Those top five games -- the Fans' Choice Encores -- will air from Aug. 23-27. They are…
Monday, August 23
1989: Calgary at Montreal, Game 6
The Calgary Flames won their first Stanley Cup title with a six-game series victory against the Montreal Canadiens, who had defeated Calgary for the Cup in 1986. The Flames wrapped up the series with a 4-2 victory against the Canadiens in Game 6, becoming the first visiting team to beat the Canadiens for the Stanley Cup on Montreal Forum ice.
Goaltender Mike Vernon tied an NHL playoff record by registering 16 postseason wins, tying the mark Edmonton's Grant Fuhr had set the previous year.
Al MacInnis became the fourth defenseman to win the Conn Smythe Trophy since the award was instituted in 1965. MacInnis joined Serge Savard (1969), Bobby Orr (1970 and 1972) and Larry Robinson (1978). MacInnis led the League in playoff scoring with 31 points (7 goals, 24 assists) and amassed a 17-game consecutive point-scoring streak, equaling the second-longest in NHL playoff history and the longest ever by a defenseman.
Tuesday, August 24
1994: Vancouver at N.Y. Rangers, Game 7
The New York Rangers ended their 54-year Stanley Cup drought with a stirring, seven-game series win against the Vancouver Canucks. The Rangers jumped out to a 3-1 series lead, only to see the Canucks storm back with two wins, forcing a deciding Game 7 at Madison Square Garden. Viewed by a record television audience worldwide, the Rangers earned a 3-2 win and the Stanley Cup.
Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch became the first U.S.-born player to capture the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Leetch led all players in scoring during the postseason with 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in 23 games. Coach Mike Keenan, in his first season behind the Rangers bench, captured his first Stanley Cup victory. He had previously made championship series appearances with the Philadelphia Flyers (twice) and Chicago Blackhawks.
Wednesday, August 25
1999: Dallas at Buffalo, Game 6
It had been five years since the NHL's best regular-season team had also been its playoff champion, but 1998-99 the Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup after winning the Presidents' Trophy for the second year in a row. The Stars won the first Cup title in franchise history by beating the Buffalo Sabres in a hard-fought series that marked the first time since 1994 the Stanley Cup Final had not ended in a sweep. Dallas took the series in six games, with Brett Hull scoring the winning goal at 14:51 of the third overtime. The second-longest game in the history of the Stanley Cup Final ended at 1:30 a.m. local time in Buffalo.
The Stars were led by Joe Nieuwendyk, who paced all playoff performers with 11 goals and won the Conn Smythe Trophy. Mike Modano's 18 assists were tops in the playoffs, while Ed Belfour provided stellar goaltending, outperforming Buffalo's Dominik Hasek in the Final after besting Colorado's Patrick Roy in the Western Conference Final. The Stars had opened the playoffs with a four-game sweep over Edmonton before downing St. Louis in a tight six-game series that saw four games decided in OT.
Thursday, August 26
2004: Calgary at Tampa Bay, Game 7
Tampa Bay's surprising success the season before raised expectations in 2003-04. Those expectations were not just met, but exceeded. The Lightning not only won the Southeast Division for the second year in a row, they topped the entire Eastern Conference with 106 points and finished second overall behind the Detroit Red Wings. In the playoffs, they reached the Stanley Cup Final, where they met the upstart Calgary Flames and defeated them in a tense, seven-game series.
The Lightning opened the playoffs with a five-game victory against the New York Islanders. Martin St. Louis, who had led the NHL in scoring and earned the Hart Trophy as MVP in addition to the Art Ross Trophy, scored the series winner in overtime. Round two featured a four-game sweep of the Montreal Canadiens. A seven-game victory against the Philadelphia Flyers followed in the Eastern Conference Final.
Out west, fans in Calgary were painting the town red after victories against the Vancouver Canucks, the Red Wings and the San Jose Sharks. Against Tampa Bay, the Flames built up a 3-2 lead in the series through five games and were poised to win the Cup at home, but the Lightning evened matters and spoiled the party when St. Louis scored just 33 seconds into the second overtime in Game 6. Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff had emerged as a star throughout the regular season and playoffs, but it was Tampa Bay's Nikolai Khabibulin who slammed the door in Game 7, a 2-1 Lightning victory.
Friday, August 27
2009: Pittsburgh at Detroit, Game 7
With a pair of superstars leading the way, the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup for the first time since current owner and former superstar Mario Lemieux led them to back-to-back titles in 1991 and 1992. Sidney Crosby became the youngest captain ever to hoist the hardware, while Evgeni Malkin won the Conn Smythe Trophy. Malkin joined Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Guy Lafleur and Phil Esposito as the only players since NHL expansion in 1967 to lead the League in scoring in the regular-season and the playoffs. Dan Bylsma took over a slumping team late in the season and coached them to a championship.
Alex Ovechkin scored 56 goals to lead the regular season for the second straight year and also won his second straight Hart Trophy as MVP. His Capitals had 50 wins and a club-record 108 points. They eliminated the Rangers in seven games to open the playoffs and then put the Penguins in a hole with two straight wins to open their second-round series. Pittsburgh recovered to win the series in seven games, then swept Carolina in the Eastern Conference Final to set up a Stanley Cup rematch with Detroit.
The Red Wings had won their eighth straight Central Division title and knocked off Columbus (in their first playoff appearance), Anaheim and a much-improved Chicago team in the playoffs. As in 2008, Detroit won two games at home to open the Final but Pittsburgh rallied to take the series. Maxime Talbot scored both goals in the Penguins' 2-1 victory in Game 7.