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Today in Hockey History: May 2 – Hockey Writers – Hockey History

There have been several memorable postseason moments to occur on this day throughout the history of the National Hockey League. The last Stanley Cup champion before the expansion season was crowned, and there were plenty of wins in the City of Brotherly Love. Let’s begin our daily journey back in time to re-enjoy all the goodness that May 2nd can bring.

End of Season in Toronto

May 2, 1967, is a day remembered by both fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs and those who like to give their fans a hard time. This was when the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup out of 13th time in franchise history, but they haven’t won one since.

Ron Ellis, Jim Pappin, and George Armstrong all scored in a 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. Terry Sawchuk made 40 saves in the championship win. This was the last Stanley Cup won during the “Original Six” era as six expansion teams joined the league the following fall.

This was the Maple Leafs’ fourth Stanley Cup win in six seasons, but the writing was on the wall that the dynasty was coming to an end. The roster had an average age of 31, with eight players aged 36 or older. One of the younger players, Dave Keon, 26, was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for his outstanding defense last season.

Philadelphia Flyers Own The Day

The Flyers love playing on May 2, because that usually means a playoff win. On May 2, 1976, they defeated the Boston Bruins 5-2 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals. Reggie Leach’s insurance goal in the third period extended his scoring streak to seven straight games. Rookie Mel Bridgman scored the game-winning goal and added two assists.

Leach scored in seven consecutive playoff games in 1976. (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images)

Brian Popp and Brad Marsh set the Flyers’ playoff record on May 2, 1987, to help them advance to the Prince of Wales Conference Finals. The two scored two goals 44 seconds apart in the first half, setting the tone for a 5-1 victory over the New York Islanders in Game 7 of the Patrick Division Final.

On May 2, 2000, Andy Delmore scored his first two playoff goals, the second coming in overtime to give the Flyers a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. He became just the fifth rookie defenseman in Stanley Cup playoff history to score an overtime goal.

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After four years, Keith Primeau scored the only hat trick of his career and added an assist in a 7-2 victory over the visiting Maple Leafs in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Flyers captain led the team with nine goals and 16 points during the 2004 postseason.

The Battle of Quebec Heats Up

On May 2, 1973, Canadiens Hall of Fame goaltender Jacques Plante signed a ten-year contract to become the head coach and general manager of the Quebec Nordiques for the second year in the World Hockey Association. However, the partnership only lasted one season after Plante resigned after a disappointing 1973-74 season. He returned to the ice the following season and played 31 games for the Edmonton Oilers.

Related: Jacques Plante: The Man in the Fiberglass Mask

Between 1984 and 1987, the Canadiens and Nordiques met in three of four Adams Division Finals, with two of those series going all seven games to decide the winner. On May 2, 1985, the Nordiques beat the Canadiens in Game 7, with Peter Stastny scoring a goal in overtime. Montreal came back from 2-0 down to force overtime before Stastny’s goal ended their season.

Peter Stastny of the Quebec Nordiques
Stastny scored one of the greatest goals in Nordiques history. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

Two years later, the two rivals played again in Game 7 of the Adams Division Final. This time, the Canadiens got the better of the Nordiques with a 5-3 win on home ice. Bobby Smith had a goal and two assists as the Canadiens scored five goals in the second half.

Odds & Ends

On May 2, 1971, the Chicago Blackhawks advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals after a 4-2 Game 7 victory over the New York Rangers. Bobby Hull had two assists before scoring the game-winning goal with just over four minutes to play. This was the Blackhawks’ first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals since 1965, but they lost in seven games to the Canadiens.

Mike Vernon continued the Calgary Flames’ Stanley Cup run on May 2, 1989. He earned his third shutout of the playoffs by beating the Blackhawks 3-0 in Game 1 of the Campbell Conference Finals. He picked up half of his six playoff shutout streaks during the 1989 postseason.

On May 2, 1999, the Bruins won their first playoff series in five years as Byron Dafoe recorded his third shutout of the playoffs in a 2-0 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. They went on to lose in six games to the Buffalo Sabers in the next round.

Hall of Famer Patrick Roy recorded his 17th playoff shutout on May 2, 2001, in a 3-0 win against the Los Angeles Kings, in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals. The Colorado Avalanche scored all three goals in the second half, including two in 1:46 by Milan Hejduk and Chris Drury.

Dominik Hasek recorded his eighth playoff shutout on May 2, 2002, as the Detroit Red Wings beat the St. Louis Cardinals. Louis Blues 2-0 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Brett Hull had a goal and an assist against his former club, while rookie Pavel Datsyuk scored his first goal of the season.

Pavel Datsyuk, KHL, Detroit Red Wings, SKA St.  Petersburg
Datsyuk scored his first goal of the day. (Amy Irvin / Hockey Writers)

That same night, Patrick Lalime made 27 saves to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 5-0 win over the Maple Leafs in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. He was 14 years oldth is the only goaltender in Stanley Cup playoff history to have four shutouts in the same season. Despite posting a .946 save percentage and 1.39 goals against average in the playoffs, Lalime and the Senators were eliminated by the Maple Leafs in seven games.

The Hurricanes’ incredible run to the Stanley Cup had a big moment on May 2, 2006. Cory Stillman scored a goal in overtime to send the Canadiens out of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. After the Hurricanes lost the first two games of the series on home ice, rookie goaltender Cam Ward took over and went on a four-game winning streak.

On May 2, 2012, the Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals 3-2, in triple overtime, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Marian Gaborik hit the game-winner in the franchise’s longest hitting streak since a triple-double against the Bruins in 1939. The win also snapped goaltender Henrik Lundqvist’s seven-game overtime losing streak.

Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers
Lundqvist got the overtime monkey off his back. (Jess Starr/Hockey Writers)

Philipp Grubauer made NHL history on May 2, 2019, with a 3-0 shutout of the San Jose Sharks in Game 4 of their second-round series. He made 32 saves for the Avalanche to become the first German-born goaltender to record a shutout in a Stanley Cup Playoff game.

On May 2, 2022, Auston Matthews became the first Rocket Richard Trophy winner in 15 years to score the most goals in his team’s opening game when he scored two goals in the Maple Leafs’ Round 1 game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The last player to do that was Vincent Lecavalier in 2007.

On May 2, 2023, Carter Verhaeghe scored his 11th playoff goal, passing Ray Sheppard and Dave Lowry for the most in Panthers history. The Panthers defeated the Maple Leafs 4-2 in Game 1 of their second round series.

Later that night, Joe Pavelski (38 years, 295 days) became the oldest player in NHL history with four goals in a Stanley Cup Playoff game when he scored four against the Seattle Kraken. He beat Maurice Richard, who did it back in 1957 at the age of 35, for 245 days.

happy Birthday to you

A total of 18 players who have ever skated in the NHL were born on May 2. The most notable of them include Dave Hutchinson (72), Frank Caprice (62), Mike Weaver (52), Jason Chimera (45), Brad Richards (44), Kris Russell (37), and Brett Connolly (32).

*Originally created by Greg Boysen

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