NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: 15 Best Cup-Winning Goals in NHL History

Jacob BetznerCorrespondent IIJune 1, 2012

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: 15 Best Cup-Winning Goals in NHL History

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    Only a handful of players have scored a Stanley Cup-clinching goal in the history of the NHL, often emerging from obscurity to become an instant hero.

    Patrice Bergeron scored the eventual winner for the Boston Bruins last season in a 4-0 Game 7 win against Vancouver.

    A year before, speedy winger Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks beat Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final to bring Lord Stanley to the Windy City for the first time since 1961, the 15th player in Stanley Cup history to score the winner in extra time.

    Cup-clinching goal scorers instantly earn a special place in hockey folklore, with some tallies earning special recognition among hockey fans everywhere.

Ron Francis Beats Hasek (1992)

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    Pittsburgh Penguins forward Ron Francis picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone, streaked down the boards and ripped a half-clapper past Dominik Hasek in Game 4 of the 1992 Stanley Cup Final.

    Francis' goal put the Penguins up 6-4 in the third period, enough to outlast another late goal by the Blackhawks, completing the series sweep and keeping the Stanley Cup in the Steel City for a second consecutive season.

Lecavalier Feeds Fedotenko (2004)

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    The Tampa Bay Lightning proved to be the only thing hotter than the sunny beaches along Florida's Gulf Coast.

    Tenacious forechecking by veteran and team captain Dave Andreychuk and an unbelievable individual effort by budding star Vincent Lecavalier left Ruslan Fedotenko open in the high slot. A pass from Lecavalier found "Feds" and the Ukrainian winger buried his second goal of the game and the eventual game-winner.

    Stanley deserved a sunny vacation after all the years in the Great North and other chilly cities.

Max "Superstar" Talbot

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    In a rematch of the 2008 Stanley Cup Final, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins looked to avenge last season's 4-2 series loss against the Detroit Red Wings.

    Despite boasting marquee players like Crosby and center Evgeni Malkin, an unlikely hero emerged, as Max Talbot scored both goals in a 2-1 win in Game 7.

    Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stoned Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom in the game's final seconds to secure the 2009 Stanley Cup for Pittsburgh.

    After hockey, it looks like Talbot is ready to take on Hollywood.

Darren McCarty Dangles (1997)

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    Red Wings tough guy Darren McCarty showed his hands are capable of more than of beating in opposing players' faces with this beaut in the 1997 Stanley Cup Final.

    After taking a breakout pass from Tomas Sandstrom, McCarty undressed Flyers rookie defenseman Janne Niinimaa and deked around goaltender Ron Hextall to seal the deal for Detroit.

Flames Claim Lord Stanley (1989)

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    Doug Gilmour's third-period goal over halfway through the third period of Game 6 gave the Flames a 3-2 lead in the Game 6 of the 1989 Stanley Cup Final against Montréal.

    The cup proved to be the only in Gilmour's career and the win allowed long-time NHL veteran, fan favorite and mustache connoisseur Lanny McDonald to finally hoist Lord Stanley's Cup.

Mark Messier Delivers (1994)

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    After famously guaranteeing a series victory with his team down 3-2 in the 1994 Eastern Conference finals, Rangers captain Mark Messier delivered, helping New York win the next two games and advance to the Stanley Cup Final against Vancouver.

    In another seven-game series, Messier scored the third and deciding goal in the second period of Game 7 to bring the Stanley Cup to the Big Apple.

Montréal Loves Toe Blake (1944)

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    Toe Blake proved himself a clutch scorer with his overtime goal to capture the 1946 Stanley Cup.

    Blake would go on to score the 1946 cup winner, becoming one of only six players in NHL history to record multiple cup-clinching goals.

Jacques Lemaire Scores (1977)

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    Jacques Lemaire was a pretty good player before finding success in an NHL coaching career.

    Lemaire broke a 1-1 tie nearly five minutes into overtime in the 1977 Stanley Cup Final. Lemaire's goal completed the sweep of the Boston Bruins.

"Pocket Rocket" Wins It (1966)

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    A sliding Henri Richard managed to direct a puck behind Red Wings goaltender Roger Crozier to capture the 1966 Stanley Cup. 

    Crozier won the Conn Smythe despite playing for the losing team—one of only five players to accomplish such a feat.

Patrick Kane Knows He Scores (2010)

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    Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane immediately knew he beat Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton, winning the cup for his team.

    The anti-climactic finish provided a phenomenal "That's what she said..." joke with countless fans watching on TV or in the Wachovia Center asking, "Is it in?"

    Kane's tally ended one of the longest championship droughts in the NHL. Not a single Chicago player was alive for the Blackhawks' last Stanley Cup victory in 1961.

Mush March: The First Stanley Cup Final Overtime Winner (1934)

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    In the second overtime of a scoreless game with his Chicago Blackhawks up 2-1 in the series, Mush March scored the first cup-clinching overtime goal in NHL history.

    The win proved to be the Blackhawks' first Stanley Cup victory.

Jason Arnott Buries (2000)

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    The New Jersey Devils faced the defending champion Dallas Stars in 2000.

    In the second OT of Game 6 with the Devils up 3-2 in the series, Devils winger Patrick Elias found Jason Arnott all alone in front of the Stars net.

    Arnott took the pass and buried it behind Stars goaltender Ed Belfour, giving the Devils the first Stanley Cup of the new millennium and New Jersey's second cup in five years.

Uwe Krupp Ends It (1996)

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    There's unlikely heroes. Then there's Uwe Krupp.

    The German defenseman scored four of his six career postseason goals in the 1996 playoffs, but his biggest proved to be the winner in a marathon Game 4 against the surprising Florida Panthers.

    In the team's first season in Denver, the Avalanche advanced all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, easily winning the first three games of the series against the Florida Panthers. Florida took Game 4 to three overtimes, beating goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck with a sneaky slap shot.

Brett Hull...Scores? (1999)

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    It went in the net. End of story.

    Brett Hull managed to beat Dominik Hasek to bring the Stanley Cup to Texas in 1999 on one of the most controversial goals in NHL history.

    With just over five minutes remaining in the third overtime of Game 6, Hull found the loose puck while one foot was planted in the blue paint in front of Sabres goaltender Dominik Hasek. Hull buried it behind the sprawling netminder, bringing the cup to Texas.

Number Four, Bobby Orr! (1970)

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    Widely regarded as the best defenseman to ever pull on an NHL sweater, Boston's Bobby Orr scored 40 seconds into the first overtime of Game 4 to complete the sweep of the St. Louis Blues and win the Stanley Cup for the Bruins.

    The win brought the cup to Boston for the first time since 1941. Orr scored another cup-clinching goal two years later, scoring the first goal in a 3-0 shutout win against the New York Rangers in Game 6 of the 1972 Stanley Cup Final.