THIS DATE IN HISTORY: May 22
2009: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom sets an NHL record by playing in his 228th consecutive Stanley Cup Playoff game, a 4-3 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final at United Center.
Lidstrom breaks the record set by Larry Robinson from 1973-92. He finishes his NHL career with 263 postseason games played, second all-time to former teammate Chris Chelios (266), and plays on four Stanley Cup-winning teams before retiring in 2012.
1970: The NHL grows from 12 teams to 14 when the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks are officially granted franchises. The expansion fee is $6 million. The new teams will begin play in the 1970-71 season and are placed in the East Division, with Chicago moving to the West along with the six teams from the 1967 expansion. The Sabres finish fifth and the Canucks sixth in their first season, ahead of the Red Wings.
On the same day, the Montreal Canadiens make what turns out to be a historic trade, acquiring defenseman Francois Lacombe and a first-round pick in the 1971 NHL Draft from the California Golden Seals for forward Ernie Hicke and a first-round choice (No. 10) in the 1970 NHL Draft. The Golden Seals select center Chris Oddleifson, who never plays a game for them. When California finishes last in the NHL in 1970-71, the Canadiens get the No. 1 pick in the 1971 Draft and select forward Guy Lafleur, one of the cornerstones of their 1970s dynasty.
1986: Patrick Roy makes 15 saves for the first of his 23 playoff shutouts in the Canadiens' 1-0 victory against the Calgary Flames in Game 4 of the Final at the Forum. Claude Lemieux scores the only goal of the game with 8:50 remaining in the third period. The Canadiens become the first team to win 100 games in the Final, as well as the first to win 10 home games in one playoff year.
1992: The Blackhawks advance to the Cup Final for the first time since 1973 and complete a sweep of the Edmonton Oilers in the Campbell Conference Final with a 5-1 victory. It's the 11th consecutive victory for the Blackhawks, a playoff record. Brian Noonan scores twice in Chicago's four-goal second period and Ed Belfour finishes with 20 saves.
2002: Dominik Hasek becomes the first goalie in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to be credited with an assist in overtime. Hasek and Steve Yzerman get the assists when defenseman Fredrik Olausson scores at 12:44 of OT to give the Red Wings a 2-1 victory against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final at Pepsi Center. It's Olausson's first playoff goal in 10 years.
2004: The Tampa Bay Lightning advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since entering the NHL in 1992 when they defeat the visiting Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. Goals by Ruslan Fedotenko and Freddy Modin help Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk advance to the Final for the first time after 22 seasons in the NHL.
2007: The Anaheim Ducks advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time since entering the NHL in 1993 by holding off the Red Wings 4-3 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final. The Ducks lead 3-0 after two periods, and a goal by Samuel Pahlsson with 14:06 remaining makes it 4-1. That proves to be the series-winner when Pavel Datsyuk scores twice for the Red Wings, who outshoot the Ducks 16-3 in the final 20 minutes.
2012: The Los Angeles Kings return to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 19 years by defeating the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 in overtime in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final in Glendale, Arizona. Dustin Penner scores at 17:42 of overtime to give Los Angeles 12 victories in 14 games through the first three rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Kings become the second team in NHL history to defeat the top three seeds in its conference since the NHL changes its playoff format in 1994. The other is the 2004 Calgary Flames; each team is coached by Darryl Sutter. Los Angeles improves to 8-0 on the road in the 2012 playoffs and sets a record with its 10th consecutive postseason road win. It's the first trip to the Final for the Kings since the Wayne Gretzky-led team loses in five games to the Canadiens in 1993.
2017: The Nashville Predators advance to the Cup Final for the first time since entering the NHL in 1998 by defeating the Ducks 6-3 at Bridgestone Arena to win the Western Conference Final in six games. Colton Sissons scores his third goal of the game with six minutes remaining in the third period to put the Predators ahead 4-3. Pekka Rinne makes 38 saves for Nashville, which wins three straight series after entering the playoffs as the second wild card from the West. Peter Laviolette becomes the first man to coach three different teams to the Cup Final.
Video: Sissons propels Predators to first Stanley Cup Final