(Photo: Getty Images)
1993: The Canadiens came out flying, but a second period breakdown would lead to yet another overtime in the team’s chase for the Stanley Cup.
Despite the energy of the Los Angeles Forum crowd, one that Wayne Gretzky thought might intimidate the visiting club, the Habs took an early charge against the Los Angeles Kings in Game Three of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Montreal opened things with a first period power-play goal from Brian Bellows, followed by a pair of goals from Gilbert Dionne and Mathieu Schneider, in a 21-second span, early in the second period.
Schneider later felt the Canadiens relaxed too much, holding onto a three-goal lead in the second period. It certainly looked that way as Gretzky freely skated behind the Canadiens goal, a place where he was often most dangerous, and fed Luc Robitaille at 7:52. Just over three minutes later, Tony Granato stuffed the puck past Patrick Roy. Gretzky would tie the game up at 17:07, rifling a shot past Roy.
"We knew what was going to happen here. Big show in L.A and we knew we had to focus on the task at hand. I thought we did a good job at concentrating,” said Schneider. “We came out strong in the first period. Second period, I thought we came out strong again. Once we got up a few goals, I think we were relaxed a little bit too much."
The Kings managed 10 shots at Roy in the third period, with the Montreal goaltender coming up big on several occasions.
The home team was denied an opportunity to pull ahead, as the clock wound down in the period. The the puck found itself in the crease and under Canadiens centre Guy Carbonneau, after Tomas Sandstrom attempted a wrap-around from the opposite sode of the net.
Knocked into the crease, following a cross check from Warren Rychel, the Kings claimed Carbonneau pulled the puck underneath himself. “It looked like Carbonneau brought it into himself,” said Rychel, who had a bird’s eye view of the play.
Kings coach Barry Melrose felt the action should have warranted a penalty shot. “That’s the rule,” Melrose said, following the game. “but they’re not using that rule today.” Melrose then stated that referee Terry Gregson explained to Gretzky that Sandstrom shot the puck into Carbonneau.
Carbonneau stated that he was unaware that the puck was under him, but told the media post game of his real intention. “Once I was down, I tried to grab the post and pulle the net off,” Carbo said with a smirk.
As with Game Two, the overtime period ended rather quickly as John LeClair took a shot at Kings netminder Kelly Hrudey, that left him sprawled across the crease. LeClair swung around for a second shot then made the third one count, just 34 seconds in.
Francis Bouchard put together a pair of YouTube posts, featuring highlights of the action, and some commentary from LeClair, Hrudey, Gretzky, Melrose and Carbonneau.
Also on this day…
1972: The Canadiens drafted Brad Selwood from Toronto in the NHL Intra-league draft.
1980: Montreal sends Rick Meagher, a 3rd round pick (Paul MacDermid) in 1981 and a 5th round pick (Dan Bourbonnais) in 1981 to the Hartford Whalers for a 3rd round pick (Dieter Hegen) in 1981 and a 5th round pick (Steve Rooney) in 1981.
Habs Born on This Day: Alfie Turcotte (1965)
Los Angeles Daily News, June 6, 1993, “Carbonneau has big hand in Canadiens’ Cup lead”