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This Date in Stanley Cup Playoffs History: April 18

by Adam Schwartz
1942: The Maple Leafs won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, beating the Red Wings, 3-1, giving Toronto its first Cup since the 1932 season. This series is forever remembered as one of the most memorable comebacks of hockey history. The Red Wings won the first three games, only to have the Maple Leafs come back to win the next four. This was the first and only time to date that a team came back from a 3-0 deficit to win a Stanley Cup Final.

1950: Rangers center Don Raleigh scored 8:34 into overtime in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, tying the Rangers with the Red Wings 2-2 in the series. Raleigh would score in overtime two days later in Game 5 to give the Rangers a 3-2 series lead, but the Rangers would lose the next two games and Detroit's Pete Babando, who played only one season with the Red Wings, scored the game-winning goal in Game 7. An interesting side note to this series is that the Rangers "home games" in Games 2 and 3 were played in Toronto because the circus was at Madison Square Garden.

The Blues beat the Flyers 3-1 in Philadelphia in Game 7 of their first-round series giving St. Louis their first playoff round victory in their first season. The Flyers, however, were also in their first season as were the other four teams in the West Division. St. Louis, which was coached by the legendary Scotty Bowman, won the division and advanced to the Stanley Cup Final, where they were swept in four games by the Canadiens.  

1979: Islanders right wing Mike Bossy scores the lone goal of Game 2 at 2:31 of the first overtime in the Islanders’ first-round series against the Blackhawks, giving the Islanders a 2-0 series lead on the way to a sweep. The next round, however, the Islanders were bested by the Rangers in six games, but the Islanders used this as a learning experience and won the Cup in the next four seasons.

1982: Vancouver's Colin Campbell scored just 1:23 into overtime giving the Canucks a 4-3 victory and a 2-1 edge in the Smythe Division Final. The game was the second-consecutive overtime game in the series, but the Kings had won the previous one on the strength of a Steve Bozek goal. The Canucks' Game 3 win would springboard them to a five-game series victory. Vancouver proceeded to beat Chicago in five games in the Campbell Conference Final and went to the first of two Stanley Cup Finals in franchise history where they were brought back to earth by a powerful Islanders team that swept them.

1983: Chicago's Rich Preston scored 10:34 into overtime of Game 4 of their second-round match up with the Minnesota North Stars giving the Blackhawks a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Blackhawks finished off the North Stars in Game 5, but that was the last playoff win they would earn that season because they were promptly swept in the next round by a powerhouse Oilers team that was in its prime.

1993: Buffalo center Bob Sweeney scored at 11:03 of overtime in Game 1 of their first-round series with the Bruins, giving the Sabres a 5-4 win and a 1-0 series edge. The goal was one of two that Sweeney would score that playoff year. The second round for the Sabres was similar to the first round and saw three of the four games against the Canadiens go into overtime, but this time they were swept in four games by Montreal.

1994: The Sharks win the first playoff game in franchise history, beating the Red Wings, 5-4, in Game 1 of their first-round match up with the Red Wings. San Jose defenseman Vlastimil Kroupa scored the game-winning goal when he beat Bob Essensa. The Sharks were heavy underdogs in the series, but wound up triumphing in an historic upset by beating the Red Wings in seven games when Jamie Baker beat Chris Osgood to score the game-winning goal in Game 7.

2001: The Avalanche beat the Canucks, 5-1, in Game 4 of their first-round series to complete Colorado's four-game sweep of Vancouver en route to their second Stanley Cup in franchise history. This was the third of four consecutive seasons in which Colorado would reach the Western Conference Final, but this was the only time they reached the Stanley Cup Final during that span which saw them lose to the Red Wings twice and the Stars once.

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