Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Biggest Comebacks in Playoff History

San Jose did the improbable last night and came back from a 4-0 defecit to win in overtime by a score of 6-5. Thanks to the great James Mirtle at The Globe and Mail, we find out this marks only the fourth time in NHL playoff history that a team has overcome at least a four goal defecit to win a game. It also hasn't been done in 26 years. The others were:

  • April 28, 1985 Minnesota North Stars 5, Chicago Blackhawks 4 The Hawks got out to a 4-0 lead on goals by Denis Savard and Darryl Sutter in the first period and Al Secord and Steve Larmer halfway through the second. North Stars goalie Gilles Meloche was then replaced by Don Beaupre and the comeback was on. Tony McKegney and Brian Bellows scored on Murray Bannerman before the period was over to make it 4-2. Dino Ciccarelli and McKegney again scored by the17:00 mark of the third to send it to overtime. 1:14 into the extra frame, Dennis Maruk won it for Minnesota. The North Stars went on to lose in overtime the next game and lost the series 4-2.

  • April 10, 1982 Los Angeles Kings 6, Edmonton Oilers 5 The 'Miracle on Manchester' saw the Oilers blow a 5-0 lead in the largest comeback in NHL playoff history. On two goals and two assists from Gretzky and goals from Mark Messier, Lee Fogolin and Risto Siltanen Edmonton led 5-0 at the 14:02 mark of the second. At 2:36 of the third Jay Wells finally beat Grant Fuhr and Doug Smith made it 5-2 at 5:58. Mario Lessard held the fort for the Kings until Charlie Simmer made it 5-3 at 14:38 and Mark Hardy brought them within one just over a minute later. With five seconds remaining, Steve Bozek tied it up. Rookie Daryl Evans won the game 2:35 into overtime to give the Kings a 2 games to 1 series lead. They went on to complete the upset winning 3 games to 2.

  • April 8, 1971 Montreal Canadiens 7, Boston Bruins 5 After Montreal's Cournoyer opened the scoring, Bobby Orr and Ted Green made it 2-1 within two minutes. Boston stretched the lead to 5-1 in the second on goals from John McKenzie, Wayne Cashman and Derek Sanderson before Henri Richard started the comeback with less than 5 minutes left in the middle frame. The Habs poured it on with five straight goals in the third on two from Jean Beliveau and one each from Jacques Lemaire, John Ferguson and Frank Mahovlich. Ken Dryden outlasted Eddie Johnston as the Habs tied the series at a game a piece. Montreal would go on to win in seven games and took the Cup one month later.

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