islanders the first of their four Cups in a row …

Stanley Cup overtime winners

Bruce Bennett / Getty

Nystrom is famous for more than his overtime heroics. As the league completed its transition to all players wearing helmets for safety, Nystrom was of the last players to appear in games without one. Nystrom, who’s embrace of the community on Long Island earned him the nickname, “Mr. Islander,” had a team award named for him in 1991 that is still given out to this day to the Islander who best exemplifies leadership, hustle, and dedication.

Stanley Cup overtime winners

Bruce Bennett / Getty

Brian Skrudland, Montreal Canadiens (1986)

Throwback champions were the theme of 1986. The Celtics won the NBA title. Jack Nicklaus captured the Masters at age 46. Willie Shoemaker won the Kentucky Derby. And in hockey, the Montreal Canadiens were back on top. And along with another in a long line of Cup celebrations, the 1986 Canadiens made some hockey history …

Stanley Cup overtime winners

NHL.com

After the upstart Calgary Flames took Game 1 of the Finals, the Canadiens forced overtime in Game 2. Then, with the Zamboni just barely off the ice between periods, Montreal tied the series and broke a record. Right off the opening faceoff to start the overtime period, a bouncing puck landed on the stick on Montreal forward Mike McPhee, who started a quick 2-on-1 rush with center Brian Skrudland …

Stanley Cup overtime winners

Otto Greule Jr. / Getty

In the time it took to read that last sentence, Skrudland shot the puck and scored. The goal, coming just nine seconds into the overtime period, remains the fastest overtime goal ever scored in the Stanley Cup Finals. The goal stunned the Flames, who never recovered. It spurred the Canadiens to four straight victories and the 23rd Stanley Cup in franchise history.

Stanley Cup game winners

Ice Hockey Wiki

Petr Klima, Edmonton Oilers (1990)

The Edmonton Oilers won four Stanley Cups with Wayne Gretzky leading the way between 1984-88, but it was Edmonton’s title after Gretzky was traded to Los Angeles that featured one of the most famous tiebreaking goals in Stanley Cup finals history. With team leadership now belonging to Mark Messier and Jari Kurri, the Oilers took on the Boston Bruins in the 1990 Finals …

Stanley Cup overtime winners

Copper N Blue

Game 1 at the Boston Garden would become the longest Stanley Cup Finals game in history, venturing deep into the third overtime before an unlikely hero would come through for Edmonton. Petr Klima had already made hockey history in 1985 by becoming the first Czech-born player to defect to North America and play for a U.S.-based team, joining the Detroit Red Wings. He spent four seasons in Detroit before being traded to the Oilers during the 1989-90 season …

Stanley Cup overtime winners

Mike Powell / Getty

Klima had 25 goals in 63 games for the Oilers, but after two lackluster periods in Game 1 against the Bruins, he did not leave the bench in the third period and the first two overtimes. But after 15 minutes of the third OT, Klima was given a shift on the ice and his fresh legs made all the difference, beating Bruins goalie Andy Moog for the game-winner at 15:13, propelling Edmonton to a five-game series win.

Stanley Cup overtime winners

Oilersnation

John LeClair, Montreal Canadiens (1993)

There was no one overtime hero for the Canadiens in 1993. It was a remarkable postseason team accomplishment that puts this team on the list. En route to defeating Wayne Gretzky’s Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup finals, the Canadiens would win a record 10 consecutive overtime contents over their 16 postseason wins, including three in the final round …

Stanley Cup overtime winners

NHL.com

The first of the three straight overtime wins in the finals game in Game 2, in what is remembered most for Kings defenseman Marty McSorely’s illegal stick. The power play that resulted from the infraction late in the third period allowed the Canadiens to tie the score and send the game to overtime. Eric Desjardins, whose second goal of the game tied the score after McSorely’s penalty, notched the overtime game-winner for the hat trick …

Stanley Cup overtime winners

Glenn Cratty / Getty

Desjardin’s overtime goal also evened the series at 1-1 and the Habs would not lose again. In Game 3, John LeClair scored just 40 seconds into overtime to give the Canadiens a 4-3 win and a 2-1 series lead. It would be LeCair again in overtime of Game 4, becoming the first player since Maurice “Rocket” Richard to notch OT goals in consecutive games and give Montreal their 10th straight overtime win in the 1993 playoffs. Game 5 was merely a regulation win for the Canadiens. They did not mind. It clinched the Cup.

stanley Cup overtime winners

NHL.com

Brett Hull, Dallas Stars (1999)

The most controversial overtime goal in Stanley Cup Finals history? That honor has to go to Brett Hull, and hockey fans in Buffalo are more than happy to remind you. Hull’s triple-overtime goal in Game 6 gave the Dallas Stars their only Stanley Cup victory in franchise history and will be long remembered for more than being one of the longest overtime finals games ever played …

Stanley Cup overtime winners

Harry How / Getty

Back in 1999, the rule in the NHL was that a player could not have his skate inside the goalie crease area when scoring a goal, unless the player had control of the puck upon entering the crease. When Hull scored 14:51 into the third overtime – making it the second-longest game in Stanley Cup Finals history, his left skate was clearly in the crease area before he shot the puck past Buffalo goalie Dominik Hasek. Sabres players, coaches and fans were incensed that the series ended on what they believed should have been a no-goal …

Stanley Cup overtime winners

Hockey News

The league did not review the play in real time and later announced that despite Buffalo’s protestations, the goal was legal. The league ruled that Hull had maintained possession of the puck as his skate entered the crease, therefore his goal was allowable under the rules at the time. “Did he or did he not have possession and control?” NHL supervisor of officals Bryan Lewis said after the game. “Our view was yes, he did. He played the puck from his foot to his stick, shot and scored.” The crease rule was changed in 2000, allowing for greater latitude among the referees to allow goals when a player has entered the crease area.

Stanley Cup overtime winners

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Petr Sykora, Pittsburgh Penguins (2008)

Is Petr Sykora the Babe Ruth of hockey? Well, the forward certainly did not score 714 goals in his career, and no one ever named a candy bar after him (yes, we know, Baby Ruth wasn’t named for the baseball player, work with us here.) But in one very memorable way, the Sultan of Swat and Sykora have everything in common. In 1934, Ruth famously called his own shot in the World Series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. In 2008, Sykora did the same in the Stanley Cup Finals against Detroit …

Stanley Cup overtime winners

Christian Peterson / Getty

Game 5 of the Finals found the Penguins trailing the Red Wings 3-1 in games and 3-2 on the scoreboard with a minute to play. But Max Talbot scored with 35 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. Eventually the game drifted into a second OT, and during a pause in play, Sykora banged on the glass to get the attention of NBC’s center-ice commentator Pierre McGuire. “I’m going to score it” Sykora said about the inevitable tie-breaker …

Stanley Cup overtime winners

Jim McIssac / Getty

It would take one more period, but Sykora made good on his prediction, potting the game-winner at 9:57 of the third overtime, in what became the fifth-longest finals game in history. But the Red Wings would get the last laugh, winning the series in Game 6, becoming only the second team to allow a triple-overtime goal in the finals and still win the series.

Stanley Cup overtime winners

Dave Sandford / Getty

Alex Burrows, Vancouver Canucks (2011)

His team didn’t win the series, but no one can claim that Vancouver’s Alex Burrows didn’t have an eventful Stanley Cup Finals against the Boston Bruins in 2011. Let’s just say Burrows really sunk his teeth into making this list, scoring 11 seconds into overtime in Game 2 to record the second-fastest overtime goal in Finals history. But Burrows was already the focal point of the series even before his Game 2 drama …

Harry How / Getty

In Game 1, also a Canucks victory, Burrows made the headlines for all the wrong reasons, having been accused by the Bruins of biting the finger of their star player, Patrice Bergeron. The Bruins complained vociferously that Burrows should be suspended by the league for Game 2, but the NHL ruled that video evidence was not conclusive that Burrows had indeed enjoyed a knuckle sandwich …

Stanley Cup overtime winners

Rich Lam / Getty

So, naturally, it would be Burrows who would score the game-winner in Game 2. After a Bruins turnover in the neutral zone off the opening faceoff, Burrows rushed the puck at Bruins goalie Tim Thomas. Thomas went to his trademark defensive move, moving well out of the crease to cut off Burrows’ shot angle. But Burrows fooled Thomas by faking his shot, then went around the back of the net and swept the put into the open space for the winner. Bergeron and Thomas would get the last laugh, however, erasing the 2-0 deficit to win the Cup in seven games.

Stanley Cup overtime winners

Harry How / Getty

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