Stanley Cup Finals: Jeff Carter and Other Multi-Goal Cup-Clinching Games
It is an inadvertent tradition as old as the young millennium. In every Stanley Cup Final since 2001, at least one player on the winning team has scored multiple points in the clinching game. And in eight out of 11 cases in that span, one individual has supplied a pair of goals.
The most recent exception was 2010, when no Chicago Blackhawks tallied more than one goal, but overtime hero Patrick Kane preceded his winning strike with two go-ahead assists in regulation.
Kane is one of four individuals to have had a three-point Cup clincher within the last three years. Brad Marchand followed his act last season with the Boston Bruins, as did Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown this week.
On Monday night, Los Angeles cemented its first title in the franchise’s 45 years of existence through six goals and six multipoint performers. And the man credited with the cup-winning goal became the fourth in as many years and the ninth in 12 years to have a two-goal night before hoisting the trophy.
Here now is a quick chronological glance back at each of this century’s prolific producers who helped to put the stamp on their team’s banner campaign.
2001: Alex Tanguay
As a rookie the year prior, Tanguay tallied two goals and an assist in Colorado’s first two playoff games versus Phoenix, then went dry for the next 15. By the time the Avs were facing the Dallas Stars in a rematch of the previous Western Conference Finals, which they would lose in seven games, he was consistently seeing nightly minutes in the single digits.
The following campaign was a regular sophomore surge, one that allowed Tanguay to work on a line with captain Joe Sakic.
With the Avs fast-tracking on “Mission 16W,” Tanguay never went more than two playoff games without a point. He scored a goal in both Games 5 and 6 of the championship round, then single-handedly cracked open a 2-0 lead in Game 7.
His second strike stood as the clincher in a 3-1 victory, which was also a multipoint night for Sakic.
2002: Brendan Shanahan
Okay, one of these was on an empty net, but they all count the same, and they effectively spelled the difference in the Red Wings’ 3-1 Game 5 triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes.
And the eager congregants at Joe Louis Arena could not rightly feel the title was ensured until Shanahan spooned home the insurance in the final minute.
2003: Jeff Friesen
A Mighty Duck for the previous two seasons, Friesen singed his former employers to triumphantly conclude his first season with New Jersey.
Of the 18 goals the Devils would put behind Conn Smythe Trophy winner J-S Giguere in the series, four came off Friesen’s stick. He also tallied an empty-netter in Game 1, which meant bookending the series with a pair of two-goal outings.
In Game 7, rookie Mike Rupp opened the scoring for the Devils, then handed Friesen a pair of daggers to help finalize a 3-0 win identical to Games 1 and 2.
2004: Ruslan Fedotenko
Like Tanguay three years before him, Fedotenko single-handedly pulled his Tampa Bay Lightning ahead, 2-0, in the rubber game of the title round versus Calgary. The resultant advantage withstood Craig Conroy’s subsequent strike en route to a 2-1 victory.
2007: Travis Moen
Moen tied Ryan Getzlaf for second on the Anaheim Ducks with seven goals in 2007 tournament and tied him for first with three game-clinchers.
The last of those clinchers was in Game 5 of the final round, which saw nine individual Ducks pen their name to the scoresheet.
Less than five minutes after Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson had cut his team’s deficit to 2-1, Moen renewed the two-goal advantage with 4:16 remaining in the second period. Alfredsson and Anaheim traded tallies one more before intermission, after which Moen connected again to augment the lead to 5-2.
Teammate Corey Perry capped his own multipoint night with an extra dagger, finishing off a 6-2 win and bringing the cup to the Pacific Coast for the first time since the Seattle Metropolitans of 1917.
2009: Max Talbot
Entering the deciding game of their rematch with the Red Wings, the Penguins were 3-0 in the series when Talbot appeared on the scoresheet and 0-3 when he was held pointless.
Pittsburgh fans thus had to at least take cautious comfort when he broke the ice at 1:13 of the second period. Nine minutes later, that caution turned to conviction when Talbot joined the company of Tanguay and Fedotenko by single-handedly raising a 2-0 upper hand in the seventh game of the cup final.
Jonathan Ericsson barred goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury from the shutout, but Talbot’s output would not be wasted as the Penguins usurped the cup from Detroit.
2011: Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand
The Bruins’ longest-tenured skater and one of their two rookie forwards alternated goals throughout the night to gradually sculpt a 4-0 advantage over the host Canucks. When that lead held up through the horn to end Boston’s 39-year championship drought, Marchand had the sole assist on Bergeron’s cup-winner.
For both of the two linemates, it was their second two-goal outing of the tournament. And just like Talbot and the Penguins, Marchand’s Bruins went 4-0 in the finals when he tuned the opposing mesh.
2012: Jeff Carter
Brown was nearly in the company of Tanguay, Fedotenko and Talbot, but he settled for an assist on L.A.’s second unanswered goal of Game 6 as a well-positioned Carter directed his second shot home.
Carter, acquired shortly before the preceding trade deadline, had scored sporadically in his three-plus months with the Kings. But his first goal of the final round against New Jersey came in a Game 2 overtime triumph while his third ultimately stood as the winner in a 6-1 romp in Game 6.
Carter’s goal was the second of three for L.A. on a five-minute power play during the latter half of the first period. Early in the middle frame, he effectively thwarted the Devils’ comeback effort by raising the upper hand to 4-0 at the 90-second mark of the middle frame.
With an assist on both of Carter’s connections, Brown followed the likes of Kane and Marchand as the third three-point performer in as many cup-deciding games.