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This Date in NHL History

April 16: Maple Leafs win Stanley Cup for third straight year

Plus: Blackhawks end 23-year title drought; Belfour makes 72 saves in playoff loss

by John Kreiser / Managing Editor

Memories: Toronto wins 3 in a row

Memories: Toronto wins their third consecutive Cup

On April 16, 1949, Toronto became the first NHL team to win three consecutive Stanley Cups, sweeping the Red Wings and making history forever

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1949: The Toronto Maple Leafs become the NHL's first modern-era dynasty.

Toronto wins the Stanley Cup for the third straight year, completing a four-game sweep of the Detroit Red Wings in the Final with a 3-1 victory at Maple Leaf Gardens. Turk Broda allows five goals in four games against the NHL's top-scoring team during the regular season. The win is Toronto's ninth straight in the Final.

Toronto becomes the second team in NHL history to win the Cup after finishing with a losing record (22-25-13), joining the 1938 Chicago Blackhawks (14-25-9). No sub-.500 team has won the Cup since.



1939: The Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup for the second time since entering the NHL in 1924 by defeating the Maple Leafs 3-1 at Boston Garden in Game 5 of the Final. A goal by rookie forward Roy Conacher at 17:54 of the second period breaks a 1-1 tie. Conacher becomes the first player in NHL history to have three consecutive game-winning goals in one series.


1954: Tony Leswick scores at 4:29 of overtime to give the Red Wings a 2-1 victory against the Canadiens at Olympia Stadium in Game 7 of the Final. Leswick's is one of the strangest Cup-winning goals in playoff history. His seemingly harmless shot hits the glove of Montreal defenseman Doug Harvey and sails past goaltender Gerry McNeil into the net, giving Detroit its second championship in three seasons. It is the second time in five seasons the Cup has been won on an overtime goal in Game 7, something that hasn't happened since.

Video: Memories: Leswick's series-winning overtime goal


1961: The Chicago Blackhawks end a 23-year championship drought by defeating the Red Wings 5-1 in Detroit in Game 6 of the Final. After eliminating the five-time defending champion Canadiens in the Semifinals, the Blackhawks split the first four games against Detroit, but win 6-3 in Game 5 at Chicago Stadium before becoming the only road team to win a game in the series. The only drawback for the victorious Blackhawks is that they can't get back to Chicago to celebrate; their flight home is cancelled because of a snowstorm.


1988: Dale Hunter scores 5:57 into overtime to complete one of the greatest comebacks in Stanley Cup history and give the Washington Capitals a 5-4 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 7 of the Patrick Division Semifinals at the Capital Centre. The Capitals lose three of the first four games in the series, win Games 5 and 6 and then rally to overcome an early 3-0 deficit in Game 7. Then-Capitals general manager David Poile calls it "the most important win ever for this team."


1991: Esa Tikkanen won't let the Edmonton Oilers' dynasty come to an end just yet. Tikkanen completes a hat trick by scoring at 6:58 of overtime to give Edmonton a 5-4 victory against the Calgary Flames in Game 7 of the Smythe Division Semifinals. The Oilers trail 3-0, rally to take a 4-3 lead, then see their archrival tie the game late in the third period on a goal by Ronnie Stern. However, Tikkanen scores again to become the second player in NHL history to have a hat trick, including an overtime goal, in a series-deciding victory. However, the defending Stanley Cup champs lose to the Los Angeles Kings in the second round, ending their run of five championships in seven seasons.


1992: Mike Gartner is credited with his 500th NHL assist during the New York Rangers' 7-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. Gartner becomes the first player in League history to get his 500th goal, 500th assist and 1,000th point, and to play in his 1,000th NHL game all in the same season.

On the same night, Brett Hull becomes the second player in NHL history to score at least 70 goals in three consecutive seasons. Goal No. 70 comes 11:37 into the first period of the St. Louis Blues' 5-3 win against the visiting Minnesota North Stars.


1997: The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim win the first playoff game in their history by defeating the Phoenix Coyotes 4-2 at Arrowhead Pond. Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne each scores two goals for the Ducks, and Guy Hebert makes 29 saves.


2003: Ed Belfour's goaltending heroics go for naught when Mark Recchi scores his second goal of the game at 53:54 of overtime to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 3-2 win against Toronto at Air Canada Centre in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Belfour makes 72 saves before Recchi's wrist shot hits his stick and trickles over the goal line. Belfour finishes one save short of the playoff record set by Kelly Hrudey of the New York Islanders in 1987.


2009: Martin Havlat scores 12 seconds into overtime to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 win against the Calgary Flames in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals at United Center. At the time, it ties for the third-fastest overtime goal in playoff history and comes after Havlat ties the game with 5:33 remaining in the third period.


2014: Brandon Sutter scores the tiebreaking goal at 8:18 of the third period to give the Penguins a 4-3 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Consol Energy Center. He scores on a 2-on-1 break and becomes the seventh member of the Sutter family to score a game-winning goal in the playoffs.


2015: The Winnipeg Jets play the franchise's first playoff game since 2007, when they were the Atlanta Thrashers, but lose 4-2 to the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 of their Western Conference First Round Series at Honda Center. The Jets lead 2-1 after two periods, but Corey Perry scores two goals and set up one by Ryan Getzlaf to give the Ducks the win.

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