Down 3-0 in games, Philadelphia rallied. Down 3-0 in Game 7, Philadelphia rallied again. Simon Gagne's power-play goal in the third lifted the Flyers to an improbable 4-3 win over the Bruins. It was humiliating for the Bruins, who became the third team in NHL history to lose a series after winning the first three games. The only other teams to win a series after trailing 3-0 were the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, who beat Detroit, and the 1975 New York Islanders, who eliminated Pittsburgh. The other 159 teams that won the first three games in a series all won them.
2 of 11Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
2010 Capitals fall to Canadiens
Up three games to one, Alex Ovechkin's Presidents' Trophy-winning Capitals stalled out in Game 5 as Montreal goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who had been pulled in Game 3 and benched for Game 4, made 37 saves and turned the tide of the series with a 2-1 win. Halak was brilliant the rest of the way, allowing only two more goals as the eighth-seeded Canadiens went on to take the next two games, including the Game 7 clincher in Washington, 2-1.
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2004 Bruins fall to Canadiens
With captain Joe Thornton playing hurt and going scoreless in the series, the second-seeded Bruins coughed up a three games to one lead by losing two of the final three matches at home to their division and longtime rivals, who were seeded seventh. The Bs' galling ouster in Game 7 came at the hands of Jose Theodore's first career playoff shutout, a 32-save, 2-0 gem. It was the second time in three years that Boston had fallen in the first round to Montreal. "We had our chances," Boston defenseman Nick Boynton lamented. "We blew it."
4 of 11Brian Bahr/Getty Images/NHLI
2003 Avalanche fall to Wild; Canucks fall to Wild
Patrick Roy and the third-seed Avs were in control of their first-round series when they lost to the six-seed Wild, 3-2, at home in Game 5. In Game 6, Minny's Richard Park scored the winner in OT to force Game 7. The Avs lasted until 3:25 of OT when they were done in by Andrew Brunette. In the next round, the Wild victimized four-seed Vancouver with a 7-2 win in Game 5 followed by a panic-inducing 5-1 win in Game 6. Up 2-0 midway through the second period of Game 7, the Canucks unraveled, making the Wild the first team to pull off two 3-1 rallies in one playoff season.
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2000 Flyers fall to Devils
The East's top seed, with hot rookie Brian Boucher in net, was cruising in the conference final vs. the fourth-seed Devils when it made the mistake of coming out flat for Game 5 in Philadelphia and losing 4-1. After that, the Flyers had a devil of a time getting anything past Martin Brodeur, who allowed only two more goals the rest of the was as New Jersey rallied late for a 2-1 win in Game 6, then eliminated Philly by the same score in a Game 7 made memorable by Scott Stevens booming hit on Eric Lindros. The Flyers were the first team to surrender a 3-1 lead in a conference final and lose.
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1998 Avalanche fall to Oilers
The second-seeded Avs were two seasons removed from the Stanley Cup, but still had Patrick Roy in net as well as Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic up front. They took a three-games-to-one lead over the seventh-seeded Oilers, whose goalie, Curtis Joseph, looked shaky. But Edmonton's Bill Guerin tied Game 5 in Denver at 1-1, sparking the Oilers to a 3-1 win. Joseph suddenly became airtight, shutting out Colorado 2-0 in Game 6 and 4-0 in Game 7, which was played before a despairing if not disbelieving crowd in Denver.
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1994 Flames to Canucks
The second-seeded Flames held a three-games-to-one lead over the seventh-seeded Canucks in their first round series. Calgary goalie Mike Vernon seemed in charge after his 42-save outing in Game 4. But it all fell apart after Vancouver's Geoff Courtnall won Game 5 in OT. In Game 6, the Flames twice coughed up leads and lost in OT again, thanks in part to a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty. Game 7 in Calgary ended up in double OT after the Flames surrendered a 3-2 third-period lead and Kirk McLean's "save of the century" on Robert Reichel in the first extra session set the stage for Pavel Bure's game-winner three minutes into the next frame.
8 of 11John Biever/SI
1992 Capitals to Penguins
Washington finished the regular season with 98 points; the defending Cup-champion Penguins with 87, so it looked like a changing of the guard was at hand when the Caps put the Pens on the brink with a 7-2 win in Game 4 of their first round series. But Mario Lemieux, the eventual Conn Smythe Trophy-winner, and his mates rose up, outscoring the Capitals 14-7 in the next three games, eliminating them with a 3-1 win in Washington.
9 of 11Robert Riger/Getty Images
1989 Oilers fall to Kings
The Oilers paid a bitter price for trading Wayne Gretzky to Los Angeles when the Great One led the Kings back from a three-games-to-one deficit in their first postseason meeting. The Kings stopped Mark Messier's Oilers in the first round with a 4-2 Game 5 win in LA, then wrested home ice advantage with a 4-1 win in Edmonton that knotted the series. Fittingly, Gretzky opened and closed the scoring in LA's 6-3 Game 7 victory. The Oilers never found a way to stop unlikely hero Chris Kontos, who scored eight goals in the series.
10 of 11Tony Triolo/SI
1975 Penguins fall to Islanders
In the second round, the Penguins held a three-games-to-none lead over the Isles, who were in the first postseason of their three-year existence. But with Chico Resch (inset) in New York's net instead of Billy Smith for Game 4, the Pens lost 3-1. By Game 7 at home, they were clanging shots off posts and Resch's mask en route to becoming only the second team to ever blow such a large lead.
11 of 11Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images
1942 Red Wings fall to Maple Leafs
Coached by Jack Adams (for whom the NHL's award is named), the Wings were first team to surrender a three-games-none lead in a postseason series and lose. The turning point came in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final when, with Detroit's champagne on ice, Leafs coach Hap Day benched four starters in favor of a group of kids. Fourth-liner Don Metz was the unlikely hero, scoring a hat-trick in Toronto's 4-3 win. The Leafs won the next two and polished off the Wings at home in Game 7 by rallying from an early 1-0 hole to win, 3-1.
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