The 2022 Stanley Cup Final between Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche starts Wednesday with Game 1 at Ball Arena in Denver (8 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS). To help fans gear up for the Final, NHL.com writers and editors voted for the 10 most iconic goals in Stanley Cup Final history.
Here are the results:
1. Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins, 1970, Game 4: The image of Orr flying through the air after scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal at 40 seconds of overtime is one of the signature moments of the NHL’s illustrious history. A statue of the occasion greets patrons outside TD Garden and depicts the soaring Bruins defenseman celebrating the goal which brought Boston its first Stanley Cup championship in 29 years. Orr took Derek Sanderson’s pass from behind the net and beat St. Louis Blues goalie Glenn Hall just before he was tripped by Blues defenseman Noel Picard, sending him off his feet, leading to one of the most iconic images the sport has ever seen. The series itself was one-sided; Orr’s goal gave the Bruins a 4-3 win in Game 4 to complete the four-game sweep.
2. Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins, 1991, Game 2: If ever there was a signature moment of Lemieux’s Hall of Fame career, this was it. The forward’s end-to-end rush during the second period of Game 2 against the Minnesota North Stars displayed his elite talent and easily was the most spectacular of his 76 career playoff goals. With the Penguins leading 2-1 in the second period, Lemieux took a pass in his own end from teammate Phil Bourque and sped to the North Stars blue line where he realized he was on a 1-on-2. No matter. His series of dangles and dekes started when he put the puck through the legacy of Minnesota defenseman Shawn Chambers, corralled it and pulled away from Chambers and partner Neil Wilkinson, then stickhandled around goalie Jon Casey, whose poke-check attempt went for naught. Pittsburgh defeated Minnesota 4-1 and went on to win the best-of-7 series in six games to capture the first of back-to-back Stanley Cup championships.
3. Brett Hull, Dallas Stars, 1999, Game 6: Hull’s rebound goal against Buffalo Sabers goalie Dominik Hasek at 14:51 of the third overtime brought the Stars their first Stanley Cup championship. Hull’s foot was in the crease when he put the puck past Hasek, but the goal stood under NHL rules because the forward was deemed to be in possession of the puck. Hull said the goal ranked No. 1 among the 844 he scored combined during the regular season and the playoffs in the NHL. It gave the Stars a 2-1 win in Game 6, and, most importantly, a championship parade through downtown Dallas.
4. Bob Nystrom, New York Islanders, 1980, Game 6: The legacy of the Islanders dynasty started with Nystrom’s clinching goal against the Philadelphia Flyers. At 7:11 of overtime, the forward skated into the offensive zone with teammate John Tonelli and backhanded the latter’s feed past Flyers goalie Pete Peeters to give the Islanders their first of what would be four consecutive Stanley Cup championships. No team has won four in a row since; in fact, the 2022 Tampa Bay Lightning are attempting to become the first team to win three in a row since the Islanders. Nystrom’s goal gave New York a 4-3 victory in the decisive Game 6 and propelled the franchise on a run of domination that featured 19 consecutive playoff series wins.
5. Jason Arnott, New Jersey Devils, 2000, Game 6: Arnott joined Orr, Hull and Nystrom as part of an illustrious group of NHL players to score a Stanley Cup-winning goal in overtime. The forward gave the Devils a 2-1 victory against the defending champion Stars at 8:20 of the second overtime when he took a centering feed from linemate Patrik Elias and beat goalie Ed Belfour. It was the Devils’ second Stanley Cup championship; they’d won their first five years earlier with a four-game sweep of the Detroit Red Wings. This one was far more dramatic and was capped off by Arnott, who later celebrated with wrestler Bill Goldberg in the dressing room.
6. Patrick KaneChicago Blackhawks, 2010, Game 6: Kane’s goal at 4:06 of overtime against the Flyers is iconic on two fronts. First, it ended Chicago’s 49-year Stanley Cup championship drought, much to the grief of the raucous capacity crowd in Philadelphia. Secondly, in a bizarre turn of events, the Blackhawks forward seemed to be the only one in the building who immediately knew that he’d scored. Kane, who was 21 at the time and in his third NHL season, took a shot from a bad angle that hit the pad of Flyers goalie Michael Leighton and tucked into the corner of the net. While his teammates and most of the building didn’t seem to see the puck was in, Kane did and began celebrating. Seconds later, after the goal was confirmed, his teammates did too. Chicago won the game 4-3 to end the best-of-7 series.
7. Bobby Baun, Toronto Maple Leafs, 1964, Game 6: Baun’s tale is the stuff of legend, especially in Toronto. With the Maple Leafs trailing the Red Wings 3-2 in the best-of-7 series, the veteran defenseman sustained a cracked fibula during the game and wondered if his Stanley Cup Final was over. But the team doctor reassured Baun that he couldn’t sustain any further damage if he played, so he returned. The Maple Leafs were glad he did; Baun’s seeing-eye shot from the point at 1:43 of overtime gave Toronto a 4-3 win and evened the series. The Maple Leafs won the Cup with a 4-0 victory in Game 7, but that would never have happened if not for the Game 6 heroics by the defenseman with the broken leg.
8. Bill Barilko, Toronto Maple Leafs, 1951, Game 5: Like Baun, Barilko is a folk hero in Toronto, although the circumstances surrounding his fame are much more bittersweet. The defenseman scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal at 2:53 of overtime to give the Maple Leafs a 3-2 victory against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 at Maple Leaf Gardens. The photo of the puck in the top corner over the right shoulder of Canadiens goaltender Gerry McNeil is one of the most iconic in the sport. Unfortunately, he went on a fishing trip during the offseason and the light plane he was on crashed in northern Ontario; the wreckage wasn’t found until 1962. The 1993 song “50 Mission Cap” by the Canadian band The Tragically Hip documented Barilko’s story and brought it back to the forefront.
9. Jaromir Jagr, Pittsburgh Penguins, 1992, Game 1: A year after Lemieux scored a highlight-reel goal in the Cup Final, it was Jagr’s turn. The Penguins forward dipsy-doodled and eluded four Blackhawks players before he backhanded the puck between Belfour’s legs. The spectacular effort at 15:05 of the third period tied the game 4-4 and brought Pittsburgh back even after it trailed by three goals earlier. Lemieux scored the winner with 13 seconds left to give the Penguins a 5-4 win in a best-of-7 series they would go on to sweep. Afterward, Lemieux said it may have been the greatest goal he’d ever seen.
10. Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers, 1985, Game 3: With the Oilers and Flyers tied in the best-of-7 series, Gretzky delivered a statement by scoring a hat trick in the first period in a game Edmonton would go on to win, 4-3. The center scored three goals in 12:22 and completed the hat trick at 13:32 to ignite a shower of hats to be thrown onto the ice at Northlands Coliseum. Gretzky’s flurry blew open the series and helped the Oilers win three consecutive games and the Cup.