Saturday, May 6, 2017

{allcanada} Oilers on other end of stunning comeback in these playoffs


The Edmonton Oilers watched a three-goal lead disappear in the final 3:16 of the third period against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday in Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round before losing 4-3 in double overtime. It was the second time in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs a team won a game after overcoming being down three goals in the final 4:00 of the third period.

The Oilers were involved in the other one as well, 20 years earlier - but they were on the winning end.

On April 20, 1997, the Dallas Stars appeared to be coasting to victory against the Oilers in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals at Edmonton Coliseum (later Rexall Place). With time winding down in the third period, the second-seeded Stars led 3-0; Mike Modano and Benoit Hogue had scored in the first period and Joe Nieuwendyk gave Dallas a three-goal lead midway through the second.

It looked as if the seventh-seeded Oilers were on the way toward a loss in their first home playoff game since 1992 after missing the postseason for the previous four years.

But the fans got a spark of hope when Doug Weight's backhand shot went past Dallas goaltender (and former Oiler) Andy Moog with exactly 4:00 remaining to make it 3-1. Edmonton got a power play 25 seconds later, and Andrei Kovalenko snapped a shot through Moog's pads with 2:16 remaining to make it 3-2. Rookie Mike Grier tied the game 12 seconds later, tipping a shot by defenseman Dan McGillis past Moog to make it 3-3.

The three goals in 1:56 and two goals in 12 seconds set Oilers records.

Forward Kelly Buchberger won it at 9:15 of overtime when he took a drop pass from Mats Lindgren across the Dallas blue line and took a shot that deflected off Dallas defenseman Darryl Sydor and went past Moog. The stunning victory gave the Oilers a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

The Stars evened the series two nights later, but the historic win became part of an upset victory when the Oilers defeated the Stars 4-3 in overtime to win Game 7.

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