Wednesday, May 7, 2014

1992-93 Montreal Canadiens Vincent Damphousse Jersey

The Montreal Canadiens began the 1993 Stanley Cup playoffs with a first round series against their hated rivals the Quebec Nordiques by losing the first game of the series 3-2 in overtime. After dropping Game 2 by a score of 4-1, the Canadiens were facing the very real possibility of falling behind in the series 3 games to none as Game 3 entered overtime tied at 1-1.

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Patrick Roy holds off the Nordiques

The extra period continued to stretch on without a decision until Curtis Leschyshyn was whistled for a penalty at 9:26, putting Montreal on the power play. Just over a minute later the game ended with the Canadiens regular season leading scorer Vincent Damphousse scoring the game winning goal with assists from Brian Bellows and Eric Desjardins to get Montreal back into the series.

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The battles between Montreal and Quebec were legendary

Game 4 went to Montreal and Game 5 was even at 4-4 at the end of regulation before Kirk Muller won the game for Montreal at 8:17 from Damphousse and Desjardins to put Montreal up 3 games to 2 after trailing 2-0 to start the series. The turnaround was complete after Montreal cruised to a 6-2 win in Game 6 to eliminate the Nordiques and advance to face the Buffalo Sabres in the Adams Division Final.

Montreal took Game 1 by a score of 4-3 prior to Grant Fuhr and Patrick Roy battling it out in Game 2, which ended the first 60 minutes tied at 3-3. It would take 2:50 to decide a winner when Guy Carbonneau got his first goal of the postseason from Serge Savard and Ed Ronan.

It was more of the same as the series shifted to Buffalo, as the two teams again finished regulation deadlocked at 3-3. Gilbert Dionne was the hero that night when he won the game for the Canadiens at 8:28 from Patrice Brisebois and Bellows to put Montreal in a commanding 3-0 position.

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Sabres captain Dale Hawerchuk was given no room to operate

Game 4 saw the now familiar 3-3 score up on the board when the horn sounded to end the third period yet again and Muller got his second overtime winner from John LeClair and J. J. Daigneault at 11:37 to complete the unusual sweep of the Sabres, as every game ended with the identical 4-3 score in favor of Montreal.

Their next opponents in the Wales Conference Finals were the New York Islanders. After winning Game 1, Montreal held serve at home with a 4-3 win in overtime of Game 2 with Stephan Lebeau's goal from Damphousse and Brisebois at 6:21.

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In the trenches with the Islanders and Canadiens

The series moved to Long Island where Glen Healy did his best to stave off the Montreal attack, but his offense could only support him with a single goal and Game 3 also required extra time. It would take 12:34 until the matter was settled in favor of the Canadiens when Carbonneau beat Healy from Benoit Burnet and Matthieu Schneider. The win was Montreal's 11th in a row, tying an NHL record. The Islanders would avoid elimination with a win in the next game, but Montreal would advance to the finals with a 5-2 win in Game 5.

Montreal would face a difficult task in the finals in the form of Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings, who would win the opening game 4-1 in Montreal. Roy would make 37 saves to keep the Canadiens in the game despite being outshot 39-23. Regulation ended tied at 2-2 and the Canadiens evened the series at a game apiece when Desjardins won it for Montreal after just 51 seconds from Brunet and Ronan.

In Los Angeles, Game 3 featured a wild second period, as the Canadiens scored two goals in 21 seconds to take a 3-0 lead, but the Kings roared back with three goals in less than 10 minutes to tie the game at 3-3. Hrudey and Roy put the clamps down and the rest of regulation passed without a goal, sending the game into overtime. It was all Montreal, as they managed three shots on goal within the first 34 seconds, the third one a goal from LeClair from Muller and Bellows.

The fourth game was a very similar affair, as Montreal led 1-0 after one and the bulk of the scoring game in the second, Montreal scoring at 5:24 only to have the Kings score twice to tie the game at 2-2, followed by a tense, scoreless third, sending their third consecutive game into overtime.

It was a back and fourth battle with chances at both ends as the game carried on. The Kings held a 10-6 advantage in shots before LeClair won the game for Montreal with an unassisted goal at 14:37, Montreal's tenth overtime win of the 1993 playoffs, establishing a single season playoff record. Two day's later the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup with a 4-1 win which required only the standard 60 minutes.

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Montreal hoists the 1993 Stanley Cup,
thanks in part to their overtime mastery

The following season Montreal extended their winning streak in overtime games to 11 with a 2-1 in the Boston Garden over the Bruins in Game 5 of their opening round series on a goal by Muller from Turner Stevenson and Brisebois. All 11 of Montreal's consecutive overtime wins were with Roy in goal, which helped create his reputation as one of the best goaltenders in the history of the NHL.

The Canadiens would miss out on the playoffs in 1995, but return again in 1996, where they would meet the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the opening round. By now Roy had had his falling out with the Canadiens and had been traded to the Colorado Avalanche and Jocelyn Thibault had taken over as the #1 goaltender, and he limited New York to two goals on 43 shots, but Mike Richter did the same for the Rangers and regulation ended deadlocked at 2-2. Damphousse pushed the Canadiens overtime winning streak to 12 with an assist from Brunet at 5:04.

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An Original 6 matchup with Montreal and New York

Back in the postseason in 1997, Montreal was paired up with the New Jersey Devils in the first round, where their overtime mastery continued with a 4-3 victory in Game 4 thanks to a goal by Patrice Brisebois.

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Brian Savage protecting the puck against the Devils

The Habs returned to the playoffs in 1998, winning their first round series against Pittsburgh before being swept by the Buffalo Sabres, none of which required an overtime. Montreal then fell on hard times, missing out on the postseason for the next three seasons, something which had not happened since 1920-1922.

The Canadiens returned to the playoffs in 2002, knocking out Boston in the first round before meeting the Carolina Hurricanes. The teams split the first two games before the third required extra time to break a 1-1 tie, which was settled when Donald Audette extended the Canadiens overtime mastery to an incredible 13 straight wins with a goal at 2:26 on this date in 2002.

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Overtime hero Donald Audette

The streak came to an end two nights later when the teams once again skated into overtime with the game tied at 3-3. Niclas Wallin finally ended the Canadiens incredible overtime winning streak at 13 games stretched out over 10 years of undefeated play in sudden death.

Today's featured jersey is a 1992-93 Montreal Canadiens Vincent Damphousse jersey from the year Damphousse began the Canadiens 10 year, 13 game streak of overtime victories.

The Canadiens equipment staff had a busy season, as the club began the season wearing the 1993 NHL All-Star Game patch on their jerseys. Following the All-Star Game, the club changed to the Stanley Cup Centennial patch, which was worn by all the players that season, with both Montreal and Quebec wearing a special French variation.

Thanks to their playoff success, the Canadiens then had to have the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals patch, again a French version (the first and to date only time one has been worn) added to all their jerseys, quite likely the only time any team in NHL history has worn three unique patches in the same season. Yes, other teams have worn three patches at the same time during a season, but not three different ones in succession.

Montreal Canadiens 92-93 #25 jersey photo MontrealCanadiens92-9325jersey.jpg
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 2001-02 Montreal Canadiens Donald Audette jersey from the player who scored final overtime winner in the Canadiens remarkable streak of overtime success.

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photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Today's video section is the story of the Canadiens run to the 1993 Stanley Cup, including an incredible  ten overtime victories in the process.

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