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Beliveau's clutch scoring evident in NHL record book

by John Kreiser

Jean Beliveau's name isn't scattered across the NHL record book the way Wayne Gretzky's is.

Beliveau's offensive numbers (507 goals, 712 assists and 1,219 points) were eclipsed by the offensive explosion of the 1970s and '80s. But the Montreal Canadiens legend's name is still prominent when it comes to the most important aspect of the game: winning the Stanley Cup.

Beliveau, who died Monday at 83, is one of four players who have taken part in Stanley Cup Final a record 12 times. Two of the other three are longtime Montreal teammates Maurice Richard and Henri Richard; the third is Hall of Famer Red Kelly, who spent a lot of his career trying to neutralize Beliveau and his teammates. Beliveau won 10 of those 12 Final appearances.

No one, not even Gretzky, has scored more points in the Stanley Cup Final than Beliveau, whose 62 points are nine more than the Great One. Beliveau did have the advantage of playing in 64 games in the Final, one off the record held by Kelly and Henri Richard, but 38 more than Gretzky.

Beliveau's scoring prowess was a big reason he was on those 10 championship teams, which is more titles than anyone in history except Henri Richard, who succeeded him as Canadiens captain after Beliveau retired in 1971. Richard, who was a teammate of Beliveau's on all 10 title teams, won the Stanley Cup for the 11th time in 1973 before calling it a career.

Beliveau is No. 2 in both goals (30, four behind Maurice Richard) and assists (32, tied with Gordie Howe and three behind Gretzky) in Stanley Cup Final history. Beliveau is tops among all NHL players with nine game-winning goals in the Final, one more than Maurice Richard and three more than two other longtime Canadiens, Bernie Geoffrion and Yvan Cournoyer.

Beliveau has the most power-play goals (11), assists (16) and points (27) in Final history.

Beliveau's seven goals in 1956 were the most ever scored in a Final since the NHL took possession of the Stanley Cup. It's still a record, though it's a mark Beliveau has to share with Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders, who had seven in 1982.

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