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This Date in Playoff History: May 20

by Adam Schwartz /
1975: Buffalo right wing Rene Robert, who played on the famed French Connection line with Gilbert Perrault and Rick Martin, scored the game-winning 18:29 into overtime giving the Sabres a 5-4 win in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, cutting Philadelphia's series lead to 2-1. The Sabres tied the series with a 4-2 win in Game 4, but the Flyers prevailed, winning the next two games and securing their second-consecutive Cup win.

1987: Oilers right wing Jari Kurri scored at 6:50 of overtime, beating Flyers goalie Ron Hextall to give Edmonton a 3-2 win in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, tying the series at one game apiece. The Oilers beat the Flyers and won their third Cup in four seasons, but Philadelphia pushed them to a seventh game. No other team beat the Oilers more than once that playoff season. Hextall won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs.

1993: The Canadiens set an NHL record seven-consecutive overtime wins when center Guy Carbonneau scored at 12:34 of overtime giving the Habs a 2-1 win and a commanding 3-0 series lead in the semifinal against the Islanders. Montreal, which finished the regular season in fourth in the Wales Conference with 102 points, eliminated the Islanders, who finished seventh in the conference with 87 points. Montreal would win three more overtime games in the Stanley Cup Final where they beat the Kings in five games.

1994: Canucks goalie Kirk McLean recorded his third of four shutouts when he blanked the Maple Leafs, 4-0, in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final, giving Vancouver a 2-1 series lead. McLean would shut out Toronto again in Game 4 and the Canucks would advance to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1982 by eliminating the Maple Leafs in five games. The Canucks, however, were stopped in the Final where they were defeated by the Rangers in seven games.  

1997: Flyers center Eric Lindros scored his only playoff hat trick in a 6-3 Philadelphia win against the Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final giving the Flyers a 2-1 series lead, which they would not relinquish going on to win the series in five games. Philadelphia's run, which included series wins against the rival Penguins and the Sabres as well as the Rangers, was halted in the Stanley Cup Final were swept in four games by the Red Wings.

2004: Flyers left wing Simon Gagne scored with just 1:42 remaining in the first overtime period as Philadelphia won Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final, forcing a Game 7 against the Lightning. Tampa Bay prevailed 2-1 in Game 7, but this was the second time in five seasons that the Flyers had gotten to the conference final. The Lightning, meanwhile, proceeded to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history by beating the Flames in seven games.

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