THIS DATE IN HISTORY: May 18
1986: Brian Skrudland scores the fastest overtime goal in Stanley Cup Playoff history when he beats goalie Mike Vernon nine seconds into OT to give the Montreal Canadiens a 3-2 victory against the Calgary Flames in Game 2 of the Final at the Saddledome.
Calgary leads 2-0 early in the second period before goals by Gaston Gingras and David Maley tie the game 2-2. On a hunch, Montreal coach Jean Perron sends out his checking line of Skrudland, Mike McPhee and Claude Lemieux to start overtime. The Canadiens win the opening faceoff and Skrudland finishes a 2-on-1 break by directing a pass from McPhee past Vernon.
"Mike couldn't have made a nicer play than that, but leave it to me to almost [mess] it up," Skrudland tells the Canadiens website years later. "I had a wide-open net, the full 4-by-6 to shoot at, but I still managed to bank it in off the post and in. The important thing was that it got past Vernon and we headed home with the series tied 1-1."
Skrudland becomes the first player since Cy Wentworth of the Chicago Black Hawks (then two words) in 1931 to score his first NHL playoff goal in overtime of the Final.
1971: Jean Beliveau goes into retirement as a 10-time Stanley Cup winner when the Canadiens rally from two goals down to defeat the Chicago 3-2 in Game 7 of the Final. The packed house at Chicago Stadium roars its approval when Dennis Hull gives the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead late in the first period and again when Danny O'Shea makes it 2-0 at 7:33 of the second. But the game turns late in the second when Jacques Lemaire takes a slap shot from near the red line that sails past goalie Tony Esposito, cutting Chicago's lead to 2-1. Henri Richard scores before intermission to make it 2-2, then puts Montreal ahead 3-2 at 2:34 of the third. Rookie goalie Ken Dryden makes 31 saves, 12 in the third period, to help the Canadiens win the Cup for the 17th time. Though Beliveau is scoreless in Game 7, he finishes the playoffs with 22 points in 20 games, tied for third in the League.
Video: 1971 Cup Final, Gm7: Henri Richard lifts Habs
1973: Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins wins the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman for the sixth straight season. It's the first time in League history that any player wins an individual award six times in a row. Orr ends 1972-73 with 29 goals and 101 points; Guy Lapointe of the Canadiens is second among defensemen in each category with 19 goals and 54 points.
1978: The Canadiens' streak of 11 straight wins in the Final (Game 6 in 1973, sweeps in 1976 and 1977, and the first two games in 1978) ends when they lose 4-0 to the Bruins at Boston Garden in Game 3. Gerry Cheevers makes 16 saves for the eighth and final playoff shutout of his NHL career. Jean Ratelle sets up first-period goals by Gary Doak and Rick Middleton, and Peter McNab scores a goal and has an assist in the third. It's the first loss in the Final by the Canadiens since Game 5 in 1973.
1990: Jari Kurri of the Edmonton Oilers turns 30 and celebrates by scoring three goals and assisting on two others in a 7-2 victory against the Bruins at Boston Garden in Game 2 of the Final. Kurri (briefly) becomes the NHL's all-time leading playoff goal scorer, passing longtime linemate Wayne Gretzky. He also becomes the second player in NHL history (after Gretzky) to have 200 playoff points.
Video: Jari Kurri Gretzky's wingman during Oilers' dynasty
1993: The Canadiens win their sixth straight overtime game by defeating the New York Islanders 4-3 at the Forum on Game 2 of the Wales Conference Final. Stephan Lebeau scores the game-winner at 6:21 of the second overtime. Patrick Roy makes 39 saves for Montreal.
1997: Gretzky gets his 10th and final playoff hat trick by scoring three times in the New York Rangers' 5-4 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Spectrum in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final. Gretzky scores twice in less than two minutes in the first period and completes his hat trick midway through the second. His former Edmonton teammate, Paul Coffey, beats New York goaltender Mike Richter early in the second period to join Larry Murphy as the only defensemen in NHL history to score playoff goals for five different teams.
2008: The Pittsburgh Penguins advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 16 years by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 6-0 at Mellon Arena in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final, winning the best-of-7 series 4-2. Pittsburgh native Ryan Malone scores twice and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury makes 21 saves. It's the 16th straight win for the Penguins at home since a shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks on Feb. 24.
2015: Tyler Johnson scores three goals for the first playoff hat trick in Tampa Bay Lightning history. Johnson's fourth multigoal game of the 2015 playoffs sparks the Lightning to a series-tying 6-2 victory against the New York Rangers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final at Madison Square Garden. Johnson scores shorthanded, on a power play and at even strength.
2017: Corey Perry scores at 10:25 of overtime to give the Anaheim Ducks a series-tying 3-2 win against the Nashville Predators in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final. The Ducks are cruising along with a 2-0 lead before P.K. Subban sparks the sellout crowd at Bridgestone Arena when he scores with 6:27 left in the third period. Filip Forsberg forces overtime when he ties the game with 35 seconds remaining, but Perry wins it when his shot from along the right boards glances off Subban and goes past goalie Pekka Rinne.
2018: The first-year Vegas Golden Knights move within one victory of the Stanley Cup Final with a 3-2 victory against the Winnipeg Jets at T-Mobile Arena in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final. Reilly Smith scores an unassisted goal with 6:58 remaining in the third period to break a 2-2 tie; he beats Connor Hellebuyck on a breakaway after Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien flubs a slap shot. Fleury makes 35 saves for Vegas.