April 10 has been quite an eventful day in National Hockey League history. Among some of the memorable moments is the greatest comeback in Stanley Cup playoff history and a new record for the most goals ever in the postseason. The THW time machine is fired up and ready to take us back through the decades to relive all the best this date has given us.
Los Angeles Kings Reign on April 10
This is a big date in the early history of the Kings. On April 10, 1982, the Kings pulled off the greatest comeback in Stanley Cup playoffs history that became forever known as the “Miracle on Manchester.”
The Kings entered their Smythe Division Semifinals big-time underdogs against the Edmonton Oilers. Los Angeles qualified for the playoffs despite only winning 24 games on the season. Meanwhile, Edmonton won the division by scoring an NHL record 417 goals during the regular season.
The Kings scored a huge upset in Game 1 of the series before the Oilers recovered to even the series the following game. They dominated the first two periods of Game 3 at the Forum and took a 5-0 lead into the final frame.
Defenseman Jay Wells started the comeback with a goal less than three minutes into the period. Doug Smith struck three minutes later to cut the deficit down to three. Charlie Simmer and Mark Hard scored just over a minute apart to bring the Kings within a goal with four minutes to play.
Steve Bozek sent the game into overtime by scoring off a rebound with just five seconds remaining in regulation. Daryl Evans scored the biggest goal of his career, just 2:35 into overtime when his slap shot flew over the shoulder of Grant Fuhr and gave the Kings the improbable victory and 2-1 series lead. They went on to win the best-of-five series with a 7-4 victory in the fifth and final game.
The Kings had another memorable playoff win on April 10, 1990. They set an NHL record when three players scored hat tricks in a 12-4 win over the Calgary Flames in Game 4 of the Smythe Division Semifinals. Dave Taylor, Tony Granato, and Tomas Sandstrom all scored three goals on three shots apiece.
On April 10, 1991, Wayne Gretzky became the NHL’s all-time leading playoff-goal scorer while wearing a Kings uniform.
He scored his 93rd career playoff goal against the Vancouver Canucks to break the previous record held by his former linemate, Jari Kurri. Gretzky’s 122 career postseason goals are one of his many records that may never be broken.
A Memorable Day in 1993
April 10, 1993, saw a handful of major milestones reached and they started in Pittsburgh. The Penguins defeated the New York Rangers 4-2 to extend their league-record 17-game winning streak. Current Oilers head coach, Dave Tippet, led the way with a goal and an assist for the Penguins.
As one record streak continued, another was snapped on Long Island. The first-year Ottawa Senators snapped their 38-game road losing streak by beating the New York Islanders 5-3 at the Nassau Coliseum. It was their only road win in an inaugural season that saw the Senators win just 10 games and earn 24 points.
Hall of Famer Chris Chelios set a new Chicago Blackhawks’ team record for defensemen, with his 55th assist of the season, in a 4-2 win at the Tampa Bay Lightning. Chelios broke the single-season mark held by Doug Wilson. He finished the season with 58 assists, a mark he matched in the 1995-96 season and is still the team record.
Meanwhile, history was made in the minor leagues on this date too. The San Diego Gulls of the now-defunct IHL became the first pro hockey team to win 61 games in a season. The Gulls (61-11-8) broke the mark of 60 set by the Montreal Canadiens in 1976-77.
Finally, also in the IHL, professional hockey’s first female goalie Manon Rheaume played her first complete pro game, an 8-6 Atlanta Knights loss to the Cincinnati Cyclones. She made 22 saves in the game.
Stanley Cup Playoff Moments
Mush Marsh made history on April 10, 1934, when he scored in double overtime to beat the Detroit Red Wings 1-0 and give the Blackhawks their first Stanley Cup win in franchise history. Goaltender Charlie Gardiner, who earned the shutout, played in his final NHL as he died of a brain hemorrhage the following June.
On April 10, 1949, Turk Broda of the Toronto Maple Leafs became the first goalie to record 50 career playoff victories. Sid Smith tied a playoff record with three power-play goals in a 3-1 win over the Red Wings in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Broda is 16th all-time in postseason wins with 60.
Gordie Howe scored the only hat trick of his playoff career to lead Red Wings to a 5-1 win over the Canadiens in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. The three goals gave Howe 19 playoff points, breaking the mark set in 1943-44 by Toe Blake.
The following year, the Canadiens got revenge by beating the Red Wings to start a record run of five straight Stanley Cup championships. Legends Jean Beliveau, Maurice Richard and Bernie Geoffrion all score goals, while Jacques Plante makes 25 saves. They would not lose a playoff series until the Blackhawks beat them on their way to the 1961 Stanley Cup.
On April 10, 1966, Roger Crozier recorded the only shutout of his playoff career and Howe had a goal and three assists in the Red Wings’ 7-0 win at the Blackhawks. The second game of their Stanley Cup Semifinals series was the first nationally televised hockey game in U.S. history.
The Canucks won their first playoff series in franchise history when they beat the Flames on April 10, 1982. Vancouver, led by Roger Nielson behind the bench, went on to beat the Kings and Blackhawks before losing to Islanders in their first-ever trip to the Stanley Cup Final.
On April 10, 1988, John Tucker of the Buffalo Sabres became the first player in NHL history to get an overtime goal and a penalty shot goal in the same playoff year. He scored in overtime to give the Sabres a 6-5 win over the Boston Bruins after converting on a penalty shot the previous night.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere made league history on April 10, 2003. He made 63 saves to lead the Anaheim Ducks over the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings, 2-1, in double overtime.
He made the most saves by a goaltender making his postseason debut. The 20 saves he made in the first overtime were the most any goaltender had faced in an extra period since the league expanded in 1967.
Odds & Ends
On April 10, 1994, Hall of Famer Dominik Hasek became the first goalie in 20 years to post a goals-against average (GAA) of under 2.00, after finishing the season with a 1.95 GAA following a 3-2 Sabres’ loss to the Rangers.
Two years later, the Red Wings beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 for their 60th win of the season, tying the Canadiens all-time mark for the most in one season. They won their final two games of the regular season to set a new record of 62 victories. The 2018-19 Lightning now shares that record with these Red Wings.
On that same night, Philadelphia Flyers winger John LeClair scored twice to reach the 50-goal mark for the first time in his NHL career. He also added a pair of assists in a 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. This was the first of three consecutive seasons of at least 50 goals for LeClair in Philadelphia.
On April 10, 2001, the Atlanta Thrashers won the NHL Entry Draft Lottery and the right to select first overall in the upcoming 2001 NHL Draft. They used the pick two months later to pick Ilya Kovalchuk.
Jonathan Cheechoo became the first 50-goal scorer in San Jose Sharks history on April 10, 2006. His milestone goal came against the Phoenix Coyotes and he added his 51st goal of the season just 44 seconds later. He finished the 2005-06 season with 56 goals, which is still the franchise record and the only 50-goal season in team history.
Auston Matthews became the first United States-born player in NHL history to score 30 goals in each of his first five seasons on April 10, 2021. The record was set in a game against the Ottawa Senators in which he scored a hat trick for his 29th, 30th and 31st goals of the season. He also added an assist on Mitch Marner’s goal in the second period to give him a four-point night in what finished as a 6-5 victory for the Maple Leafs.
Ryan O’Reilly got into the Blues’ record books against the Wild in 2021 when he scored the winner at 4:58 of overtime to pass Vince Dunn’s 4:57 mark set on March 30, 2019, to make it the latest winner in franchise history.
Happy Birthday to You
There have been 25 NHL players who were born on April 10 throughout the years. Some of the most notable birthday boys include Rob Brown (54), Enrico Ciccone (52), Sean Avery (42), Dion Phaneuf (37), Brandon Pirri (31), Oliver Bjorkstrand (27) and the late Ron Murphy who won a Stanley Cup with the 1961 Blackhawks.
Matthew Zator is a THW freelance writer, media editor, and scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in general. He loves talking about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.