2011 NHL Playoffs: 10 Best Game 7's in Stanley Cup Finals History

April WeinerCorrespondent IJune 3, 2011

2011 NHL Playoffs: 10 Best Game 7's in Stanley Cup Finals History

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    DETROIT - JUNE 12:  Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins makes a glove save against the Detroit Red Wings during Game Seven of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Joe Louis Arena on June 12, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Penguins de
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Only one game has been played in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. If the series goes to a Game 7, it will join a long line of fantastic Game 7s throughout Stanley Cup Finals history.

    It's only natural that the two best teams in the NHL would need all seven games in the best-of-seven series to determine the winner.

    There have been 15 Game 7's in Stanley Cup Finals history. Of the last 10 Stanley Cup Finals, five went to Game 7, most recently in the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals.

    Here are ten of the best Game 7's in Stanley Cup Finals History.

10. 1942 Stanley Cup Finals: Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

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    The Detroit Red Wings quickly went up three games in the 1942 Stanley Cup Finals.

    However, the Toronto Maple Leafs weren't going down without a fight. The Leafs won the next three games to force a Game 7, the first Game 7 in Stanley Cup Finals history.

    The game was scoreless through the first, and the Wings struck first in the second period. The Leafs tied it up in the third period on a power play.

    The Leafs scored again a few minutes later and won the game, going down as one of the best comebacks in Stanley Cup history.

9. 2001 Stanley Cup Finals: Colorado Avalanche vs. New Jersey Devils

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    9 Jun 2001:   Goalie Patrick Roy #33 of the Colorado Avalanche prepares to make a save against Scott Gomez #23 of the New Jersey Devils during Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.  The Avalanche won 3-1 to take the Sta
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    The Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey Devils alternated for the first four games of the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals. Then, New Jersey won Game 5. Colorado finished it off, winning Games 6 and 7.

    Alex Tanguay scored two of the three Avalanche goals, and Patrick Roy only allowed one goal.

    Roy was incredible throughout the playoffs and into Game 7, finishing the postseason with a 1.7 GAA and .934 save percentage.

    Roy was awarded the Conn Smythe for his spectacular performance.

8. 2006 Stanley Cup Finals: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Edmonton Oilers

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    RALEIGH, NC - JUNE 19:  Matt Greene #2 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Carolina Hurricanes during game seven of the 2006 NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 19, 2006 at the RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Hurricanes defeated the Oilers 3-1
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    By Game 4, the Carolina Hurricanes were up three games to one over the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers won the next two games to force a Game 7.

    The Hurricanes took the lead in Game 7. Going into the third period, the Hurricanes were up 2-0. The Oilers came within one just a minute into the third period.

    It looked like the Oilers might fight back, as they had already done in the series. Rookie goaltender Cam Ward wasn't going to let that happen.

    With just over a minute left in the third, the Oilers goaltender pulled, Edmonton defenseman Chris Pronger turned the puck over, and Justin Williams scored the go-ahead goal for Carolina.

7. 1987 Stanley Cup Finals: Edmonton Oilers vs. Philadelphia Flyers

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    The Edmonton Oilers began the 1987 Stanley Cup Finals by winning the first two games. They lost Game 3, but won Game 4, to go up three games to one.

    Philly won the next two, forcing a Game 7.

    Game 7 started poorly for the Oilers. They quickly gave up a 5-on-3 power play to the Flyers, and the Flyers capitalized, taking the lead.

    Mark Messier tied the game six minutes later, and it would remain tied through the first and over half of the second period. Jari Kurri scored the eventual GWG in the second period, and the Oilers sealed it with another goal in the third.

    The Oilers managed three goals, despite Ron Hextall's incredible performance—making 40 saves.

6. 2009 Stanley Cup Finals: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Detroit Red Wings

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    DETROIT - JUNE 12:  Miroslav Satan #81 of the Pittsburgh Penguins shakes hands with Marian Hossa #81 of the Detroit Red Wings after Game Seven of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Joe Louis Arena on June 12, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Jim McIs
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The 2009 Stanley Cup Finals were a rematch between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins. They wouldn't end the same the second time around.

    Detroit won the first two games at home, but the Penguins did the same. Detroit and Pittsburgh alternated the next two games, with Pittsburgh forcing a Game 7 in Detroit.

    Each team had only won their home games, so things looked good for the Wings.

    Pittsburgh struck first in the second period of Game 7 and had a two-goal lead by the end of the period. However, the period wasn't all good, with the Penguins' best player, Sidney Crosby, leaving with a knee injury.

    The Red Wings came within one goal halfway through the third period. However, the Penguins held on, with Marc-Andre Fleury making some incredible saves to maintain the lead and win the Stanley Cup.

    The Penguins became the first team in almost 40 years to win Game 7 on the road.

5. 2004 Stanley Cup Finals: Calgary Flames vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

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    TAMPA, FL - JUNE 7:  Andrew Ference #21 of the Calgary Flames skates for the puck against Brad Richards #19 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game seven of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 7, 2004 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. The Lightning
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    The Tampa Bay Lightning and Calgary Flames alternated every game up to Game 7. Tampa won Game 6, forcing Game 7 at home in Tampa.

    Games 5 and 6 both went into overtime, with Game 6 going into double overtime.

    Tampa took the lead in the first period and scored again in the second. After being held to just seven shots, the Flames amped it up for the third period, throwing everything they could at the net.

    Nikolai Khabibulin was there to make almost every stop, allowing one goal in the third period.

    The Lightning won Game 7 and the Stanley Cup.

4. 1954 Stanley Cup Finals: Detroit Red Wings vs. Montreal Canadiens

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    The Detroit Red Wings faced the defending champions, the Montreal Canadiens, in the 1954 Stanley Cup Finals. The Canadiens were appearing in their fourth consecutive SCF.

    Detroit won three of the first four games in the series, but Montreal won Games 5 and 6, forcing a Game 7.

    The game was tied 1-1 at the end of regulation. The sudden-death game was going into sudden-death overtime.

    Detroit's Tony Leswick sent the puck into Montreal's zone. Hall of Famer Doug Harvey was trying to play the puck, but it bounced off of him and past Gerry McNeill into the net.

    Detroit wins.

3. 1971 Stanley Cup Finals: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Montreal Canadiens

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    The Chicago Blackhawks faced the Montreal Canadiens in the 1971 Stanley Cup Finals.

    Each team had won all their home games and none on the road. Game 7 was set to take place in Chicago, giving Chicago the advantage.

    Early in Game 7, Chicago had a two-goal lead, narrowly missing a three-goal lead when a Brett Hull shot went off the crossbar.

    The Canadiens came back though. Jacques Lemaire scored from center ice, and Henri Richard scored two goals, including the go-ahead and game-winning goal.

    Canadiens goaltender Ken Dryden sealed the victory with an amazing save late in the game against Jimmy Pappin. Pappin thought the goal had gone in, even starting to celebrate.

    It was only the second time the away team won in Game 7, the first since 1945, and the last until 2009.

2. 1994 Stanley Cup Finals: Vancouver Canucks vs. New York Rangers

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    Mike Powell/Getty Images

    The New York Rangers had not won the Stanley Cup since 1940 and hadn't appeared in a Stanley Cup Final since 1979.

    It was Vancouver's second appearance in the SCF.

    Vancouver won the first game, but New York won the next three. Vancouver won the next two, forcing a Game 7, in New York.

    In Game 7, the Rangers were leading 2-0. Then, Vancouver's Trevor Linden brought the Canucks within one. The Rangers regained their two-goal lead, but again Linden brought the Canucks within one.

    The Rangers held on to the 3-2 lead, as Vancouver hit the post twice in the third and had to defend against three faceoffs in their own zone in the last 37 seconds of the game.

1. 1950 Stanley Cup Finals: Detroit Red Wings vs. New York Rangers

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    The Detroit Red Wings faced the New York Rangers in the 1950 Stanley Cup Finals.

    Detroit was without Gordie Howe, as he had sustained a lacerated eyeball, fractured cheekbone and other head injuries after crashing to the boards in the previous series against Toronto.

    The Wings managed without Howe, forcing a Game 7 back at home.

    The Rangers had the lead with five minutes left in the third, but Detroit tied it with just over four minutes left.

    The sudden-death game head into sudden-death overtime and then sudden-death double overtime after the first OT was scoreless.

    After just under 30 minutes of OT play, Pete Babando scored for the Wings, clinching the game and Stanley Cup for Detroit.