THIS DATE IN HISTORY, APRIL 17:
1958: Maurice Richard scores the sixth and final Stanley Cup Playoff overtime goal of his career to give the Montreal Canadiens a 3-2 win against the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the Final at the Forum. He beats goaltender Don Simmons at 5:45 of overtime for the win that puts the Canadiens ahead 3-2 in the best-of-7 series. Richard’s record lasts until 2006, when Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche scores his seventh playoff overtime goal.
1977: Los Angeles Kings forward Don Kozak sets a playoff record for fastest goal from the start of a game in a 7-4 win against the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of their Quarterfinal series. Kozak beats Gerry Cheevers six seconds after the opening faceoff at the Forum for one of his seven career playoff goals.
1981: Denis Potvin of the New York Islanders becomes the third NHL defenseman to score three goals in a playoff game. Potvin scores three of New York’s four power-play goals and also contributes two assists in a 6-3 victory against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 2 of the Quarterfinals at Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders eliminate the Oilers in six games on the way to their second of four consecutive Stanley Cup championships.
1983: Edmonton’s Wayne Gretzky sets a playoff record for most points in a playoff game with seven (four goals, three assists) in a 10-2 road win against the Calgary Flames. Gretzky scores two goals in each of the first two periods; he gets one assist in the first period and two in the third. Gretzky also scores one of the Oilers’ record-tying three shorthanded goals. He matches his own single-game record in 1985 and 1987 before Patrik Sundstrom of the New Jersey Devils breaks the mark with eight points in a game on April 22, 1988.
1996: The Florida Panthers win their first playoff game when John Vanbiesbrouck makes 42 saves in a 6-3 victory against the Boston Bruins at Miami Arena in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Ray Sheppard scores two goals for the third-year Panthers, who eliminate the Bruins and upset the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins to reach the Cup Final.
1997: Devils goalie Martin Brodeur caps a 5-2 victory against the Canadiens in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at East Rutherford, New Jersey, by becoming the second NHL goaltender to score a goal in a playoff game. Brodeur shoots the puck the length of the ice into the empty net after the Canadiens pull goalie Jocelyn Thibault for an extra skater.
2004: Steve Yzerman becomes the Detroit Red Wings’ all-time leader in playoff goals, when he scores the 68th of his career in a 2-0 road win against the Nashville Predators in Game 6 of their Western Conference Quarterfinals series. He breaks the record of 67 held for more than three decades by Gordie Howe.
2006: Sidney Crosby (18 years, 253 days) becomes the youngest NHL player to reach 100 points in a season. Point No. 100 comes on the second of his three assists in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 6-1 victory against the New York Islanders at Mellon Arena. Crosby gets his 99th point by setting up Tomas Surovy’s goal at 15:19 of the second period, then reaches the milestone 25 seconds later with an assist on Ryan Malone’s power-play goal.
Play is stopped for nearly five minutes as fans shower the ice with hats and T-shirts.
“One hundred points? At 18?” teammate forward Colby Armstrong says. “This kid’s doing something most people can’t imagine or dream of.”
Crosby joins Hockey Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk (18 years, 354 days) as the only 18-year-olds in NHL history to reach 100 points. He finishes his first season with 102 points (39 goals, 63 assists).