THIS DATE IN HISTORY: April 30
2014: The Los Angeles Kings highlight a historic night when they defeat the San Jose Sharks 5-1 in Game 7 of their Western Conference First Round series at SAP Center, becoming the fourth team in NHL history to win a Stanley Cup Playoff series after losing the first three games. Two members of the Kings, forwards Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, become the first players to do it twice, having played on the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers, who overcame a 3-0 series deficit against the Boston Bruins. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick makes 39 saves and yields five goals in the four wins after allowing 16 in the three losses.
A couple of hours earlier, Nino Niederreiter scores at 5:02 of overtime to give the Minnesota Wild a 5-4 victory against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center, moving them into the Western Conference Second Round. The Avalanche lead 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3, only to have the Wild tie the score each time, the last on a goal by Jared Spurgeon with 2:27 remaining in the third period. Minnesota becomes the first team in NHL history to score four game-tying goals in the seventh game of a playoff series.
The New York Rangers start the night by becoming the first NHL team to win a Game 7 in three consecutive years when they hold off the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 at Madison Square Garden to win their Eastern Conference First Round series. Henrik Lundqvist makes 26 saves for the Rangers. The win against the Flyers comes after the Rangers defeat the Ottawa Senators in seven games in 2012 and the Washington Capitals in 2013.
1970: The St. Louis Blues defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 at the Civic Arena in Game 6 of their semifinal series, advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the third time in their three-year NHL history. Bill McCreary leads the scoring with a goal and two assists.
1972: Ken Hodge gets the only playoff hat trick of his career and Garnet "Ace" Bailey scores the winner with 2:16 remaining in the third period to give the Bruins a 6-5 victory against the Rangers at Boston Garden in Game 1 of the Final. Hodge's three goals help the Bruins build a 5-1 lead; Bailey's shot beats Ed Giacomin for the win after the Rangers score four consecutive goals to tie the game 5-5. It's the first time in 43 years that Boston and New York play in the Final.
1986: The Edmonton Oilers' dreams of winning the Stanley Cup for a third straight year ends when defenseman Steve Smith accidentally scores into his own net at 5:14 of the third period and the Calgary Flames win 3-2 at Northlands Coliseum in Game 7 of the Smythe Division Final. Smith, playing on his 23rd birthday, tries to throw a cross-ice pass but inadvertently banks the puck off Oilers goaltender Grant Fuhr and into the net to break a 2-2 tie. The goal is credited to Calgary forward Perry Berezin, the player whose dump-in that Smith picks up behind the net. Edmonton won the Cup in 1984 and '85, and would win it again in 1987 and '88.
Video: Memories: Smith's own goal eliminates the Oilers
1994: San Jose, playing in its first Stanley Cup Playoff series, stuns the top-seeded Detroit Red Wings with a 3-2 victory at Joe Louis Arena in Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. The game is tied in the third period when Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood comes out of the net and tries to throw a backhand pass up the right side; Sharks forward Jamie Baker picks it off and shoots the puck into the net before Osgood can get back to his crease. Baker's goal with 6:35 remaining helps the Sharks become the first team since the 1975 New York Islanders to advance to the second round in their playoff debut.
On the same night, Pavel Bure scores at 2:20 of the second overtime to give the Vancouver Canucks a 4-3 win against the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome in Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.
2008: Patrick Marleau becomes the first player in playoff history to score shorthanded goals on consecutive days. His unassisted goal 9:19 into the second period also proves to be the game-winner when the visiting Sharks defeat the Dallas Stars 2-1 in Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal.
2013: Alexander Steen scores a shorthanded goal at 12:36 of overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals at Scottrade Center. Steen steals the puck from Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick and puts in into the vacant net to become the seventh player in Stanley Cup history to score an overtime goal while his team is shorthanded.
2015: Joel Ward scores with 1.3 seconds left in the third period to give the Capitals a 2-1 victory against the Rangers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series at Madison Square Garden. Ward, unchecked in the slot with time running out, takes a pass from Alex Ovechkin and shoots through Lundqvist's legs for the win.