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This Date in NHL History

June 8: Blake hired as coach by Canadiens

Plus: Stars win marathon 1-0 game; Larionov oldest player to score in Cup Final

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1955: Hector "Toe" Blake is named coach of the Montreal Canadiens. He replaces Dick Irvin, who's coached the Canadiens for the past 15 seasons but has won the Stanley Cup just once since 1946 and has lost the Final in back-to-back seasons.

The Canadiens win the Cup eight times in 13 seasons under Blake before he steps down in 1968.

Blake, part of Montreal's famed "Punch Line" before being forced to retire in 1948 because of a broken leg, coaches the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup in each of his first five seasons; they are the still only team in NHL history to win the Cup five consecutive years. The Canadiens also win in 1965, 1966 and 1968, when they sweep the expansion St. Louis Blues in the Final.

Blake remains with the Canadiens in different capacities after retiring, often traveling with the team. Montreal wins the Cup again in 1969 under Claude Ruel and six times in the 1970s. The last five of those championships come with Blake's protégé, Scotty Bowman, as coach.

Video: Toe Blake was one of toughest players, best coaches



1983: The Minnesota North Stars select Brian Lawton, a high school center from Rhode Island, with the No, 1 pick at the 1983 NHL Draft at the Montreal Forum. Forward Sylvain Turgeon goes No. 2 to the Hartford Whalers. The New York Islanders, picking third, select Pat LaFontaine, a center from Verdun of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League who's played youth hockey in Detroit. That disappoints the Detroit Red Wings, who've been hoping LaFontaine would drop to them at No. 4. Instead, they take another center, Steve Yzerman.


1988: Jacques Demers of the Red Wings wins the Jack Adams Award, given to the NHL's best coach, for the second straight season. Demers is still the only repeat winner of the award.


1996: Florida Panthers fans shower the ice with thousands of plastic rats after Ray Sheppard scores the first home goal in the Stanley Cup Final. It comes at 9:14 of the first period in Game 3. Rob Niedermayer gives Florida a 2-1 lead 2:05 later, but second-period goals by Mike Keane and Joe Sakic lift the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 victory and a 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 series. The game-winner is Sakic's sixth of the playoffs, an NHL single-season record.

Video: 96 Cup Final, Gm3: Panthers fans rain plastic rats


1999: Sixteen years to the day after he's taken in the 10th round of the 1983 draft, Dominik Hasek makes 35 saves for the Buffalo Sabres in a 3-2 overtime win against the Dallas Stars at Reunion Arena in Game 1 of the Final. Jason Woolley scores at 15:30 of overtime, becoming the first defenseman in Sabres history to score in OT.


2000: Ed Belfour makes 48 saves before Mike Modano scores at 6:21 of the third overtime to give the defending champion Stars a 1-0 victory against the New Jersey Devils in Game 5 of the Cup Final at Continental Airlines Arena. It's the longest 1-0 game in Final history. Modano ends the game and keeps the Stars' hopes of a repeat alive when he pokes the puck through the legs of New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur on Dallas' 41st shot. The victory sends the series back to Texas for Game 6.


2002: Igor Larionov scores his second goal of the game at 14:47 of the third overtime to give the visiting Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of the Final. At age 41, Larionov becomes the oldest player to score a goal in the Final. Brett Hull gives Larionov the chance to be the hero when he ties it 2-2 by beating goalie Arturs Irbe with 1:14 remaining in the third period.


2011: The Boston Bruins even the Final at 2-2 by defeating the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 in Game 4 at TD Garden. Rich Peverley scores the first and fourth goals for the Bruins, and goalie Tim Thomas makes 38 saves. Coming on the heels of an 8-1 victory in Game 3, Boston's plus-11 goal differential is the largest ever by an NHL team in a two-game stretch of the Final.


2015: Cedric Paquette's goal with 3:11 remaining in the third period gives the Tampa Bay Lightning a 3-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Final at United Center. Defenseman Victor Hedman gets his second assist of the game by setting up Paquette for a shot that beats Chicago goalie Corey Crawford. Lightning goalie Ben Bishop, who's questionable after leaving Game 2 with a lower-body injury, makes 36 saves.


2017: The Pittsburgh Penguins move within one victory of becoming the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup champion since the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998 by defeating the Nashville Predators 6-0 in Game 5 of the Final at PPG Paints Arena. Six players score goals and Sidney Crosby has three assists to support Matt Murray's 24-save shutout, helping the Penguins take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.

Video: NSH@PIT, Gm5: Pens score six goals, take series lead

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