Skip to main content

This Date in Playoff History: April 20

by Adam Schwartz
1971: Chicago goalie Tony Esposito shut out the Rangers in Game 2 of their second-round series, tying things at one game each. Esposito still holds the franchise record with six playoff shutouts and 45 playoff wins. The Blackhawks, who had swept the Flyers in the first round, would lose the next game, but would come back to win the series in seven games, thus earning their first berth in the Stanley Cup Final since 1966. A powerhouse Canadiens team, which would win its fifth Cup in seven seasons, beat the Blackhawks.

Flyers goalie Bernie Parent records his first career playoff shutout when Philadelphia beat the Rangers, 4-0, in Game 1 of their second-round series. The Rangers gave Philadelphia the most trouble of any team that spring, pushing them to seven games, but Philadelphia prevailed. After eliminating the Rangers, the Flyers went on to secure their first Stanley Cup by defeating the Bruins in six games. Parent was in goal for the Flyers in every game in 1974 and played 15 of 17 games the next playoff season when the Flyers won the Cup again.

The Oilers trounce the Flames, 9-1, in Game 5 of their second-round series, advancing to the third round for the first time in franchise history. Mark Messier scored his second game-winning goal of that playoff year and Andy Moog yielded fewer than two goals for just the second time. Edmonton would proceed to sweep the Blackhawks before being easily dispatched by the Islanders in four games in the Stanley Cup Final in a series Wayne Gretzky would refer to as a learning experience. The next season the Oilers dynasty of winning five Cups in seven seasons began.

1993: Islanders forward Brian Mullen scored at 14:50 of the second overtime period giving the Islanders a 5-4 win in Game 2 of their first-round series against the Capitals evening the series at one. Mullen was playing in his last season of his career and scored 3 goals and added 4 assists in 18 games that playoff year as the Islanders eliminated the Capitals in six games -- three of which went to overtime. The underdog Islanders also bested the Penguins who had won the previous two Cups at the time in the next series in seven games before their run came to an end against the eventual Cup-champion Canadiens. 

Colorado goalie Patrick Roy recorded his sixth career playoff shutout in the Avalanche's 4-0, Game 3 win against the Canucks in the first round. The win gave Colorado a 2-1 series lead and the Avalanche would eventually win the series in six games. Colorado went on to win its first Stanley Cup.

2003: Tampa Bay right wing Martin St. Louis scored at 4:03 into the third overtime period giving the Lighting a 2-1 win against the Capitals in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series, eliminating the Capitals. The goal marked the third-consecutive game St. Louis scored the game-winning goal and marked the first playoff series win in franchise history. This was the series in which the St. Louis-Vincent Lecavalier-Vaclav Prospal line was put together by coach John Tortorella. The Lightning would lose in five games to the Devils in the next round, but would bounce back the next season to win their first Cup.

Contact Adam Schwartz at
View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.