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Proof Teams Can Overcome a 3-1 Deficit in the NHL Playoffs

It’s not unheard of for teams to overcome a 3-1 series deficit in the NHL Playoffs. Here are some teams that have already proven the Vegas Golden Knights are not out of it yet.

After a convincing win in Washington on Monday night, the Washington Capitals look poised to lift the Stanley Cup. After many years of second-round exits, is this the year that they can finally go all the way? The only thing standing in their way is one more win, and a team of Vegas Golden Knights determined to stop it from happening.

So is it all but finished for the Golden Knights? Being down 3-1 in a seven-game series has been a death sentence for most teams, but some have been able to put three straight wins together and pull off what some consider a miracle. A three-game winning streak in the regular season is common. A three-game winning streak in the Stanley Cup Finals is almost unheard of. Almost. There have been many teams that have overcome that dreaded deficit, but only one has been able to do it in the Stanley Cup Finals, all the way back in 1942. The following is a short list of some of the most recent teams to make it happen.

5. The Tampa Bay Lightning – 2011 Conference Quarter Finals

In the first playoff series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Lightning pulled off, what some consider, an upset. Lead by a strong opening game by Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury, the Penguins opened the series with a shutout victory and went on to win three of the first four games, with Game 4 requiring double overtime. The Lightning pushed back with a decisive 8-2 victory in Game 5 to start the comeback. The series ended with a 1-0 shutout by Dwayne Roloson, and a second period goal that the Lightning would be able to hold on to for the victory.

4. The Chicago Blackhawks – 2013 Conference Semifinals

In the sixteenth playoff meeting between these two original six franchises, the Blackhawks faced the Detroit Red Wings for their chance to go on to the Western Conference Finals. After the Blackhawks won game one with a strong 4-1 victory, The Red Wings would go on to win the next three games behind some strong efforts by Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard on route to a comfortable 3-1 series lead. The Blackhawks would win Game 5 thanks to Andrew Shaw’s two-goal effort, and Game 6 would be highlighted by a penalty shot goal by Michael Frolik for a 4-3 victory. The Blackhawks would go on to win the series, and would eventually go on to win the Stanley Cup that year.

3. The Los Angeles Kings – 2014 First Round

After three games in the first round series with the San Jose Sharks, the Kings were down 3-0 in the series, and were on the brink of elimination. The Sharks won the first two games in dominating fashion, with a 6-3 win in the first game, and a 7-2 score in the second.  Patrick Marleau’s overtime winner in Game 3 had the Sharks ready to move on to the second round. After a good push-back victory in Game 4, and a shutout by The Kings’ Jonathan Quick in Game 5, Game six provided some dramatic effect. Justin Williams’ goal on Sharks backup Alex Stalock had to be reviewed as it appeared that Williams pushed Stalock into the net, but the call on the ice would stand, and the Kings would claim victory. A Game 7 victory made former Flyers Mike Richards and Jeff Carter the first players in NHL history to come back from 3-0 deficits to win a series.

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