With dozens of playoff games each season, it takes something special to be regarded as one of the best NHL Playoff games. These games are the ones that keep fans on the edge of their seats and unable to miss a second of the action.
Best NHL Playoff games
There are many things that make a playoff game one of the most entertaining NHL Playoff games ever. A great atmosphere, goals, big saves, momentum swings, overtime, and star players are most of the attributes needed to have an all-time great playoff game.
Playoff hockey is already one of the most exciting times in the sporting world, but these 10 best NHL Playoff games took it to another level.
10. Islanders vs Penguins: 1993 game 7
The New York Islanders and defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins faced off in the Patrick Division Finals in 1993.
Game seven remained scoreless through the first 27 minutes before Ulf Samuelsson opened the scoring for the Penguins. The Islanders would bounce back, scoring three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead midway through the third period. Pittsburgh would claw back, however, scoring two games in the final four minutes of the game to force overtime.
Although Pittsburgh outshot New York 45-20 in the game, the Islanders would come out on top in overtime. David Volek netted the overtime winner 5:16 into the extra frame to seal the upset series victory.
9. Kings vs Maple Leafs: 1993 game 7
There were a couple of games in 1993 worthy of being named one of the best NHL Playoff games ever. The greatest one took place between the Maple Leafs and Kings in game seven of the Clarence Campbell Conference Finals.
Wayne Gretzky was the best player on the ice throughout the game. He opened up the scoring to give the Kings a 1-0 lead and then scored midway through the second period to give Los Angeles a 3-2 lead.
With Los Angeles leading 4-3 late in the game, Gretzky completed the hat trick to put the game out of reach. The Kings would take game seven by a final score of 5-4.
8. Bruins vs Blues: 1970 game 4
The iconic goal and photo of Bobby Orr make game four of the 1970 Stanley Cup Final one of the greatest NHL postseason games ever.
Boston dominated the first three games of the series, and with a game four victory would capture the Stanley Cup. St. Louis would take a 2-1 and 3-2 lead in the game, but the Bruins battled back each time to even the score.
In overtime, Bobby Orr received a pass from Derek Sanderson in the front of the net and tucked it under Blues goaltender Glenn Hall for the game-winner. As he scored, Orr flew into the air, providing us with the greatest photo in NHL history.
7. Islanders vs Capitals: 1987 game 7
In one of the longest and best games in NHL Playoffs history, the Islanders and Capitals went to four overtimes in game seven of the 1987 Patrick Division Semi-Finals.
Washington led 2-1 after two periods of play, but a late goal in the third by Bryan Trottier sent the game into overtime. Despite another full three periods of play, the score remained tied at 2-2.
6. Blues vs Flames: 1986 game 6
Game six of the 1986 Clarence Campbell Conference Finals was a must-win for the St. Louis Blues.
The game featured one of the best playoff comebacks in league history. The Flames came out red hot, scoring four goals in the first period. With Calgary up 5-2 with less than 13 minutes remaining in the game, it looked like the series was all but over. The Blues refused to give up, however, scoring three unanswered, which included two in the final five minutes by Greg Paslawski.
St. Louis would complete the miraculous comeback in overtime with Doug Wickenheiser’s second goal of the game.
5. Capitals vs Penguins: 2009 game 2
Although it wasn’t the most important game in the series, game two between the Capitals and Penguins in 2009 was incredible.
The game is known for the scoring battle between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. Although David Steckel scored for the Capitals in the game, all six other goals were scored by either Crosby or Ovechkin. With the game tied at two in the third period, Ovechkin scored his second and third goals of the game to give the Capitals a 4-2 lead.
Crosby would score one more to notch a hat trick of his own, but it wouldn’t be enough as Washington would hold on for a 4-3 victory.
4. Bruins vs Maple Leafs: 2013 game 7
If you are a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, you may want to skip right past this one. The Maple Leafs had game seven all under control in the first round of the 2013 playoffs, until madness ensued.
After two goals early in the third period, Toronto found themselves up 4-1 and 14 minutes away from the second round. Things changed quickly though, as Boston scored with 11 minutes left to make it 4-2. Toronto held strong until the final minute and a half when the Bruins scored two goals 31 seconds apart to even the score at four.
The Bruins would complete the comeback with a Patrice Bergeron goal 6:05 into overtime. Boston gave Toronto one of its most painful losses in franchise history, but also provided fans with one of the best NHL Playoff games.
3. Kings vs Blackhawks: 2014 game 7
The Kings and Blackhawks provided fans with one of the greatest NHL postseason games in game seven of the 2014 Western Conference Finals.
Chicago jumped out early to a 2-0 lead, but the Kings would respond with two of their own to tie the game. The Blackhawks would go back out in front for a 3-2 and 4-3 lead, but Marian Gaborik would find the back of the net in the third to tie the game at four.
2. Kings vs Oilers: 1982 game 3
Known as the Miracle on Manchester, game 3 of the 1982 Smythe Division Semi-Finals between the Kings and Oilers featured one of the greatest comebacks in NHL history.
Edmonton came out firing to start, scoring two goals in the first period and another three in the second period to lead 5-0 after two.
However, the momentum would shift at the start of the third. The Kings threw everything they could at Grant Fuhr and ended up scoring five unanswered goals in the period, which included the game-tying goal with five seconds remaining. In overtime, Los Angeles completed the improbable comeback as Daryl Evans scored the game-winner 2:35 into the extra frame.
1. Rangers vs Devils: 1994 game 7
As far as best NHL Playoff games go, game seven between the Rangers and Devils in 1994 takes the top spot.
With the Rangers leading 1-0 with just eight seconds remaining, Valeri Zelepukin of the Devils scored to tie it at one and send the game into overtime. The first overtime would not solve anything, as it remained 1-1 after the first extra frame.
In double overtime, the game needed a hero, and Stephane Matteau was the one to step up. With his second double-overtime goal of the series, Matteau sent the Rangers to the Stanley Cup finals, where they won their first championship in 54 years.