Top 10 Stanley Cup Final games since 1972

Top 10 Stanley Cup Final games since 1972

The 2022 Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche starts Wednesday with Game 1 at Ball Arena in Denver (8 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, CBC, SN, TVAS). To help fans get ready, writers and editors voted for their 10 greatest Stanley Cup Final games since 1972.  

Here are the results: 

1. 2010 Game 6: Chicago Blackhawks 4, Philadelphia Flyers 3 (OT)

Patrick Kane‘s goal at 4:06 of overtime lifted the Blackhawks to their first Stanley Cup championship since 1961. Kane’s low shot from the bottom of the circle eluded Flyers goalie Michael Leighton and went into the far side of the net, and there was a delayed goal call and celebration because almost nobody in Wachovia Center other than Kane saw it go in. Dustin Byfuglien, Patrick Sharp and Andrew Ladd scored for Chicago, and goalie Antti Niemi made 21 saves in the Cup-clinching victory, the only one on the road in the best-of-7 Final.

2. 1980 Game 6: New York Islanders 5, Philadelphia Flyers 4 (OT)

Bobby Nystrom scored at 7:11 of overtime to give the Islanders their first Cup victory and the first of their four straight NHL championships. Nystrom at 19:46 of the second period to give the Islanders a 4-2 lead, but the Flyers forced extra time with goals by Bob Dailey and John Paddock in the third. Billy Smith made 21 saves for the Islanders, who won Games 1 (4-3) and 6 in overtime. New York won Games 3 (6-2) and 4 (5-2) at home to take a 3-1 series lead and lost 6-3 in Game 5 in Philadelphia.

3. 1994 Game 7: New York Rangers 3, Vancouver Canucks 2

Mark Messier’s power-play goal at 13:29 the second period stood as the game-winner and the Rangers won the Cup for the first time since 1940. Brian Leetch and Adam Graves scored for New York, and Trevor Linden scored twice for Vancouver. Leetch led the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 23 assists and 34 points (his 11 goals were fourth) in 23 games and won the Conn Smythe Trophy voted as postseason MVP. The Rangers led the series 3-1 before losing 6-3 in Game 5 and 4-1 in Game 6. 

4. 2000 Game 6: New Jersey Devils 2, Dallas Stars 1 (2OT)

Jason Arnott scored at 8:20 of the second overtime to give the Devils their second Cup victory (1995) since joining the NHL as the Kansas City Scouts in 1974-75. Scott Niedermayer (shorthanded) and Mike Keane exchanged goals in the second period, and Devils goalie Martin Brodeur made 30 saves. Arnott had 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 23 playoff games to share the Devils scoring lead with Patrik Elias (seven goals, 13 assists). It was New Jersey’s second championship in five years with its third coming in 2003. The Stars stayed alive by winning 1-0 in Game 5 on Mike Modano’s goal at 6:31 of the third overtime.

5. 2013 Game 6: Chicago Blackhawks 3, Boston Bruins 2

Bryan Bickell scored with 1:16 remaining in the third period and Dave Bolland scored 17 seconds later to help the Blackhawks stun the Bruins and win the Cup at TD Garden in Boston. Boston led 1-0 and 2-1, taking its second lead with Milan Lucic‘s goal at 12:11 of the third, only to watch Chicago’s late heroics deny it a chance at Game 7. The Blackhawks trailed the Final 2-1 until winning the last three games, their second Cup title in three seasons and the middle championship of a run of three in five years (2010-2015).

6. 2009 Game 7: Pittsburgh Penguins 2, Detroit Red Wings 1

Maxime Talbot scored two first-period goals and Marc-Andre Fleury made 23 saves, none bigger than a diving stop on Nicklas Lidstrom with one second left in the third period, to help the Penguins win the Cup for the first time since back-to-back titles in 1991 and 1992. Evgeni Malkin, who had one assist in Game 7, was named winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy after leading the playoffs with 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) in 24 games. Penguins center Sidney Crosby was second with 31 points (a playoff-high 15 goals, 16 assists). The Red Wings led the series 3-2 after winning 5-0 in Game 5 at home but lost 2-1 in Game 6 at Pittsburgh. Game 7 was the only victory by the road team.

7. 1999 Game 6: Dallas Stars 2, Buffalo Sabres 1 (3OT)

Brett Hull scored by kicking a rebound up to his stick at 14:51 of the third overtime and the Stars won the Cup for the first time. The winning goal was under a lengthy video review with Hull knocking the puck in at the edge of Buffalo goalie Dominik Hasek’s crease but stood to end the game and the series. Jere Lehtinen scored at 8:09 of the first period to give Dallas a 1-0 lead until Buffalo’s Stu Barnes tied it at 18:21 of the second. Ed Belfour made 53 saves in the Cup-clinching victory. He made 23 in a 2-0 win in Game 5.

8. 1993 Game 2: Montreal Canadiens 3, Los Angeles Kings 2 (OT)

Eric Desjardins had a hat trick, including the game-winner at 51 seconds of overtime, to give the Canadiens their first victory of the 1993 Cup Final. The Canadiens lost 4-1 in Game 1 but won the next four, including Games 3 and 4, in overtime. Desjardins’ second goal during a power play in Game 2 tied it 2-2 at 18:47 of the third. Montreal had the man-advantage when Kings defenseman Marty McSorley was penalized for playing with an illegal stick (too much curve) at 18:15 of the third. Up to that penalty, the Kings led on goals by Dave Taylor (shorthanded) and Pat Conacher.

9. 1987 Game 7: Edmonton Oilers 3, Philadelphia Flyers 1

The Oilers won their third Cup title in four seasons when Messier, Jari Kurri and Glenn Anderson scored after Murray Craven’s power-play goal at 1:41 of the first period gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead. Oilers goalie Grant Fuhr made 19 saves, but Flyers goalie Ron Hextall was the major story of the series, making 40 saves in Game 7 and being voted the Conn Smythe Trophy winner despite playing for the losing team. He stopped 204 of 226 shots in the Final (3.09 goals-against average, .903 save percentage) and was 15-11 in the playoffs (2.76 GAA, .908 save percentage). Hextall made 31 saves in a 4-3 win in Game 5 and 30 in a 3-2 win in Game 6, helping the Flyers rally from down 3-1 in the series.

10. 2004 Game 6: Tampa Bay Lightning 3, Calgary Flames 2 (2OT)

Martin St. Louis scored at 33 seconds of overtime to help the Lightning tie the Final 3-3 before a 2-1 win in Game 7 on home ice clinched their first Stanley Cup championship. The Lightning led Game 6 twice on two second-period goals by Brad Richards, but the Flames responded with goals by Chris Clark and Marcus Nilson. Calgary thought Martin Gelinas scored a go-ahead goal with 6:57 left in the third when his skate directed a rebound that appeared to cross the goal line and past Tampa Bay goalie Nikolai Khabibulin. No goal was signaled, and a review didn’t take place. This was before the current goal-review procedures were implemented by the NHL.