Today in Hockey History: May 19

A pair of historic Stanley Cup champions were crowned on this date. May 19 has also seen some great individual efforts by Hall of Fame defensemen and goaltenders. Let’s begin our trip back in time and experience all the best this date has had to offer through the decades.

Champions Crowned

On May 19, 1974, the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Boston Bruins 1-0 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final to become the first expansion team to win a championship. Rick MacLeish deflected a shot from the point for the game’s only goal late in the first period.

Rick MacLeish, Philadelphia Flyers, NHL, Hockey
MacLeish scored the Cup-winning goal in 1974. [photo: Bettmann/Corbis]

Bernie Parent picked up his second career playoff shutout by making 30 saves. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the most valuable player of the playoffs. The Hall of Fame goaltender went 12-5 with a 2.02 goals-against average during the 1974 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

A decade later, the Edmonton Oilers ended one dynasty and started another. On May 19, 1984, they beat the New York Islanders 5-2 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. The win gave them their first championship and ended the Islanders’ four-year reign as league champions. The Oilers are the first team from the defunct World Hockey Association to win the Stanley Cup, and they went on to win four of the next five championships.

Wayne Gretzky, who was held without a goal in the 1984 Stanley Cup Final versus the Islanders, scored two first-period goals in the series-clinching win. The Islanders’ 19 straight playoff series wins are still the NHL record.

Big Day for Blueliners

On May 19, 1979, defenseman Serge Savard was the hero for the Montreal Canadiens. He scored the winning goal at 7:25 of overtime in a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Another Canadiens defenseman made big news ten years later. On May 19, 1989, Larry Robinson became the first player in NHL history to play in 200 Stanley Cup playoff games, as Montreal beat the Calgary Flames 4-3 in overtime in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Larry Robinson, Montreal Canadiens
Robinson was the first player to play in 200 postseason games. (THW Archives)

Paul Coffey, a member of the 1984 Oilers, made history on May 19, 1996. He became the highest goal-scoring defenseman in Stanley Cup playoff history by scoring a pair of goals. Unfortunately, it came in a losing effort as the Detroit Red Wings lost 3-2, in overtime, to the Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final. His power-play and shorthanded goal moved him ahead of Denis Potvin on the all-time list for defensemen.

Great Feats in Goaltending

May 19, 1995, saw a pair of big-time goaltending performances. Wade Flaherty made 56 saves to help the San Jose Sharks earn a 5-4 overtime win over the Flames in Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Ray Whitney scored less than two minutes into the second overtime to get the Sharks onto the next round.

The Vancouver Canucks also advanced out of the Western Conference Quarterfinals on that night. Kirk McLean made 41 saves to lead them to a 5-3 win at the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of their opening-round series.

Patrick Roy tied an NHL record on May 19, 2000, with his 15th career playoff shutout as the Avalanche won 2-0 over the visiting Dallas Stars in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final. Rookie defenseman Martin Skoula assisted on both of Colorado’s goals.

A year later, on May 19, 2001, Martin Brodeur recorded his second consecutive playoff shutout in the New Jersey Devils’ 5-0 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final. This was Brodeur’s fourth shutout of the 2001 postseason and the 12th of his career.

On May 19, 2016, Martin Jones led the Sharks to a 3-0 win over the Blues in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final. Jones stopped all 22 shots he faced to earn his second consecutive shutout over St. Louis.

Odds & Ends

Stephane Matteau continued the Rangers’ magical playoff run on May 19, 1994. He scored six minutes into double overtime to give the Rangers a 3-2 win over the Devils in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final. This would not be the last double-overtime goal scored by Matteau in this memorable series.

On May 19, 2004, the Flames advanced to their first Stanley Cup Final in 15 years with a 3-1 win over the visiting Sharks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final. Jarome Iginla scored his 10th goal of the playoffs, and Martin Gelinas picked up the game-winner.

Jarome Iginla
Iginla had plenty to smile about in Calgary. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

The Red Wings advanced to the Stanley Cup Final on May 19, 2008, by beating the Dallas Stars 4-1 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final. Kris Draper, Pavel Datsyuk, Dallas Drake, and Henrik Zetterberg all scored for the Red Wings as goaltender Chris Osgood made 28 saves. Datsyuk’s last 11 goals, nine in 2008 and two in 2007, were all scored on the road.

Rookie Chris Kreider did all the scoring in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final on May 19, 2012. He found the back of the net three times during the third period of the Rangers’ 3-0 victory against the Devils. This outburst gave him five goals in the postseason, which tied the record for the most playoff goals scored by a player who had not played in a regular-season game yet.

Chris Kreider New York Rangers
Kreider came up huge on this date in 2012. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Chicago Blackhawks played the longest game in their long franchise history on May 19, 2015. Marcus Kruger scored at the 16:12 mark of the third overtime to give them a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final.

On May 19, 2021, Alex Ovechkin etched his name into the history books once again by scoring his 800th goal in the NHL. He became the sixth player in NHL history to score that many combined in the regular season and playoffs after Gretzky (1,016), Gordie Howe (869), Brett Hull (844), Jaromir Jagr (844) and Mark Messier (803).

On that same night, Alex Nedeljkovic secured his first postseason shutout in a 3-0 blanking of the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of their first-round series. He became the second rookie goaltender in Hurricanes history to have one, joining Cam Ward who did it twice in 2006, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New Jersey Devils and Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers.

Finally, to close out the festivities in 2021, Nathan MacKinnon scored a hat trick in the Avalanche’s 6-3 victory over the Blues in Game 2 to become the first Avalanche player to do so since Valeri Kamensky in Game 5 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Chicago Blackhawks. Joonas Donskoi‘s goal in that game was also the fastest from the start of a playoff game in franchise history.

On May 19, 2022, Ross Colton scored the second latest go-ahead goal in Tampa Bay Lightning playoff history when he potted the winner with 3.8 seconds left in the third period of their second round series against the Florida Panthers. The latest still belongs to Tyler Johnson who scored with two seconds left in the third period to give them a 2-1 win in Game 3 of the 2015 second round against the Canadiens.

Happy Birthday to You

A total of 24 current and former NHL players were born on May 19. The most notable of them include Carey Wilson (61), Marc Bureau (57), Mark Janssens (55), Jason Botterill (47), Michael Leighton (42), Jack Skille (36), Evgeny Kuznetsov (31), Connor Hellebuyck (30), and Oliver Kylington (26).

*Originally constructed by Greg Boysen