While it's easy to think things are going well for the Oilers after winning three straight, history suggests the Panthers are in a better position going into Game 7. Photo Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports June 21, 2024; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers left wing Zach Hyman (18) celebrates with center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) after scoring a goal against the Florida Panthers in the second period in game six of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

When the Florida Panthers held off the charging Edmonton Oilers in Game 3, it looked as though the Stanley Cup Final would end in a sweep for the first time in 26 years. Just over a week later, it’s a very different story.

Edmonton avoided a sweep with an 8-1 blowout in Game 4, then avoided the gentlemen’s sweep with a 5-3 win in Game 5. With a 5-1 win in Game 6 on Friday, the Oilers forced a Game 7, the first time a Stanley Cup Final has gone the full seven games in five years.

This is the third time in the history of the Stanley Cup Final and the 10th time in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs that a team has forced a Game 7 after trailing 3-0. It’s natural to think that the team going into Game 7 after winning three straight would have the momentum. But while Edmonton does have some positive history to draw from, interestingly enough, Florida has more.

The team in Edmonton’s position is 4-5 in the previous nine Game 7 situations.  If we include the Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association postseasons, we’ve seen 15 Game 7s after a 3-0 series lead, with the team that trailed 3-0 only 5-10 in the decisive game.

Here, we look back at all of them.

Won Game 7


  • 1942 Stanley Cup Final: Toronto Maple Leafs def. Detroit Red Wings, 3-1.

After surviving a close Game 4, the Maple Leafs posted a pair of decisive wins (9-3 in Game 5, 3-0 in Game 6) to force a winner-take-all Game 7. Detroit appeared poised to fight off Toronto’s comeback bid, leading 1-0 heading into the third period of Game 7. But Sweeney Schriner drew the Maple Leafs even early in the third period. Two minutes later, Pete Langelle gave Toronto a lead. Schriner scored his second goal of the game late in the third period to seal the dramatic comeback for the Maple Leafs.

  • 1975 Stanley Cup quarterfinals: New York Islanders def. Pittsburgh Penguins, 1-0.

Only two games in this series were decided by one goal. The first was Game 1, which Pittsburgh won 5-4, the first step in taking a 3-0 series lead. The second was Game 7, which New York won to complete the comeback. New York and Pittsburgh remained locked in a scoreless tie for much of Game 7. But with just over five minutes left in the third period, Ed Westfall beat Pittsburgh goalie Gary Inness for the only goal of the game.

  • 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals: Philadelphia Flyers def. Boston Bruins 4-3.

Game 7 was a perfect microcosm for the series. Boston started out strong, scoring first on a goal from Michael Ryder, then taking a 3-0 lead on a pair of goals from Milan Lucic. But a late first period goal from James van Riemsdyk cut the deficit to a manageable 3-1. Philadelphia then tied the game in the second period on goals from Scott Hartnell Daniel Brière. A power play goal from Simon Gagné gave the Flyers a 4-3 lead, which stood as the final score for both Game 7 and the series.

  • 2014 Western Conference First Round: Los Angeles Kings def. San Jose Sharks 5-1.

After a pair of decisive wins at home, the Sharks took a 3-0 lead with an overtime win in Game 3. The series turned there. The Kings come back to win the next four games and did so with very little drama. Los Angeles posted 6-3, 3-0 and 4-1 wins in Games 4, 5, and 6, respectively. While the Sharks took a 1-0 lead early in the second period of Game 7, the Kings responded in a big way, taking a 3-1 lead early in the third, then scoring a pair of empty-netters late to seal the series.


  • 2004 American League Championship Series: Boston Red Sox def. New York Yankees 10-3.

Following dramatic wins at Fenway Park in Games 4 and 5, Curt Schilling’s bloody sock effort in Game 6, combined with some controversial (though correct) overturned calls helped Boston force a Game 7 in the Bronx. A two-run homer from David Ortiz in the first inning, followed by a Johnny Damon grand slam in the second inning gave the Red Sox a 6-0 lead. And while the Yankees threatened to make it a game a few times, they never got to within five runs in what was an anticlimactic end to a dramatic series.

Lost Game 7


  • 1939 Stanley Cup semifinals: Boston Bruins def. New York Rangers 2-1 (triple overtime).

The series started with the Bruins winning 2-1 in triple overtime and ended the same way. Those games bookended what was an awesome series. In addition to the pair of triple overtime bookends, two other games went into overtime, with Boston winning 3-2 in Game 2 and New York winning 2-1 in Game 5. Mel Hill was the main man of the series for the Bruins. Not only did he score four goals, but he also had the winning goal in all three of Boston’s overtime wins.

  • 1945 Stanley Cup Final: Toronto Maple Leafs def. Detroit Red Wings 2-1.

Three years after the Maple Leafs erased a 3-0 series lead to win the Stanley Cup over the Red Wings, Detroit nearly returned the favor. Mel Hill (the same man who came up so big for the Bruins in 1939) got Toronto on the board first. It was also the Maple Leafs’ first goal in the series since Game 4’s 5-3 loss. The Red Wings drew even on a goal from Murray Armstrong in the third period but Toronto’s Babe Pratt scored about four minutes later to give the Maple Leafs a 2-1 lead, which was good enough to win.

  • 1975 Stanley Cup semifinals: Philadelphia Flyers def. New York Islanders 4-1.

After successfully coming back from a 3-0 deficit the previous round, the Islanders very nearly did it again, forcing a Game 7 against Philadelphia. Unfortunately for New York, it wasn’t meant to be. The Flyers quickly took control of Game 7, taking a 3-1 lead after the first period. Following the 4-1 victory in Game 7, the Flyers defeated the Buffalo Sabres in six games to win their second straight Stanley Cup. The Islanders would have to wait a few more years to experience that glory.

  • 2011 Western Conference quarterfinals: Vancouver Canucks def. Chicago Blackhawks 2-1

Chicago dominated Games 4 and 5, winning 7-2 and 5-0. The last two games were significantly more dramatic. The Blackhawks forced a Game 7 with a 4-3 overtime win in Game 6. Chicago then sent Game 7 into overtime with a short-handed goal in the third period from Jonathan Toews. But Vancouver fought off the comeback bid from the reigning Stanley Cup champs with an overtime goal from Alexandre Burrows. Burrows scored both goals for the Canucks in their dramatic Game 7 win.

  • 2011 Western Conference semifinals: San Jose Sharks def. Detroit Red Wings

The first five games were all decided by only one goal. Game 6 was a 3-1 Detroit win but even that included an empty-net goal late. Game 7 was no less dramatic. San Jose jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. The teams traded goals from there and the Sharks held off the Red Wings, setting up a Western Conference Final between two teams that had nearly blown 3-0 series leads earlier in the playoffs.


  • 1951 NBA Finals: Rochester Royals def. New York Knicks 79-75

Get the early lead and hold them off. That’s what the Royals did in the series, jumping out to a 3-0 lead. That’s also what they did in Game 7, taking a 22-16 lead after the first quarter en route to a 79-75 victory. Rochester’s Arnie Risen and Bob Davies scored 24 and 20, respectively, the only players from either team to reach 20 points. The franchise now known as the Sacramento Kings has not won another championship since.

  • 1994 Western Conference semifinals: Utah Jazz def. Denver Nuggets 91-81

After erasing a 2-0 deficit in the first round (which was then a best-of-five series), the Nuggets nearly did the same in the second round. Denver pulled off three tight wins, winning Game 4 83-82, Game 5 109-101 in double overtime, and Game 6 94-91. Utah controlled Game 7 from the outset, though, taking a 74-59 lead after three quarters and holding on for a 10-point victory to finally put the pesky Nuggets — the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference — away.

  • 2003 Western Conference first round: Dallas Mavericks def. Portland Trail Blazers 107-95

While the series went the full seven games, there wasn’t a whole lot of drama to it. Dallas beat Portland 103-99 in Game 2. The Blazers beat the Mavericks by the same score in Game 5. Those were the only games in the series decided by single digits. That said, while Dallas ultimately won Game 7 by 12 points, it was a close game throughout, with the Blazers even leading by two going into the final quarter.

  • 2023 Eastern Conference finals: Miami Heat def. Boston Celtics 103-84

After decisive wins in Games 4 and 5, it looked as though Boston’s luck finally ran out in Game 6. But a Derrick White putback at the buzzer forced a Game 7. And that’s where the Celtics’ luck finally ran out. Jayson Tatum was hurt early in the game but still grinded out a double-double. Ultimately, it wasn’t nearly enough. Boston’s shooting went cold. Jimmy Butler and Caleb Martin had 28 and 26 points, respectively for Miami, while no Boston player reached 20.


  • 2020 American League Championship Series: Tampa Bay Rays def. Houston Astros 4-2

After coming out of the bullpen to earn a victory in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series for the Astros, Charlie Morton took the ball against them in Game 7 of the ALCS three years later. Series MVP Randy Arozarena drilled a two-run home run in the first inning, while Mike Zunino hit a solo homer in the second inning to give the Rays and Morton a 3-0 lead. Down 4-0 in the eighth, Houston rallied, getting two runs on a Carlos Correa RBI single in the eighth. But that was as close as the Astros would get.

About Michael Dixon

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