Only four teams have come back from a 3-0 hole in a best-of-seven playoff series in the NHL's more than 100-year existence, while 195 have gone on to win. Only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings after trailing 3-0 in the Stanley Cup Final. The New York Rangers and Boston Bruins are the only two teams to do so twice.
The Chicago Black Hawks are the only team to sweep their way into the Stanley Cup final, winning four games by a total of score of 15-3 against the Montreal Canadiens in 1952-53. In 1961, the Los Angeles Kings did it with wins over the Toronto Maple Leafs (4-1), St. Louis Blues (5-2), and Detroit Red Wings (3-0) before losing to the Montreal Canadiens again (this time 4-3).
In 2007, the Ottawa Senators accomplished the feat, defeating the Detroit Red Wings 4-1, Winnipeg Jets 4-1, and Phoenix Coyotes 3-0 to become the first third-seed to beat out second-seed Dallas for a spot in the Stanley Cup final. They lost to the Colorado Avalanche that year.
No team has come back from a 3-0 deficit to force a seventh game since the defection of the fourth quarter in the 1996-97 NHL season. The New Jersey Devils were trying to win their first championship in franchise history when they took on the Vancouver Canucks in the finals.
Four NHL franchises Only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs (in the final), the 1975 New York Islanders, the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers, and the 2014 Los Angeles Kings have come back from 3-0 deficits to win best-of-seven series. The other three franchises that have done so lost all three games by one goal.
The last team to do it was the Chicago Blackhawks, who won four straight after being down 3-0 against the Red Wings in the 1996 Western Conference Quarterfinals. The first three games were all won by one goal, and then Game 4 went into overtime before Patrick Kane scored the winner.
Three of the four teams came back to defeat the dominant team in the series. The only exception is the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, who defeated Detroit 4-3 in Game 7 on Bob Wilson's goal with just over 10 minutes left in regulation time.
In fact, only five teams have ever won a best-of-seven series after being down 3-0, and only the Blackhawks have done it more than once. They also are the only team to come back from 3-0 down in any round of the playoffs.
The Montreal Canadiens are the most recent team to do it, winning four in a row to defeat the Washington Capitals 5-4 in overtime of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference First Round.
There have been ten teams that have done it twice. New York Islanders 75,87; Detroit 87,92; Washington 88,09; and Edmonton 90,98 (won the cup in 90) 14 overcame a 0-3 deficit in the first round to win the Cup in 14. St. Louis won the Cup in 1991 and 1999, Pitts won it in 1992, Minnesota won it in 2003 in the quarterfinals and semi-finals, Montreal won it in 2004, and New York won it in 2010. Loading...
In the history of these leagues, teams behind 3-0 in a series have won it five times; four times in the NHL and once in MLB. The Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League were the most recent example in the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Toronto defeats Detroit in the Stanley Cup Final in 1942. This was the first time a club had overcome a three-game deficit, and it remains the only time it has occurred in a Stanley Cup Final. The Red Wings led 3-0 after games one, two, and three before Toronto rallied for four straight wins.
Calgary defeats Boston College with a goal in the last minute of regulation to force overtime on Saturday, March 10, 2005. With the game tied 1-1 after two periods, Calgary coach/general manager Darryl Sutter called a timeout and told his players to relax and enjoy the moment. He then had a joke told during the break that made everyone laugh, which helped calm the nerves before they played another second of hockey.
Chicago defeats St. Louis 4-3 in overtime on Thursday, April 9, 2006. After being outshot 16-6 in the third period, the Blackhawks scored three goals in less than eight minutes to take control of the game. Chicago won its first title since 1961 with this victory.
Colorado defeats Vancouver 3-2 in overtime on Monday, May 5, 2007. After losing the first two games of the series by a combined score of 14-1, Colorado came back to win three in a row to force a fifth game.