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Looking back at the most memorable Game 7s in Edmonton Oilers history

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Photo credit:Flor Cordero
Ryley Delaney
23 days ago
It all comes down to Monday, as the Edmonton Oilers and the Florida Panthers battle in Game 7 for the Stanley Cup.
As you likely know, the Oilers fell down 3-0 in the series but managed to win their next three games to even the series. That has only been done two other times in Stanley Cup Final history. The only time a team has won via a reverse sweep was in 1942 when the Toronto Maple Leafs came back and defeated the Detroit Red Wings.
Three years later, the 1945 Maple Leafs had a 3-0 lead over the Red Wings, before the Wings stormed back and won the next three. However, Toronto’s Babe Pratt scored with 7:46 left in the third period en route to a 2-1 win.
However, that’s not what this article is about. Since joining the National Hockey League in 1979, the Oilers have played in 12 Game 7s, winning eight and losing four. In this article, we’ll look at some of the best Game 7s they’ve won.
Let’s dig in.

Oilers win their third cup in four years – 1987

Looking for their third Stanley Cup in four years, the Edmonton Oilers played the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1987 Stanley Cup Final.
The Oilers jumped out to a 3-1 series lead, winning in games 1, 2 and 4. However, the Flyers came into Edmonton to defeat the Oilers in Game 5 by a score of 4-3, before winning Game 6 on home ice to send it to seven games.
Back at the Northlands Coliseum, the Flyers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to Murray Craven’s third goal of the postseason. However, Mark Messier would tie it six minutes later to send the teams into the dressing room tied.
Nearly 15 minutes into the second period, Jari Kurri scored the eventual game-winning goal, his 15th of the postseason, assisted by Wayne Gretzky. It’s crazy how much the sport has changed in nearly 40 years, as this short little snapshot beat Ron Hextall.
With two minutes and 24 seconds left on the clock, Glenn Anderson would wire it by the Flyers’ netminder, giving the Oilers a 3-1 cushion that would give them their third Stanley Cup in franchise history.
The Oilers went on to win two more Stanley Cups, in the following season and one in 1990. This wasn’t the last Stanley Cup Final they’d play in that went to seven games. We’ll get to that later though.

CuJo’s massive save – 1997

Ten years later, the Edmonton Oilers dynasty was no more, having missed four consecutive postseasons prior to the 1997 matchup against the Dallas Stars.
Edmonton was a seventh seed heading into the matchup against the Stars, but did they ever take it to them? Dallas won the first game of the series at home before the Oilers split the series thanks to a Game 2 shutout.
Moving to Edmonton, the Oilers took a 2-1 series thanks to a Kelly Buchberger overtime goal (get used to overtime), but the Oilers’ comeback fell short in Game 4, with the Stars splitting the two games in Edmonton.
A best of three now, the Oilers and the Stars went to overtime in Game 5 in Dallas, with Ryan Smyth slapping it five-hole on former Oiler, Andy Moog, to break the 0-0 deadlock in double overtime.
Once again, the Stars rebounded with a win of their own, defeating the Oilers 3-2 in Edmonton with a late Mike Madano goal to send the series to seven games.
Game 7 saw the Stars open the scoring, thanks to an early Benoit Hogue goal. However, Rem Murray scored seven seconds later, which was the scoring for the first period. The second period saw more action, as Boris Mironov scored a power-play goal for the Oilers, followed by a Pat Verbeek power-play goal for the Stars.
Dallas would score another goal just two minutes later thanks to Bob Bassen, but they were unable to hold the lead as Andrei Kovalenko scored with just 20 seconds left before the second intermission.

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The third period was a deadlock, meaning that the Edmonton Oilers and the Dallas Stars went to overtime for the third time in seven games. And then, one of the greatest plays in Oiler franchise history happened.
Curtis Joseph, who had been phenomenal all series long, was a bit hard on the wraparound pass and was out of position. The puck landed on the stick of prolific goal scorer, Joe Nieuwendyk for a great chance to send the #2 seed Dallas Stars to the second round. Joseph had other plans, sprawling across the crease to rob the Stars and continue the game.
Less than a minute later, Todd Marchant would bust down the right wing, picking blocker side to send the Oilers to Colorado in the semifinals. This was just over a year before I was born, but man this would’ve been amazing to witness live.
The Oilers wouldn’t do much of note against the Avalanche, who won in five games. The Oilers would lose to the Stars in five of the next six postseasons, before finally defeating them in the 2024 postseason.

McDavid’s magical goal – 2022

Fast forward 25 seasons later, and the Edmonton Oilers are looking to get out of the first round for the first time since the 2017 postseason. The Oilers had home-ice advantage but lost Game 1 of the first round by a score of 4-3 to the Los Angeles Kings.
However, they’d bounce back in two blowouts, splitting the first two games with a 6-0 win, before thrashing the Kings in Los Angeles to take a 2-1 series lead. However, Los Angeles would tie the series at two with a 4-0 win, before winning Game 5 in Edmonton thanks to an Adrian Kempe overtime goal early in the extra period.
On the cusp of an embarrassing elimination loss to the Kings, the Oilers were able to win again in Los Angeles, with Tyson Barrie scoring the game-winning goal with just over five minutes left. Evander Kane iced the game with his seventh goal of the series into an empty net.
That set up the winner-takes-all Game 7 back in Edmonton. The Oilers’ “Mr. Game 7 Cody Ceci scored the game-winning goal 13 minutes and 15 seconds into the second period, beating Jonathan Quick’s blocker side to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead.
But the 2022 Kings were a dangerous team, and a 1-0 lead never felt like it was enough. Well, enter captain Connor McDavid, who had some absolute magic up his sleeve. 
Leon Draisaitl won a defensive zone faceoff, with the puck bouncing to Kailer Yamamoto. McDavid used his speed to cut inside to grab the puck, generating a half-breakaway and being hooked in the process. 
The Kings gave up on the play, but McDavid did not, winning a puck battle and putting the puck through the legs of former Oiler, Andreas Athanasiou, to get to the front of the net. From there, McDavid kicked the puck to his stick, and backhanded it top shelf to ice the series, with the Oilers winning Game 7 2-0.
After losing big in Game 1 of the second round, the Oilers would proceed to win the next four games against the division-winning Calgary Flames, before being swept at the hands of the eventual Stanley Cup champions, the Colorado Avalanche.

Edmonton takes down Vancouver – 2024

The most recent Game 7 was just over a month ago, as the Edmonton Oilers defeated their Canadian rivals, the Vancouver Canucks.
The Oilers led 4-1 towards the end of the second period in Game 1, but the Canucks scored four unanswered, three in the third, to take the first game 5-4. Edmonton would take the second game to split the series, thanks to a Connor McDavid goal to tie the game early in the third, as well as an Evan Bouchard overtime goal.
Game 3 at Rogers Place saw the Canucks take it, as the 3-1 hole the Oilers dug themselves into was too much to get out of. Bouchard gave them life with a minute and 16 seconds left on the clock, but the Oilers fell 4-3. Once again though, the Oilers would tie the series thanks to a Bouchard goal with just 39 seconds remaining. This was shortly after Dakota Joshua scored with the Canucks’ netminder pulled.
The fifth game of the series once again saw a late goal, as J.T. Miller scored with just 33 seconds remaining left to break the 2-2 deadlock, both in the game and the series, giving the Canucks a 3-2 series lead and win in Game 5. But once again, the Oilers tied the series up thanks to a 5-1 win, the only game in this series to finish with a score of two or more goals.
That set up the decisive Game 7. For the second straight Game 7, Cody Ceci opened the scoring in the second period to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead. Zach Hyman added another thanks to a deflection, before Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made it a 3-0 lead with just under five minutes left in the second.
However, nothing comes easy with this Oilers’ team, as Ryan McLeod whiffed on a pass, leading to Conor Garland stealing it and getting the Canucks on the board. Filip Hronek would make it a one-goal game thanks to a blast from the point, but the Oilers would hold on to win it and head to their second Western Conference Finals in three seasons.
The Oilers went on to defeat the Stars in six games, and are playing in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Whatever happens, what a ride this has been.
Believe.

If you enjoy my content, you can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.

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