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Oilers hope to join '42 Leafs as only team to win Cup after losing first three games


The Edmonton Oilers are entering territory few teams have charted in the NHL post-season, yet alone in a Stanley Cup final.

After dropping the first three games of the best-of-seven championship series to the Florida Panthers, the Oilers have won two straight and will host Game 6 on Friday night. An Edmonton win would force a deciding Game 7 on Monday evening in Sunrise, Fla.

The Oilers are hoping to become the fifth NHL team to come back from an 0-3 deficit to win a series. Here's a look at the four other clubs that managed the playoff rarity:

1942 Toronto Maple Leafs

Led by Billy Taylor, Sweeney Schriner and Syl Apps, the Maple Leafs became the first team in league history to win a series after opening with three losses. It was also the only time a team has conquered an 0-3 deficit in a Stanley Cup final.

Detroit held Toronto to two goals in each of the first three games before the Maple Leafs' offence turned things around.

Nick Metz scored the game-winner midway through the third period of a 4-3 victory in Game 4 and his brother, Don Metz, had a five-point effort in a 9-3 rout in Game 5.

Goaltender Turk Broda, who played all seven games in the final, earned the shutout in Toronto's 3-0 win in Game 6. Schriner scored twice in the 3-1 clincher as the Maple Leafs won the first of five titles that decade.

1975 New York Islanders

The Islanders made their first trip to the NHL post-season a memorable one.

The Pittsburgh Penguins averaged nearly five goals a game over three straight wins to take a stranglehold in the quarterfinal showdown.

But the Islanders' defence tightened up and Glenn (Chico) Resch took over in net from Billy Smith in Game 4. Resch allowed only four goals over the rest of the series for a sparkling .969 save percentage.

After three straight wins, Resch and Ed Westfall were the heroes in a chippy, penalty-filled Game 7 at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena. Westfall beat Gary Inness with about five minutes left in regulation and Resch made 30 saves for the shutout.

2010 Philadelphia Flyers

Former Flyers forward Daniel Briere said the first step in overcoming an 0-3 deficit is believing as a team that it's doable.

"When you've lost three in a row, very rarely do you feel that you can beat (a) team four games in a row," he told The Canadian Press in May 2023. "It's a really tough thing to believe in."

Briere helped anchor a Philadelphia team that qualified for the playoffs on the final day of the 2009-10 season. He said clearing that hurdle helped the team raise its level when facing elimination.

"We had that confidence that every time everything was on the line, when there was no place for a mistake, we felt we could elevate," he said. "When we got pushed by Boston that series and we were down 3-0, it was like a different team started showing up and it was like that the whole season for us."

Briere, now the GM of the Flyers, scored the game-tying goal in Game 7 of that Eastern Conference semifinal against the Bruins. Simon Gagne potted the power-play winner and Philadelphia held on for a 4-3 road win to advance.

2014 Los Angeles Kings

The opening-round Battle of California between the Kings and San Jose Sharks looked like a mismatch at the start as the Sharks rolled to a pair of comfortable wins on home ice.

Patrick Marleau scored the overtime winner on the road in Game 3 to give San Jose a commanding 3-0 lead.

Boosted by a pair of goals by Justin Williams, the Kings responded in Game 4 and never looked back. Los Angeles earned a 6-3 victory and held the Sharks to just two goals over the rest of the series, silencing the San Jose crowd in Game 7 with an emphatic 5-1 win.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 20, 2024.

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