1993 Stanley Cup Final series was contested by Los Angeles Kings and Montreal Canadiens to decide the NHL championship for the 1992-93 NHL season. It was the first appearance in the Final for the Kings and the first appearance since the 1920 Final for a team based on the West Coast of the United States. It was also the 34th and (as of 2016) most recent appearance for Montreal, their first since the 1989 Final. Montreal won the series 4–1 to win the team's 24th Stanley Cup. The year 1993 was the 100th anniversary of the first awarding of the Stanley Cup in 1893, and the first Finals to start in the month of June.
The Canadiens remain the last Canadian team to have won the Cup. The 1993 Canadiens are also the last Stanley Cup championship team to be composed solely of North American-born players.
Road to the Final
The Los Angeles Kings had started well but then went through a terrible run of form from December to February, though they managed to rebound and clinch a playoff spot. Superstar Wayne Gretzky sat out from October to January due to injury. Los Angeles did not have home ice advantage for all four rounds of the playoffs, and was the only club to face Canadian teams in every round. To reach the final, Los Angeles defeated the Calgary Flames 4–2, the Vancouver Canucks, 4–2 and the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4–3.
The Montreal Canadiens defeated their in-province rivals, Quebec Nordiques, 4–2, the Buffalo Sabres 4–0, and the New York Islanders 4–1. The Canadiens initially lost the first 2 games in round 1 against the rival Nordiques, due in part to a couple of weak goals let in by star Montreal goaltender (and Quebec City native) Patrick Roy. Afterward, a newspaper in Roy's hometown district suggested that he be traded, while Nordiques goaltending coach Dan Bouchard also proclaimed that his team had solved Roy. The Canadiens then responded by winning the next four games to eliminate the Nordiques, then swept the Sabres, and took the first three games against the Islanders, tying a record of 11 consecutive playoff wins.
Both conferences saw numerous upsets, with the top two teams in each conference being eliminated before the conference finals. The Campbell Conference saw last year's Cup finalists, Chicago Blackhawks get swept in the opening round by the St. Louis Blues. With their rivals the Boston Bruins being eliminated by the Sabres in the division semifinals, as well as the two-time defending Cup champions Pittsburgh Penguins being eliminated by the Islanders in the division final, Montreal's path to their first final since 1989 became much easier. The Bruins had eliminated the Canadiens in the playoffs for 3 straight years, mainly due to Boston goaltender Andy Moog (who was often referred to as the "greatest Habs killer" the Bruins ever had).
This was the last Stanley Cup Final series played in the Montreal Forum and the last time Wayne Gretzky competed in the Finals. The Kings were appearing in the Finals for the first time in their 26-year history. It was Montreal's most recent appearance in the Stanley Cup & its victory is the most recent championship won by a Canadian team.
Game 1 (June 1, 1993)
|Tuesday, June 1||Los Angeles Kings||4–1||Montreal Canadiens||Montreal Forum|
In game 1 at the Montreal Forum, the Kings jumped out to a 1–0 lead on Luc Robitaille's power-play goal at 3:03 of the first period. The Canadiens tied the game late in the first on Ed Ronan's goal at 18:09 (although it was merely a pass that Gretzky accidentally deflected into his own net). Robitaille would break the 1–1 deadlock with his second power-play goal of the game at 17:41 of the second period. Jari Kurri added an insurance marker off a Patrice Brisebois turnover at 1:51 of the third, and Gretzky sealed the 4–1 win for the Kings with an empty net goal at 18:02.
|Thursday, June 3||Los Angeles Kings||2–3 (OT)||Montreal Canadiens||Montreal Forum|
The turning point of the series for the Canadiens came late in the third period of game 2. With the Kings leading by a score of 2–1, Canadiens coach Jacques Demers called for a measurement of the curve of Kings defenceman Marty McSorley's stick. The stick was deemed illegal and McSorley was given a 2 minute minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. As it was late in the game and Montreal was facing the prospect of going to Los Angeles down 2–0, Demers pulled goalie Patrick Roy, producing a 6-on-4 advantage for the Canadiens. Montreal's Éric Desjardins scored from the point to tie the game 2–2 and force OT. Desjardins then scored his third goal of the game 51 seconds into oT to give Montreal the win 3–2 and the momentum heading toward games 3 and 4 at the Great Western Forum. Desjardins is the first and only defenceman to get a hat trick in the Cup Finals; before this game he had scored just 2 playoff goals.
Reports suggested Canadiens coach Jacques Demers knew which of the Kings' hockey sticks to challenge (thanks to a Montreal Forum employee assigned to the Kings' locker room who temporarily moved the Kings' portable stick rack to the Montreal's locker room), but Demers has denied this and credited captain Guy Carbonneau with spotting McSorley's illegal stick.
|Saturday, June 5||Montreal Canadiens||4–3 (OT)||Los Angeles Kings||Great Western Forum|
In game 3 in Los Angeles, the Canadiens jumped out to a 1–0 first period lead on a tip-in goal by Brian Bellows at 10:26 and Gilbert Dionne & Mathieu Schneider increased that lead to 3–0 at 2:41 and 3:02 of the second period. After a memorable check by long-time Kings defenceman Mark Hardy on Montreal's Mike Keane, the Kings fired back to tie the game in the second period on goals by Robitaille, Tony Granato, and Gretzky. With time running out in the third period, Montreal captain Guy Carbonneau appeared to cover the puck in the goal crease, which with such little time remaining (12 seconds) would have resulted in a penalty shot for Los Angeles, but the referee ruled that the puck had been shot by a Kings player into Carbonneau's equipment, and so the period remained scoreless. After the series, the referee admitted that he had made a mistake on the call. The game went into overtime and Montreal's John LeClair scored the winner just 34 seconds into the extra period & Montreal won the game 4–3, giving Montreal their 9th consecutive overtime playoff victory.
|Monday, June 7||Montreal Canadiens||3–2 (OT)||Los Angeles Kings||Great Western Forum|
Game 4 was a carbon copy of the previous game. Montreal bolted out to an early 2–0 lead, but the Kings fought back in the second period with goals by Mike Donnelly at 6:33 and McSorley on a power play at 19:56. As was the case in game 3, the third period in game 4 ended up scoreless. Once again, it was John LeClair who was the hero for Montreal as he netted the overtime winner 14:37 into the extra period, banking the puck off the leg of sliding Los Angeles defenceman Darryl Sydor, winning 3–2. In doing so, he became the first player since Montreal legend Maurice "Rocket" Richard in 1951 to score playoff overtime goals in consecutive games and giving Montreal an NHL-record 10 consecutive overtime wins in the 1993 playoffs.
|Wednesday, June 9||Los Angeles Kings||1–4||Montreal Canadiens||Montreal Forum|
Leading the series 3–1, Montreal headed back home for game 5. After Paul DiPietro gave Montreal a 1–0 lead with a goal at 15:10 of the first period, McSorley tied the game for the Kings at 2:40 of the second period. The Canadiens' response was swift as Kirk Muller scored just 71 seconds later, and then Stephane Lebeau scored a power-play goal at 11:31 to give the Canadiens a 3–1 lead after two periods. DiPietro scored again at 12:06 to give Montreal a 4–1 lead which ended up being the final score, with Muller's goal turning out to be the game winner. Gretzky did not manage a shot on net during the entire game.
With the win, the Canadiens won the series 4–1 and clinched their 24th Stanley Cup championship. Montreal goaltender Patrick Roy won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time (he won it for the first time in 1986).
Stanley Cup Engraving
- 21 Guy Carbonneau (C)
- 15 Paul DiPietro
- 18 Denis Savard (A)
- 25 Vincent Damphousse
- 29 Jesse Belanger
- 47 Stephan Lebeau
- 11 Kirk Muller (A)
- 12 Mike Keane (A)
- 17 John LeClair
- 22 Benoit Brunet
- 23 Brian Bellows
- 26 Gary Leeman
- 31 Ed Ronan
- 32 Mario Roberge
- 36 Todd Ewen
- 45 Gilbert Dionne
- 5 Rob Ramage
- 27 Mathieu Schneider
- 14 Kevin Haller
- 24 Lyle Odelein
- 28 Eric Desjardins
- 34 Donald Dufresne
- 38 Sean Hill
- 43 Patrice Brisebois
- 48 Jean-Jacques Daigneault
- 33 Patrick Roy
- 37 Andre Racicot
Coaching and Administrative staff
- Ronald Corey (Chairman/President)
- Serge Savard (Vice President/General Manager)
- Jacques Demers (Head Coach
- Jacques Laperriere (Asst. Coach)
- Charles Thiffault, (Asst Coach)
- Francois Allaire (Goaltending Coach)
- Jean Beliveau (Sr. Vice President-Director of Cooperate Affairs)
- Jacques Lemaire (Asst. General Manager/Director of Player Personnel)
- Andre Boudrias (Asst. General Manager)
- Gaetan Lefebvre (Athletic Trainer)
- John Shipman (Asst. Athletic Trainer)
- Eddy Palchak (Equipment Manager)
- Pierre Gervais (Asst. Equipment Manager)
- Robert Boulanger (Asst. Equipment Manager)
- Jesse Belanger played 19 regular season games and 9 playoff games, but did not play in the finals. His name was included on the cup even though he did not qualify.
- Oleg Petrov played 9 regular season games and 1 playoff game, but was left off the cup, and team picture. He spent the rest of the season in the minors.
- Montreal did not include Aldo Giampaolo, Fred Steer, Bernard Brisset (Vice Presidents), and Claude Ruel (Director-Player Development) on the Stanley Cup even though there is more than enough room.
- In 1986, Montreal included 3 of their 4 vice presidents and Director-Player Development on the cup.
- All 7 members were awarded Stanley Cup Rings, along with all the scouts & other non-playing members.
Included on the team picture, but left off Stanley Cup
- Stephane T. Molson (Secretary - Molson Family Foundation)†
- Eric H. Molson (Chairman of the Board, The Molson Company Limited)