If you had to choose two words to describe April 24 throughout the history of the National Hockey League, “overtime goal” would be the perfect pair to use. This date has provided some of the most memorable playoff goals ever scored, as well as some legends breaking records.
More OT Goals Than You Can Shake a Stick At
Jean Beliveau only scored one overtime playoff goal of his Hall of Fame career on April 24, 1969. It came early in the second overtime, in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals, against the Boston Bruins. Beliveau beat goaltender Gerry Cheevers to give the Montreal Canadiens a 2-1 win and punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final. It was the Canadiens’ 10th straight playoff series win over the Bruins, dating back to 1946.
It wasn’t all bad news on this date for the Bruins. On April 24, 1983, Brad Park got them into the second round of the playoffs with a pair of huge goals in Game 7 of the Adams Division Final. The Bruins were trailing the Buffalo Sabres in the third period until Park struck on the power play.
He became the first player in NHL history to score the last goal in regulation and the overtime goal of a Game 7 just 1:52 into the extra time. Park was also the defensemen in Stanley Cup playoff history to score more than one goal in a Game 7. The game-winner was the 1,000 goal in Bruins’ postseason history too.
April 24, 1993, saw a pair of overtime goals. Brad May scored one of the most memorable goals in Sabres’ franchise history to complete a four-game sweep of the Bruins. His goal less than five minutes into overtime gave Buffalo a 6-5 win. Alexander Mogilny scored two goals and Pat LaFontaine had three assists in the final game of their Adams Division Semifinal series.
Meanwhile, on Long Island, Ray Ferraro scored in double overtime for the second consecutive game for the New York Islanders to beat the Washington Capitals, in Game 4 of the Patrick Division Semifinals. The Islanders took a 3-1 series lead with all of their wins coming in overtime. Ferraro’s game-winners came in contests in which the Islanders fell behind 3-1 and 3-0 before mounting comebacks.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Capitals played one of the craziest playoff games ever on April 24, 1996. Things looked bleak for the Penguins as they fell behind 2-0 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. To make matters worse, starting goaltender Tom Barrasso didn’t return after the first period as back spasms forced him out of the game. Mario Lemieux was also given a game misconduct late in the second period.
Through all of that, the Penguins tied the game thanks to goals from Jaromir Jagr and Petr Nedved. Capitals forward Joe Juneau is awarded a penalty shot late in the second overtime, but he is denied by Ken Wregget, who made 53 saves in relief of Barrasso. Nedved strikes again at 19:15 of the fourth overtime to even the series at two wins apiece.
On April 24, 1998, Darren Van Impe scored his second goal of the game, 54 seconds into the second overtime, to give the Bruins a 4-3 win over the Capitals, in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. This was the game of a lifetime for Van Impe, who had just three goals total in his 33 career Stanley Cup playoff games.
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Dallas Stars played the fourth-longest game in NHL history on April 24, 2003. After Brendan Morrow tied the game late in the third period, the two teams would play over 83 minutes of hockey before another goal was scored. Petr Sykora won the game for the Mighty Ducks 48 seconds into the fifth overtime with goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere making 60 saves.
Joe Sakic made NHL history on April 24, 2006, with his overtime goal against the Stars, in Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. The Colorado Avalanche captain beat goaltender Marty Turco for his seventh career overtime playoff goal, the most in NHL history. He still sits atop the all-time list with eight goals, two ahead of Maurice Richard, whose record on broke on this evening.
Marian Hossa scored one of the biggest goals in Chicago Blackhawks history on April 24, 2010. With the Blackhawks trailing the Nashville Predators 4-3, in Game 5 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, Hossa was given a five-minute major for boarding with just over a minute to play in regulation.
Patrick Kane saved the day by scoring a shorthanded goal with only 14 seconds left on the clock to get the game into overtime. Moments after being released from the penalty box, Hossa went straight to the net and scored the game-winning goal. The Blackhawks won the series two nights later on their way to their first Stanley Cup in 49 years.
Exactly one year later, Ben Smith scored in overtime to beat the Vancouver Canucks in overtime of Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. The victory forced a seventh and final game back in Vancouver after the Canucks jumped out to a 3-1 series lead.
On April 24, 2016, the Islanders win their first playoff series in 23 years with some heroics from John Tavares. They were trailing the Panthers 1-0, in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference First Round, when Tavares forced overtime with just 54 seconds left in regulation. The former captain then won the game by beating Roberto Luongo about 11 minutes into extra time. It was their first playoff series win since the beat they upset the Penguins in the 1993 Patrick Division Final.
Brock McGinn endeared himself to Carolina Hurricanes fans on April 24, 2019, with his huge overtime goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round. The Hurricanes found themselves down 3-1, in the second period, to the Capitals, the reigning Stanley Cup champions. Jordan Staal evens up the score in the third period to force overtime. McGinn beats Braden Holtby 11 minutes into the second overtime to end the third-longest Game 7 in postseason history.
A Memorable Date for Roy
Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy hit a pair of personal milestones on this date. First, on April 24, 1997, he beat the Chicago Blackhawks 7-0 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. The victory was the 89th of his postseason career, passing former Islanders netminder Billy Smith for the most playoff wins in league history.
Exactly two years later, he beat the San Jose Sharks 3-1, in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, to become the first goaltender in NHL history to ever win 100 playoff games. Roy would win another 51 postseason games before calling it a career. His 151 Stanly Cup playoff wins are still the most by any goaltender.
Odds & Ends
On April 24, 1948, Detroit Red Wings’ center Jimmy McFadden was awarded the Calder Trophy as the best NHL rookie for the 1947-48 season. McFadden’s teammate, rookie defenseman Red Kelly finished third in the voting. The 27-year-old rookie scored 24 goals and 48 points, the best season of his NHL career. He became the first Red Wings player to win the Calder Trophy since it was first given out in 1933. Since then, three other Red Wings have won the award; all of them goaltenders.
The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers set an NHL playoff record for most goals in one period, on April 24, 1979, with nine in the third period. The Rangers scored six of those nine goals on their way to an 8-3 win in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Quarterfinals.
Wayne Gretzky became the NHL’s all-time leading playoff goal scorer on April 24, 1989. His 86th postseason goal came in the Los Angeles Kings’ Smythe Division Final-clinching win over the Calgary Flames.
Gretzky broke the record held, at the time, by Islanders’ Hall of Famer Mike Bossy. His 122 playoff goals are just one of the 61 NHL records the Great One still holds to this day.
On April 24, 1996, John Vanbiesbrouck made 40 saves as the Panthers beat the Bruins 4-2 to become just the second team in NHL history to win their first three all-time playoff games. The win gave the Panthers a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Happy Birthday to You
There is a group of 28 current and former NHL players who were born on this date. Among the most notable are Darren Veitch (60), Ken Klee (49), Peter Skudra (47), Frans Nielsen (36), Kris Letang (33), Akim Aliu (31), Scott Wilson (28) and Tyler Toffoli (28).