We’re nearing the end of the 87th NHL season with the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals only a few days away! Will the Rangers get another shot after falling to the Kings in a 4-1 series last year? Or will the Tampa Bay Lightning dazzle the country with it’s first Finals appearance in over 10 years? With Chicago and Anaheim also firecling in the hunt, it’s all shaping up to be an exhilarating Finals series. But looking back on the 450+ Finals games played since the NHL’s inception in 1927, some were a little more memorable than others. Below you’ll find our picks for the 5 most exciting Finals games in Stanley Cup history, full of last-second goals and incredible saves. Be sure to comment and tell us yours!
Chicago vs Boston, 2013 Game 1
Chicago and Boston kicked off the series in 2013 in spectacular fashion, with a back-to-back scramble that sent the game into triple overtime. At 12:08, Andrew Shaw secured the victory with a quickshot into the Boston net, giving the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead in the series. This first game was a clear indication at what the remaining matches had in store, as the winner was ultimately decided on game 6 in the last two minutes. Chicago took the crown, but the fight in both teams gave spectators one of the most memorable Finals in history.
New York Islanders vs Vancouver, 1972 Game 1
In another electrifying series opener, Mike Bossy and the Islanders were down 5-4 late in the game. Bossy clearly had something to say about that. Ultimately winning the league MVP, Bossy rallied and scored the tying goal, sending the game to overtime. He then scored in OT, not only cinching the win for game 1, but laid the foundation for NY to take the Cup after a 4-game sweep.
New York Rangers vs Montreal, 1982 Game 2
This one is a story fit for the silver screen. In game 2 of the series between the Rangers and Maroons, legendary player-turned-coach of the Rangers Lester Patrick lost his goalie to injury early in the game. Because teams did not carry backup goalies at this time, it appeared to everyone that New York was out of luck. But not so fast – in a moment of glory, Patrick came out of his six year retirement to fill in as the team’s goalie for the remaining periods, blocking 18 of 19 shots and ultimately securing victory for NY. Inspired by their resilient coach, the Rangers went on to win the series 4-2.
Chicago vs Montreal, 1971 Game 7
There are very few things more exciting in the quest for the Stanley Cup than a seventh game comeback. It looked like the NHL’s Holy Grail would be going to Chicago, as the Blackhawks were enjoying a late 2-0 lead. But Henri Richard of the Canadiens had a different ending in mind, scoring both the tying goal and series-winning longshot, stealing the victory for Montreal.
Detroit vs Toronto, 1942 Game 5
We go back to ‘42 to not only an incredible game, but a series that shocked the nation and would forever be dubbed “The Stanley Cup Comeback.” Toronto lost the first three games of the series, and since no team had ever rallied from a three game deficit, everyone believed Detroit would emerge victorious. Everyone, that is, but Toronto. Don Metz and the Maple Leafs won game four, and went into game 5 with a fire, blazing their way to a 9-3 win. Now enamoured with confidence and something to prove, Toronto kept their winning streak alive for the next two matches, making this the first series to ever go to 7 games, and is still the only team to ever win the Cup after starting the series 0-3.