THIS DATE IN HISTORY: May 4
2009: The rivalry between Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals reaches a new level when each scores three goals in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
After tying the game early in the second period, Ovechkin powers the Capitals to a 4-3 victory by completing his hat trick with two goals in a span of 2:29 in the third period. His power-play goal at 12:53 puts Washington ahead 3-2, and his shot through a screen and over the glove of Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury at 13:22 to make it 4-2, triggering a deluge of hats.
However, the 18,277 fans at Verizon Center can't celebrate just yet. Crosby makes it 4-3 and completes his hat trick by scoring with 30.4 seconds remaining, giving him a goal in each period.
"It's good for the fans to see great players play against each other and two great teams play against each other," Ovechkin says. "It's an interesting time and an interesting game. It's unbelievable when you play against great players and you win a game like this."
1969: The Montreal Canadiens complete their second straight sweep in the Stanley Cup Final by defeating the St. Louis Blues 2-1 in Game 4 at St. Louis Arena. Ted Harris and John Ferguson score in the first 3:03 of the third period, and goalie Rogie Vachon makes 32 saves. The Canadiens limit the Blues to three goals in four games. Montreal's Serge Savard wins the Conn Smythe Trophy, becoming the first defenseman to win the award.
1972: The New York Rangers win their first Stanley Cup Final game at Madison Square Garden since 1940 by defeating the Boston Bruins 5-2 in Game 3. Defenseman Brad Park scores two goals and has two assists for the Rangers, who haven't played a home game in the Final since April 3, 1940. In the 1950 Final, New York played two "home" games at Toronto and the rest at Detroit because the Garden was hosting the circus.
1976: Reggie Leach ties a playoff record held by Maurice Richard by scoring a goal in his eighth straight Stanley Cup Playoff game, helping the Philadelphia Flyers defeat the Boston Bruins 4-2 in Game 4 of the Semifinals at Boston Garden. Bobby Clarke sets up Leach for the tying goal 23 seconds into the second period, and third-period goals by Orest Kindrachuk and Joe Watson put the Flyers ahead 3-1 in the best-of-7 series.
1991: Petr Klima scores three goals for a natural hat trick in a 5:13 span in the first period, helping the Edmonton Oilers defeat the Minnesota North Stars 7-2 at Northlands Coliseum in Game 2 of the Campbell Conference Final. It's the fastest playoff hat trick in Oilers history.
1997: Mike Richter becomes the Rangers' playoff shutout leader by making 32 saves in a 2-0 victory against the New Jersey Devils at Continental Airlines Arena in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. It's Richter's eighth career playoff shutout, moving him past Dave Kerr. Rangers captain Mark Messier plays in his 228th postseason game, passing Larry Robinson for the most in NHL history.
2000: Keith Primeau scores at 12:01 of the fifth overtime to give the Flyers a 2-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series at Mellon Arena. Primeau, dropped from the top line two days earlier because of a lack of production, beats goaltender Ron Tugnutt on the 130th shot of the night to end the longest NHL game in 64 years. The game ends at 2:35 a.m. ET, about seven hours after the opening faceoff.
Video: 2000 Round 2, Gm4: Primeau scores in 5th OT
2011: Devin Setoguchi completes a hat trick by scoring 9:21 into overtime, giving the San Jose Sharks a 4-3 victory against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals. After Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle ties the game with 4:08 remaining in the third period, Setoguchi takes a penalty to give the Red Wings a power play in overtime. But San Jose kills the penalty, and Setoguchi makes amends by taking a pass from Joe Thornton and beating Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard for the win.