Today in Hockey History: June 7

There was still plenty of hockey played on June 7, and we got to see a trio of unique Stanley Cup winners, some overtime drama, clutch goaltending, and one streak extended while another was snapped. Plus, some of the best players in National Hockey League history got their calls to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Three Historic Cup Wins

The Detroit Red Wings ended a 42-year championship drought on June 7, 1997. By beating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, they won their first title since 1955. Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom opened the scoring late in the first period before Darren McCarty scored the eventual series-clinching goal in the second. The Flyers get a goal from Eric Lindros with 15 seconds to play, but it was too late to mount a serious comeback.

Goaltender Mike Vernon was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the most valuable player of the postseason. He went 16-4 with a 1.76 goals-against average, and a .927 save percentage a year after losing his starting job during the 1996 playoffs.

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On June 7, 2004, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final to win their first championship in franchise history. Ruslan Fedotenko was the hero with a goal in each of the first two periods. The Flames cut the lead in half with a Craig Conroy power-play goal midway through the third period, but they are unable to score the equalizer.

Brad Richards won the Conn Smythe Trophy after scoring 12 goals and 26 points in 23 games. He had seven power-play goals and seven game-winners. Captain Dave Andreychuk accepted the Stanley Cup for the first time in his career after playing 22 seasons. He set the record for the most games played before winning his first championship with 1,759.

The Washington Capitals beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 on June 7, 2018, in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. The win was their fourth in a row, and clinched the first championship in franchise history. Devante Smith-Pelly tied the game at 3-3 in the third period, before Lars Eller scored the Cup-clinching goal. Alex Ovechkin was given the Conn Smythe Trophy for 15 goals and 27 points in 24 games. He scored his 15th goal of the postseason in the second period, which set a franchise record for the most by any player in a single playoff.

Big Time Shutouts

Patrick Roy made league history on June 7, 2001, by leading the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-0 win over the New Jersey Devils, in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. He made 24 saves to keep the Avalanche’s season alive a force a seventh game back in Denver. It was also his 19th career postseason shutout, setting a new playoff record. Defenseman Adam Foote was the offensive hero with a goal and two assists.

Five years later, on June 7, 2006, the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-0 in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Cam Ward became the first rookie goaltender since Roy in 1986 to earn a shutout in the Final. Matt Cullen assisted on three of the Hurricanes’ goals to go up 2-0 in the series.

American-Made Overtime Goals

On June 7, 1993, the Montreal Canadiens beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 in overtime in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. John LeClair scored in overtime for the second straight game to give the Canadiens a 3-1 series lead. He became just the second player in league history to score overtime goals in back-to-back Final games. Don Raleigh was the first to do with the New York Rangers in 1950. This was also the Canadiens’ 10th straight overtime victory in the playoffs, an NHL record.

Dustin Brown was the hero 21 years later, on June 7, 2014, when the Kings beat the Rangers 5-4 in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Dustin Brown
Brown came up huge on June 7, 2014. (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

Los Angeles entered the third period trailing 4-2 before getting goals from Dwight King and Marian Gaborik to force extra time. Brown won the game at the 10:26 mark of the second overtime. The Kings became the first team to win three straight playoff games after not leading for a single second of playing time in any of them.

Impressive Hall of Fame Classes

Three separate Hall of Fame classes were announced on this date over the years, and they included some rather legendary names. On June 7, 1967, the Hockey Hall of Fame announced the future induction of Walter “Turk” Broda, Neil Colville, Harry Oliver, and referee Red Storey.

The 1972 class, announced on this date, included two players the Hall of Fame waived its three-year waiting period for in Gordie Howe and Jean Beliveau. Bernie Geoffrion, Hap Holmes, Reg “Hooley” Smith, and builder Weston Adams were also part of the impressive class.

Gordie howe
Howe went straight to the Hall of Fame in 1972. (THW Archives)

Howe came out of retirement to play in World Hockey Association in 1973 and returned for one final NHL season in 1979-80 with the Hartford Whalers.

On June 7, 1983, the newest group of inductees was small with just three players, but it was pretty darn good with Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, and Ken Dryden.

Odds & Ends

Goaltender Jacques Plante announced his retirement on June 7, 1965, after starring in the NHL for 12 seasons with both the Canadiens and Rangers. He did come out of retirement three years later and return to play five more seasons with the St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, and the Oilers in the WHA.

On June 7, 1972, Bob Pulford retired as an active player and was named the new head coach of the Kings, where he had played the previous two seasons. He became the sixth head coach in team history.

Denis Potvin won the first of his three career Norris Trophies on June 7, 1976, for being the NHL’s top defenseman. He was the first player other than Bobby Orr to win the award in nine years. Bryan Trottier, Potvin’s teammate with the New York Islanders, won the Calder Trophy for being voted the league’s top rookie of the 1975-76 season.

Denis Potvin New York Islanders
Potvin ended Orr’s eight-year streak as Norris Trophy winner.. (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Rangers staged a big comeback on June 7, 1994, to beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. After falling behind 2-0, defenseman Brian Leetch scores his 10th goal of the playoffs to get New York on the board. He then assisted on all three of the Rangers’ goals that followed to give his team a 3-1 lead in the series.

Lindros played in his first career Stanley Cup playoff overtime game on June 7, 1995, and scored the winning goal. The tally, coming at the 4:19 mark, gave the Flyers a 3-2 victory over the Devils in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Eric Lindros
Lindros scored in his very first postseason overtime. (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim forced a seventh and deciding game on June 7, 2003, by beating the New Jersey Devils 5-2 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. Steve Rucchin set the tone with a pair of goals in the first period. Paul Kariya also had a big night with a goal and two assists.

The Bruins beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0 on June 7, 2013, in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final, to complete a four-game sweep and advance to the Stanley Cup Final. This marked the first time since 1979 that the Penguins were swept in a postseason series. Their streak of 45 straight series without getting swept is the second-longest in league history. The Canadiens went 56 series in a row with winning at least one game between 1953 and 1980.

Happy Birthday to You

Mike Modano, arguably the best U.S.-born player in NHL history, was born on June 7, 1970. He played 20 seasons with the Stars organization, four in Minnesota and 16 in Dallas, before one final season with the Red Wings in 2010-11. Modano played 1,499 regular-season games, and his 561 goals and 1,374 points are more than any player born in the U.S. He also had 58 goals and 146 points in 176 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Mike Modano Dallas Stars
Modan is the highest-scoring American player ever. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images)

Other notable players born on this date today are Terry O’Reilly (72), Willi Plett (68), Stephane Richer (57), Andrei Kovalenko (53), Milan Lucic (35), Matt Beleskey (35), Michael Stone (33), T.J. Brodie (33), Denis Gurianov (26), Victor Mete (25), Filip Gustavsson (25), and the late Gilles Marotte.

*Originally constructed by Greg Boysen

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