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Today in Hockey History: Bill Barilko Wins Stanley Cup for Toronto Maple Leafs

Bill Barilko Toronto Maple Leafs

During the NHL’s hiatus, we at the Last Word on Hockey are going to look back at each date’s historical significance to the game. We’ll remember the moments that shaped the sport of hockey that happened on this day. Here’s our look at this date in hockey history for April 21st, featuring Bill Barilko.

Today in Hockey History

Bill Barilko Wins the Leafs the Cup

1951: The Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman scores 2:53 into overtime to give his team a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Barilko’s goal helped Toronto win Game 5 and the club’s ninth Stanley Cup. It was a lifelong dream for the big defender to play for the Leafs.

His life would tragically end when his plane went down on a fishing trip in the off-season. The wreckage is not found until 1962, which is the next time Toronto wins the title. The crash is immortalized in the Tragically Hip song “50 Mission Cap.”

Other Notable Events

1974: Johnny Bucyk scores a record three power-play goals as the Boston Bruins beat the Chicago Blackhawks. Boston would win Game 2 of the semifinals, 8-6.

1980: Terry O’Reilly scores the game-tying and game-winning goals in Boston’s 4-3 OT win. O’Reilly helps the Bruins win Game 4 and avoid a sweep to the New York Islanders.

1998: Wayne Gretzky‘s shorthanded goal powers the Edmonton Oilers to a 5-4 OT win over the Calgary Flames. The Great One scores 7:54 into overtime to win Game 2 of the Smythe final.

1996: The Tampa Bay Lightning draw a playoff record 25,945 in their first playoff game at the Thunderdome. Tampa beats the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-4, to take Game 3.

1999: Steve Yzerman sets a Detroit Red Wings record for playoff hat tricks with four. He’d guide the Red Wings to a 5-3 Game 1 win over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in Game 1 of the first round.

2000: Peter Forsberg helps the Colorado Avalanche beat the Phoenix Coyotes, 2-1, to win the series in five games. It’s the 10th straight series loss for the Jets/Coyotes franchise.

2008: Brothers Andrei Kostitsyn and Sergei Kostitsyn are the first siblings to score in a Game 7 as the Canadiens beat the Bruins in the Eastern quarterfinals.

2014: Darcy Kuemper makes 22 saves in his first post-season start in the Minnesota Wild‘s 1-0 win over Colorado in Game 3.

2015: Brent Seabrook scores 1:00 into the third overtime as the Blackhawks edge the Nashville Predators 3-2 in Game 5 of the Western first round.

2018: Nikita Kucherov caps a 10-point series as the Lightning clinch their first-round series against the New Jersey Devils. The Russian would get five goals in five games as Tampa takes the decider, 3-1.

Happy Birthday to You

1936: Reggie Fleming

1951: Steve Vickers

1960: Michel Goulet

1965: Ed Belfour

1980: Vincent Lecavalier

1986: Alexander Edler

Bill Barilko Toronto Maple Leafs


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