Every year there are nearly 1,500 games in the National Hockey League. Not all of them will be remembered by fans in a year or two, and not all of them have something special to celebrate, but some games will be remembered even twenty years from now.
This article talks about some of these famous matches. It’s worth saying right off the bat that there have been many famous NHL games, so only a few of the events that occurred in the twenty-first century are covered here. More interesting news from the world of hockey is published on our website – mega-news.in.
April 18, 2012, Philadelphia Flyers – Pittsburgh Penguins – 3:10
This was the fourth game of the first round of the NHL playoffs. This series started badly for the team from Pittsburgh, losing their first three games in a row, with them conceding 8 pucks each in two games.
This season, even though they finished the regular season in fourth place in the Eastern Conference (Philadelphia was fifth), almost nothing came out against the Flyers: four of six games were lost. That continued in the playoffs.
Pittsburgh came into Game 4 fully motivated to win. There was no margin for error, nor could they lose the “battle for Pennsylvania” – that’s how these teams referred to their meetings. Perhaps that over-motivation helped to win.
The first period ended with a 3-4 score, while the second period saw five pucks inside the Flyers’ goal and the tenth washer in the third. Pittsburgh forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin each scored three points.
After that game, Pittsburgh managed to win the fifth game, but in the sixth game, Philadelphia still did their job and advanced to the second round, where they lost to the New Jersey Devils. The event was discussed at length in the news.
March 18, 2021, New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers, 9-0
“Philadelphia” and “Rangers” approached the match, not in the best condition: “Pilots” won in five games only two, the team from New York – at all one.
The first period, even though Philadelphia outscored their opponent, ended 2-0 in favor of the Bluebirds. It would seem that the Flyers should bounce back, as they were seriously outshooting their opponent, but that’s not what happened.
In the second period, Philadelphia was unable to counter anything against the Rangers. During the period, the puck visited the Flyers’ goal 7 times! The team from New York demonstrated a superior realization rate (the Rangers shot 17 times against the Flyers, a 41% realization rate).
This game was a true “harvest season” in terms of points for the players from New York: Panarin scored two points, Buchnevich had four points, and Zibanejad managed a hat trick (and he scored both on the power play and power play) and three assists, for a total of six points!
November 5, 2016, Columbus Blue Jackets – Montreal Canadiens – 10-0
Montreal had a successful start, with the Habs picking up nine straight wins in ten games. The Blue Jackets were not off to the best start, as they only won four times in eight games. Many thought that Montreal would take the next two points.
However, the opposite happened. The Canadiens had three pucks in the first period, five in the next, and in the third period, Montreal goalie Al Montoyo had two more pucks out of the gate.
Notably, Montreal head coach Michel Therrien was celebrating his birthday. He had been on the coaching bench twice before and lost both games: the first time his Pittsburgh lost to the San Jose Sharks 2-3, and the second time, with Montreal, he lost to Chicago 0-5.
January 11, 2003, Florida Panthers – Washington Capitals – 2:12
This game turned out to be the biggest rout in recent NHL history. In this game, the legendary Jaromir Jagr scored seven(!) points, adding three goals and four assists. Sergey Gonchar also chipped in, finishing the game with a +7 rating. The game was also notable for five fistfights, which are still on the internet.
February 16, 2021, Toronto Maple Leafs vs Ottawa Senators 5-6
It was a meeting between two opposing teams: “Toronto was going first in the division and Ottawa was going last. The Leafs were expected to win easily, but that was not the case.
At first, the game was going in favor of “Toronto”: already in the 11th minute the score was 2-0 in favor of “the Blues”, and in the 39th minute the score was 5-1. “The Senators managed to get one puck back before the end of the period and the score was 5-2. The difference seemed unwinnable, especially for an outsider like the Ottawa Senators.
But Ottawa didn’t give up on the play. Artem Zub scored early in the period on a one-on-one situation (it was his first NHL goal), then four minutes later the score was 5-4, and with two minutes to go Evgeny Dadonov caught a rebound on the back of the net, and scored. In the middle of overtime, Dadonov scored again with a double against Toronto.
For Ottawa, the game was the first time they had been able to make up a four-point difference. Before that, they had lost 240 times in similar situations. The Maple Leafs had a history of similar losses, so for Toronto, this game was yet another reminder that a big difference in the score can be reversed.
November 19, 2000, St. Louis Blues vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, 6-5 OT
There have only been two times in NHL history when a team has been able to come back from a five-goal deficit. This game is the second such occasion.
At the time, Toronto and St. Louis were among the favorites to win the NHL championship. The game was expected to be hot and even.
However, the score after 43 minutes did not say that the game was even: by 43 minutes Toronto led 5-0 with 23 shots on goal of the opponent. It seemed that the outcome of the game was a foregone conclusion, but there was almost a miracle.
Maple Leafs scored five goals during the period. Defenseman Alexander Khavanov was especially outstanding during the period, making a double and tying the score. He played the game of his life, which became his ticket to the NHL.
For Maple Leaf’s fans, the bitterness of that loss was outweighed only by the loss in Game 7 against Boston.
May 14, 2013, Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-4 OT
“That’s something you’ll probably remember for the rest of your life,” was how hockey player Johnny Boychuck, then playing for the Boston team, described the game. NHL journalists later declared it the best game of the decade.
Toronto did quite well in the regular season, finishing fifth in the Eastern Conference. The opponent was the Boston Bruins, ranked fourth in the conference. The opponent for the Maple Leafs was unpleasant: they lost three out of four games to the Bears.
The first game confirmed that fact: After a goal, Toronto conceded four goals. However, in the second game, the Canadians took the lead with a score of 4:2. Then, the Bruins managed to win twice in Toronto. “The Maple Leafs found themselves on the brink of relegation, but it was far from over.
In the next two games, Toronto goalie James had the best game of his career. In those two games, he took 74 shots while allowing just two pucks. That helped the team win twice by a score of 1-2. The series awaited a seventh game that went down in NHL history.
Boston opened the scoring in the fifth minute. “Toronto tied the game four minutes later. The Canadians dominated in the first and second periods, outscoring their opponents. “The Maple Leafs took the lead midway through the second period. Pucks were flying into the Bears’ goal in the third period as well: by 14:31 to the end of the main time, the score was 1:4.
For the Canadian club’s fans, a feast was already in progress. For Toronto, making it to the second round was a painful issue, since the team had not been in the first round of the playoffs since 2003. It seemed like a little more and the curse would be solved. As the next 14 minutes showed, Toronto is by no means happy in these situations.
“The Boston Bruins were back in the game. With 10:42 left in the third period, the Maple Leafs had their second puck, their third at 1:22, and Patrice Bergeron tied the game 21 seconds later. By the end of the period, the Bruins had outshot the Canadiens 17-6.
After such a psychological blow, Toronto was no longer able to recover. Five minutes into overtime, Bergeron put the game away. Instead of a Leaf’s comeback, there was a Bears comeback in the series.
Subsequently, the Boston Bruins reached the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks. For the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are still unable to reach the second round, it was the blackest day in the club’s recent history.
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