Ranking the Most Memorable Stanley Cup Final Plays of the Past Decade

Tom Urtz Jr.Contributor IJune 17, 2013

Ranking the Most Memorable Stanley Cup Final Plays of the Past Decade

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    This year's Stanley Cup Final has been memorable because of two overtime thrillers, and these moments are only some of the top plays from the last decade.

    Ten years ago, the New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup, and since that point there have been many memorable Stanley Cup Final plays that deserve recognition.

    This slideshow will look at the top moments from the 2002-03 Cup Final up to the present. There are many moments worth mentioning, but here are the top 10 Stanley Cup Final plays of the past decade.

No. 10: Claude Giroux's Game-Winning Goal in Overtime (2010)

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    Claude Giroux is the captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, and he is an integral part of the franchise. While Giroux may have made headlines as an elite player during the 2011-12 season, he started to become known as a clutch player during the Flyers' playoff run.

    The Flyers were trailing the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 in this series, but Giroux's goal gave his team the win, and momentum that propelled them to an additional victory in Game 4.

No. 9: Cam Ward's Play (2006)

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    It is hard to single out a single moment from Cam Ward's 2005-06 Stanley Cup run, but he stood tall for the Carolina Hurricanes. The rookie netminder took home a Conn Smythe Trophy for his efforts, and his performance during the Stanley Cup Final allowed him to enter a unique class.

    Ward became the first rookie goalie since Patrick Roy to win a Stanley Cup in his inaugural season, and the first rookie since Ron Hextall to win the Conn Smythe in a rookie campaign.

No. 8: Marc-Andre Fleury's Final Save in Game 7 (2009)

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    The final minutes of Game 7 during the 2009 Stanley Cup Final were dense with tension. The Pittsburgh Penguins had a one-goal lead, and the Detroit Red Wings threw everything but the kitchen sink at Marc-Andre Fleury.

    The Red Wings generated a ton of offensive pressure, and they got a prime chance to tie the game in the final seconds. Nicklas Lidstrom found himself with the puck in the low slot with an amazing angle, but Fleury made an amazing save to preserve the Penguins' championship bid.

No. 7: Raffi Torres' Game-Winning Goal with Seconds Remaining in Game 1 (2011)

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    It took 59 minutes for a goal to be scored during Game 1 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, and Raffi Torres was in the right place at the right time.

    While Torres has a reputation around the league because of his controversial hits, he was an effective agitator and bottom-six forward for the Canucks during their Cup run. This goal got the Canucks started in the series, and they would go on to win Game 2.

No. 6: Martin St. Louis Forces a Game 7 with a Double-Overtime Winner (2004)

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    The Tampa Bay Lightning took advantage of a non-goal call in Game 6 when Martin St. Louis scored a game-winning goal in double overtime. The Flames seemingly had taken a lead, but a non-goal call kept the game deadlocked at three goals apiece.

    The two teams would need one overtime period, and part of a second overtime period before St. Louis sent the Lightning back to Tampa with a game-winning goal.

No. 5 Los Angeles Kings Dominate on Five Minute Power Play vs. Devils (2012)

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    The Los Angeles Kings won their first Stanley Cup with a Game 6 rout of the New Jersey Devils. The entire game was slanted in the Kings' favor, and a major penalty taken by Steve Bernier ultimately was the difference maker in this game.

    The Kings capitalized on the power play by scoring three times, and they effectively took the Devils out of the game 

No. 4 Martin Gelinas' Non-Goal Against Tampa Bay Lightning (2004)

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    The 2003-04 Stanley Cup Final pitted the Calgary Flames against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and it was a great series with amazing moments. One of the most memorable parts of the series was the infamous Martin Gelinas non-goal. 

    It appeared that Gelinas scored a goal in the third period of Game 6 that would have given the Flames a lead, and the series victory. However, no goal was awarded and the rest is history.

No. 3: Petr Sykora Calls His Goal Against Red Wings (2008)

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    This year's Stanley Cup Final has already featured a triple-overtime thriller, and back in 2008 the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings went to triple overtime. The two teams were tied at 3-3, and Petr Sykora scored a sweet power-play goal.

    The best part about this moment was the fact that Sykora called his shot. During the intermission between double and triple overtime, Sykora said he was going to score, and that is exactly what he did.

No. 2: Aaron Rome Concusses Nathan Horton with Late Hit (2011)

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    The Vancouver Canucks dominated the 2011 Stanley Cup Final up until this point. After this late hit concussed Nathan Horton, something changed. This moment has been looked back on as a galvanizer for the Boston Bruins, and it changed how the Bruins played during the rest of the series.

    The Bruins ultimately needed seven games to win the Stanley Cup, but they may have lost the series if this moment didn't wake the team up.

No. 1: Patrick Kane Scores Cup-Winning Goal Against Flyers (2010)

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    This moment was a long time coming for many Chicago Blackhawks fans. With one flick of his wrist, Patrick Kane ended a Stanley Cup drought that lasted almost 50 years.

    At the time, no one knew what happened because the puck disappeared, but then someone noticed it was in the back of the net.

    This phantom goal certainly was head-scratching at the time, but it is one of the most memorable moments in NHL history.