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NHL: 20 Most Awesome Game-Winning Goals of All Time

Matthew FairburnCorrespondent ISeptember 28, 2011

NHL: 20 Most Awesome Game-Winning Goals of All Time

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    Game winning goals get all of the glory. The pressure is immense in those situations, and the celebration that ensues makes them the most memorable plays in hockey.

    Any player can pile up regular season points and highlight reel goals, but the true legends of the game perform at their best when it matters most.

    The list will say it all. Here are the best game winning goals in hockey history.

Mats Sundin Stuns the Flyers

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    The Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers had intense postseason battles in the late 90s and into the early 00s. This is just one of the heart-stopping moments that rivalry.

    Mats Sundin capitalized on a broken play to finish off the Flyers with less than a minute remaining in the game.

Tomas Kaberle Gets Involved in the Offense

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    The Maple Leafs get some more heroics a year later, as Tomas Kaberle pinches in on the offense and makes the Devils pay. The game clock had ticked under two minutes when Kaberle sealed this game.

Super Mario Beats the Buzzer

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    Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins were on top of the hockey world during the early 1990s. Nothing could go wrong for the Pens. So, Mario Lemieux's last second game winner that crushed the Washington Capitals was just more of the same for this team.

Maxim Afinogenov

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    The 2006 Buffalo Sabres were a special group. They were exciting to watch and always seemed to have a shot to take down anyone.

    In the video above, Chris Drury ties the score and Maxim Afinogenov seals the deal for the Sabres.

Eric Lindros Comes Through

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    Eric Lindros is widely known for his inability to stay healthy throughout his NHL career. However, plays like the one above shed light on what the Flyers envisioned when they traded the house for the powerful center.

J.R.

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    Jeremy Roenick was always in the spotlight because of his personality. Roenick made the most of his spotlight, though. 

    Roenick was the hero in the above chapter of the Toronto Philly rivalry. It was especially painful since the goal eliminated Toronto from the postseason.

Keith Primeau in the 5th Overtime

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    Despite the fact that the Flyers and Penguins were playing their eighth period of hockey, Keith Primeau appeared to have fresh legs. The wrister he let go left no doubt in the minds of the Broad Street faithful.

The New Jersey Devils Win the Stanley Cup

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    The New Jersey Devils were known for playing games close to their belt with defensive hockey. That style of play is what made game winning goals like the one above so beautiful. It doesn't get much better than scoring a game winning goal to take home the Stanley Cup.

Datsyukian Game Winner

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    Pavel Datsyuk is a magician with the puck. He is so precise in everything that he does until the final seconds of a hockey game. This game winner is evidence of that.

Savard Returns and Lifts Bruins

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    Circumstances can often take a goal to the next level. 

    Marc Savard returned from a concussion to play in the Bruins' quarterfinals series against the Philadelphia Flyers, and in the opening game of the series Savard scored the game winner. That's tough to beat.

Jaromir Jagr with a Clutch Goal

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    The Penguins didn't always have to rely solely on Mario Lemieux's excellence to win them hockey games. They also had this guy named Jaromir Jagr, who was pretty damn good.

    This goal was amazing on its own. Consider the situation, and this goal is even more impressive.

Bobby Clarke

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    Bobby Clarke and the Philadelphia Flyers were not afraid to come and take on the Boston Bruins at the Garden. The Broad Street Bullies went in and hit the B's where it hurt with an overtime game winner from the captain, Bobby Clarke.

Steve Yzerman

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    Steve Yzerman was more than just an outstanding captain for the Detroit Red Wings. He was a hell of an offensive weapon and insanely clutch as well.

Claude Lemieux Makes His Mark

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    Claude Lemieux is recognized as one of the greatest postseason performers in NHL history. Claude would take his game to unseen levels during the playoffs. This was just one of his many shining moments.

Epic Goaltending Battle

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    There is nothing flashy about the goal in the video above. However, the goaltending battle that was ended by that goal may have been the best goaltending duel the league has ever seen. The fact that someone was able to beat either Roy or the Beezer on that night is outstanding.

Controversy

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    Controversial or not, Brett Hull's game winning goal in the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals was one of the most emotional game winners I've ever seen. The drama of the moment wuld have been too much for most people to handle, but not Brett Hull.

Curtis Brown

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    Curtis Brown was never one to take it himself, but the playoffs can do funny things to hockey players. Brown made an insane individual effort on this play, exciting the Sabres fans as well as the announcer of the game.

Pavel Bure

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    Pavel Bure was an elite goal scorer during the prime of his career. He flashed that potential in the most exciting playoff run in Vancouver Canucks history.

Fleury Picks off Messier

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    The Edmonton Oilers had done an excellent job of keeping Theo Fleury off of the board, as he was goalless in overtime of Game 6. Then, Mark Messier made a pass that he would immediately want back. Fleury took the pass and went right in for the game winning goal.

Shot Score No. 4 Bobby Orr

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    Bobby Orr's goal, which clinched the Stanley Cup victory in 1970, is the single most iconic moment in hockey history. Every hockey fan owes it to themselves to hit the play button and appreciate this greatness once more.

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