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This Date in Playoff History: May 5

by Adam Schwartz /
1968: Montreal center Jacques Lemaire scored 1:41 into overtime in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Blues, giving the Habs a 1-0 series lead. This was the first season since the NHL expanded from six to 12 teams and the Blues had made it to the Final because their West division was comprised entirely of new teams. St. Louis would come out of that division the first three seasons of their existence, but would get swept in all three Stanley Cup Finals by the Eastern Division team, twice by the Canadiens and once by the Bruins. 

1974: The Flyers beat the Rangers 4-3 in Game 7 of their semifinal, advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history. The Rangers pushed the Flyers the furthest of any team that playoff season. Philadelphia would go on to beat the Bruins in six games to capture their first of their back-to-back Cups with a rough and tumble team that boasted the likes of Bobby Clarke, Dave Schultz, Bill Barber and Rick MacLeish.

1977: The Canadiens beat the Islanders 2-1, eliminating them in six games in their semifinal series. This was the third time in franchise history that the Islanders made the playoffs and the third straight season they were eliminated in the third round, including the second straight season they were eliminated by the Habs. Montreal would go on to win their second of four consecutive Cups that season with a group that included an unprecedented nine Hall of Famers, including Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson, Serge Savard and Jacques Lemaire.

1987: Detroit right wing Joe Kocur scored the game-winning goal, and Red Wings goalie Greg Stefan got the win as the Red Wings beat the Oilers 3-1 in Game 1 of their third-round series. Despite the loss, Edmonton, which boasted Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Mark Messier and Paul Coffey, would win the next four games, eliminating the Red Wings. The Oilers proceeded to win their third of five Cups in a seven-season span by defeating the Flyers in a seven-game Stanley Cup Final.

1991: Pittsburgh beat the Bruins 4-1 in Game 3 of their Wales Conference Final. The win cut Boston's series lead to 2-1 and the Penguins wouldn't lose another game in the series, eliminating the Bruins in six games. The Penguins got off to a slow start in the Stanley Cup Final, losing to the Minnesota North Stars in two of the first three games. Pittsburgh bounced back again, winning its first of back-to-back Cups in six games with a core that featured Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Kevin Stevens and Mark Recchi.

1994: Rangers goalie Mike Richter records his third shutout of the playoff year blanking the Capitals 3-0 in Game 3 of their second-round series, giving the Rangers a commanding 3-0 series lead. Richter would record four of his nine career playoff shutouts that season.

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