By HOWARD BERGER
TORONTO (May 1) – It happened three times in the first 93 years of the National Hockey League. It has now happened twice in less than four years – a club falling behind 3-0 in a best-of-seven playoff series only to rebound with four consecutive victories.
Los Angeles Kings became the fourth team in Stanley Cup history to complete the rally by downing San Jose Sharks, 5-1, at the SAP Center early this morning. The game ended at 12:49 a.m. EST and the final score was inflated by a couple of empty-net goals. But, there was no denying the 2012 NHL champions once they broke the ice with a 6-3 triumph in Game 4 at Staples Center. The Kings now face Anaheim in a southern-California clash to determine a Western Conference finalist.
FINAL CARNAGE IN SAN JOSE – TO THE DISBELIEF OF JOE THORNTON. CBC IMAGES
The NHL was formed in 1917-18. Not until the spring of 1942 did a team come back from a 3-0 deficit: Toronto Maple Leafs stunning Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup final. Another 33 years passed before the upstart New York Islanders – in only their third NHL season – pulled a one-eighty on Pittsburgh in the 1975 Cup quarterfinals (Ed Westfall scoring in a 1-0 win) and it required 35 more springs before Philadelphia rebounded against Boston in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinal. Less than half-a-decade later, it has happened for a fourth time.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Wild is getting some of its multi-million’s worth out of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. The Wild rallied from 2-0 and 3-2 game deficits against Colorado with consecutive victories to end the series – the winner also early today EST in Denver at 5:00 of overtime by Nino Neiderreiter. Minnesota now has the unenviable task of squaring off against the defending Stanley Cup-champion Chicago Blackhawks.
WILD AND AVALANCHE SHAKE HANDS AFTER GAME 7. TSN IMAGE
FROM NHL.COM: Below are dates, times (all EST), national broadcast information and results for the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Information on the U.S. broadcast for games later in the round will be released as it is determined.
* – if necessary
SECOND ROUND PREDICTIONS
BOSTON IN 7.
PITTSBURGH IN 6.
LOS ANGELES IN 6.
CHICAGO IN 5.
FIRST EXPANSION CUP
For those, like myself, who remember the 1974 playoffs, it is difficult to comprehend that 40 years have passed since Philadelphia Flyers became the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup. It was only seven seasons after the NHL had doubled to 12 teams, adding the Flyers, California Seals, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues. Philadelphia swept Atlanta and edged New York Rangers in seven games to hook up with Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and the Boston Bruins. Tricking the experts, the Flyers prevailed in six. Continuing with my series of NHL pages-from-the-past, here are several covers of THE HOCKEY NEWS from late in the 1973-74 season, culminating with the Flyers Cup victory over the Bruins:
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