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This Date in NHL History

May 31: Bourque becomes oldest player to score goal in Final

Plus: Oilers win third championship; Hasek sets single-year playoff record for shutouts

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


2001: Ray Bourque's last Stanley Cup Playoff goal is one for the record books.

The 40-year-old defenseman becomes the oldest player in NHL history to score a goal in the Cup Final when he scores 31 seconds into the third period of the Colorado Avalanche's 3-1 victory against the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Bourque's 41st and final Stanley Cup Playoff goal, a shot past goalie Martin Brodeur after a faceoff win by Joe Sakic, breaks a 1-1 tie.

"For me, I can probably say it's my biggest goal," said Bourque, who's in his second season with Colorado after more than 20 years with the Boston Bruins.

Video: Ray Bourque capped career with dramatic Cup in 2001



1961: Doug Harvey, a six-time Norris Trophy winner with the Montreal Canadiens, signs a contract with the New York Rangers to serve as player-coach, replacing Alf Pike. The Canadiens receive forward Lou Fontinato from the Rangers as compensation. Harvey goes on to win the Norris Trophy for the seventh time in 1961-62 and help the Rangers qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 1958.


1987: The Edmonton Oilers win the Stanley Cup for the third time in four seasons by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 in Game 7 of the Final at Northlands Coliseum. Jari Kurri scores at 14:59 of the second period to put the Oilers ahead 2-1, and Glenn Anderson makes it 3-1 with 2:24 remaining in the third. Edmonton outshoots Philadelphia 43-20, but rookie goalie Ron Hextall makes 40 saves to keep the Flyers in the game. Hextall also becomes the fourth player from the losing team to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. "I'm proud of winning the [Conn] Smythe," he says years later, "but I'd take the other Cup ahead of that one."


1994: The Vancouver Canucks win a Cup Final game for the first time in their history when Greg Adams scores at 19:26 of overtime for a 3-2 victory against the New York Rangers in Game 1 at Madison Square Garden. Martin Gelinas ties the game 2-2 with 60 seconds remaining in the third period, and the Canucks survive a 17-shot barrage in overtime before Adams beats Rangers goalie Mike Richter. The other hero is Vancouver goalie Kirk McLean, who finishes with 52 saves. The Canucks are in the Final for the second time in their history, having been swept by the New York Islanders in 1982.


2002: Dominik Hasek sets a single-year playoff record with his fifth shutout, and the Detroit Red Wings advance to the Cup Final with a 7-0 victory against the Avalanche in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final at Joe Louis Arena. Detroit scores four times in less than 11 minutes of the first period against Patrick Roy and the Avalanche muster just 19 shots against Hasek.


2003: Jean-Sebastien Giguere extends his overtime shutout streak to 167:48, surpassing Roy's record of 162:56, before defenseman Ruslan Salei scores at 6:59 of OT to give the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim a 3-2 victory against the visiting Devils in Game 3 of the Cup Final.


2004: Brad Richards sets a single-season playoff record with his seventh game-winning goal when he scores the only goal in the Tampa Bay Lightning's 1-0 victory against the Calgary Flames in Game 4 of the Final at Pengrowth Saddledome. Richards' power-play goal 2:48 into the game holds up as the winner because Nikolai Khabibulin makes 29 saves for the sixth playoff shutout of his career.

Video: Memories: Brad Richards tallies his 7th game-winner


2011: The NHL returns to Winnipeg when the Atlanta Thrashers are sold to True North Sports & Entertainment. The franchise, renamed the Winnipeg Jets, will begin play in Manitoba's capital for the 2011-12 season. The original Jets move to Phoenix in 1996 and are renamed the Phoenix Coyotes.


2017: Jake Guentzel scores two goals and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Nashville Predators 4-1 at PPG Paints Arena in Game 2 of the Cup Final. After Pontus Aberg gives the Predators the lead by scoring at 12:57 of the first period, Guentzel ties the game at 16:36 and put Pittsburgh ahead to stay when he beats Pekka Rinne 10 seconds into the third period. Penguins goalie Matt Murray makes 37 saves.

Video: NSH@PIT, Gm2: Guentzel buries a rebound for second

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