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This Date in NHL History

April 8: Canadiens comeback stuns Bruins

Plus: Howe sets career playoff record for assists; Giacomin earns only postseason shutout

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1971: The Montreal Canadiens rally after trailing by four goals late in the second period for a series-tying 7-5 win against the Boston Bruins at Boston Garden in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Quarterfinals.

The Canadiens are heavy underdogs in the series after finishing the regular season in third place in the East Division, 24 points behind the League-leading Bruins, who are led by 76-goal scorer Phil Esposito and 102-point defenseman Bobby Orr.

Boston wins 3-1 in Game 1 and races to a 5-1 lead against rookie goaltender Ken Dryden in Game 2. But Henri Richard's goal late in the second period gives the Canadiens a spark, and Montreal scores five times in the third to stun the Garden crowd and even the series at one win apiece.



1937: Clarence Campbell referees his first playoff game, a 4-2 win for the Detroit Red Wings against the New York Rangers in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Campbell, who in 1946 becomes the third president in NHL history, hands out three penalties.


1961: Gordie Howe sets an NHL career record for most Stanley Cup Playoff assists during the Red Wings' 3-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 of the Final. Howe's two assists give him 61, two more than Doug Harvey.


1970: Esposito has three goals and an assist to help the Bruins to an 8-2 win against the Rangers in Game 1 of their Quarterfinal series at Boston Garden. The Bruins score five goals in a span of 10:21 and set a playoff record by scoring two shorthanded goals in 44 seconds.


1973: Goalie Ed Giacomin makes 33 saves for the only playoff shutout of his Hall of Fame career. Giacomin and the Rangers defeat the Bruins 4-0 at Madison Square Garden in Game 4 of their Quarterfinal series.


1980: Howe sets an NHL record for most years in the playoffs (20) and makes his first postseason appearance since 1970 when he takes the ice for the Hartford Whalers against the Montreal Canadiens at the Forum. He breaks the mark of 19 held by former teammate Red Kelly. The Whalers lose 6-1 in their first NHL playoff game.


1982: Rookie center Dale Hawerchuk has four assists to help the Winnipeg Jets defeat the visiting St. Louis Blues 5-2 in Game 2 of the Norris Division Semifinals. It's the first playoff win for the Jets since entering the NHL for the start of the 1979-80 season.


1990: Tony Granato scores a shorthanded goal at 8:37 of overtime to give the Los Angeles Kings a 2-1 win against the Calgary Flames in Game 3 of the Smythe Division Semifinals at the Forum in Inglewood, California. It's the fourth shorthanded OT goal in Stanley Cup Playoff history.


1996: After a name-the-franchise contest, the soon-to-be-relocated Winnipeg Jets unveil their new logo and announce that the team will be known as the Phoenix Coyotes, beginning with the 1996-97 season.


2000: The Toronto Maple Leafs surpass the 100-point mark for the first time in team history when they defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs are the last of the Original Six teams to have a 100-point season.


2014: Mike Babcock passes Jack Adams as the winningest coach in Red Wings history when Detroit defeats the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 at First Niagara Center. The win is Babcock's 414th with Detroit.


2017: Auston Matthews of the Maple Leafs scores his 40th goal of the season in a 5-3 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Air Canada Centre. He's the second rookie since 2005 and the fourth teenager in NHL history to score at least 40 goals in a season.

Video: PIT@TOR: Matthews seals crucial win with empty-netter


2018: The Lightning win the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference when the Florida Panthers defeat the Boston Bruins 4-2 at TD Garden in a game rescheduled from Jan. 4 because of a winter storm. The loss in the final game of the 2017-18 season keeps the Bruins from passing Tampa Bay. Florida wins its fifth game in seven days but comes up one point short of a playoff berth.

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