#9: April 24, 2019- Clipping the Caps’ Wings
The return of the Carolina Hurricanes to postseason hockey was a dream come true for the fans. For our troubles, the Canes treated us to a stress-inducing series with the Washington Capitals that would require a 7th game in the U.S. capital. Entering the final five minutes of the second period, the Canes trailed Washington 3-1, with only a short-handed goal from Sebastian Aho on the scoresheet. A goal by Teuvo Teravainen with 3:23 left in the period breathed some new life into the Hurricanes, making us all believe a comeback was inevitable. We didn’t have to wait long for that feeling to come to fruition. Just 2:56 into the third period, Jordan Staal snapped a shot from the right dot that beat Braden Holtby to tie the game 3-3. Initially, I had this goal ranked higher, and I still hold that it could’ve been. Ultimately, I think the timing of the goal made me change my mind. Had it been a little later, it likely would’ve been higher. Nevertheless, it showed some shocking similarities to a goal his brother scored a decade prior.
#8: June 5, 2006- The Captain Finds a Way
If you were to ask an Oilers fan about the 2006 Stanley Cup Final, they’d likely tell you that Dwayne Roloson’s injury in Game 1 is what cost them the cup. While I don’t subscribe to that logic, it would’ve made the end of Game 1 a little different. The Oilers had built a demanding 3-0 lead through most of the first two periods, including a goal on a penalty shot by Chris Pronger. Once Rod Brind’Amour broke the shutout late in the second, the dam seemed to open up. Ray Whitney scored twice in under 3:30 to tie it, and Justin Williams buried a short-handed goal to give the Canes a 4-3 lead more than halfway through the period. Edmonton drew back even, setting up a tense conclusion. Things got a little more tense when a collision into the net took out Roloson for the rest of the series. Ty Conklin took over in the net for the rest of the night, and it would prove disastrous for Edmonton. A miscue behind the net allowed Brind’Amour to swoop in and put the puck into an empty net, setting the stage for an intense seven-game series, ending in a Stanley Cup victory for the Hurricanes.