Ovechkin, Crosby among those chasing postseason records

Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are in a tight race to become the postseason's active scoring leader.

Some NHL postseason records will stand forever, thanks to Wayne Gretzky. Others soon could be broken, thanks to Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and others in pursuit.  

With the playoffs set to begin, there are some NHL postseason regulars who will continue on what ultimately could be a record-breaking chase. So, it’s a perfect time to skim through the record books and highlight some that stand out. 

Who is the NHL playoffs all-time points leader? 

Yes, that’s an easy one, it’s Wayne Gretzky. But do you know how large his lead is? Hint: it’s a lot. 

Gretzky is the all-time leader in playoff goals scored with 122, which is 13 more than Mark Messier in 28 fewer games. 

Gretzky is also the all-time leader in playoff assists with 260. Messier once again is in second by a wide margin with 186.

Add it all up and Gretzky leads the postseason in points with 382. No other player has reached 300, and only four have more than 200, with Messier in second with 295. 


Who is the NHL active playoff leader in games played?

Hint: He’s tall. The tallest player in the NHL, to be exact. 

If that didn’t give it away, it’s the 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara. The Washington Capitals defenseman, who prior to this season spent 14 seasons with the Boston Bruins, has played in 195 playoff games. With one more game, he’ll move into the top 20 for career postseason games. Oddly enough, that game very well could be against the Bruins. Chara still has a long way to go to catch the all-time leader in postseason games played: Chris Chelios with 266. 

What records could be broken or tied during the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs?

  • The Panthers’ Joel Quenneville leads active coaches with three Stanley Cups, which is tied for eighth all-time. Four coaches have won the Cup four times, and Scotty Bowman holds the record with nine. Quenneville, with 119 career playoff wins, needs four wins to tie Al Arbour for second place all-time with 123. Scotty Bowman is in a league of his own with 223   
  • The most goals scored by a rookie in one postseason is 14 by Dino Ciccarelli of the Minnesota North Stars in the 1981 playoffs. Perhaps Kirill Kaprizov, a rookie who leads the Minnesota Wild with 24 goals in 51 games, can take a crack at that one in 2021.   
  • Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby are both in the top 20 for career postseason goals. Ovechkin is 18th with 69 goals and Crosby is tied with Gordie Howe for 19th with 68. Ovi has played 32 fewer games than Sid the Kid. The active leader in postseason goals scored is Patrick Marleau with 72.  
  • Crosby, who is approaching the rare 200 postseason point club, needs one assist to move into sole possession of 10th place on the all-time postseason assist leaders list. Teammate Evgeni Malkin can also crack the top 20 with two assists.  
  • If Crosby can record another postseason hat trick, it would be the fourth of his career. Only eight players have four or more playoff hat tricks, led by Gretzky’s 10. No other player has more than seven.  
  • Marc-Andre Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights will play in his 15th postseason, the fifth most ever among goaltenders. He trails Patrick Roy (17), Martin Brodeur (17), Jacques Plante (16) and Andy Moog (16). Fleury, who currently has 15 postseason shutouts, has 81 career postseason wins, trailing Ed Belfour by seven victories for fifth place all-time.  
  • Victor Hedman needs three playoff goals to become the postseason’s all-time leader in goals scored by a defenseman. He is currently third with 10, trailing Brian Leetch (11) and Paul Coffey (12).

How quickly was the fastest goal scored in a Stanley Cup playoff game? 

The fastest goal scored in an NHL playoff game was six seconds in by Don Kozak in the Kings’ 7-4 win over the Bruins in Game 4 of the 1976-1977 quarterfinals. 

Which player has won the most Stanley Cups?

Henri Richard of the Montreal Canadiens has won more Stanley Cups than any other player with 11. Seven active players have won three Stanley Cups: Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, and Jonathan Towes. Only 119 players in NHL history have won four Cups.

Has an NHL team ever gone 16-0 in the playoffs?

The longest winning streak during one postseason is 11 games, held by the 1991-1992 Chicago Blackhawks, the 1991-1992 Pittsburgh Penguins and the 1992-1993 Montreal Canadiens.

The longest losing streak over multiple postseasons is 16 by the Chicago Blackhawks, which dated from April 20, 1975 to April 22, 1979.

Which team has won the most Stanley Cup championships?

The Montreal Canadiens have the most Stanley Cup Finals appearances with 32 and the most championships with 23. 

What NHL team has the longest active playoff streak?

The Penguins have made the playoffs every season since 2006-2007, which is the longest active streak at 15 seasons. The record for most consecutive playoff appearances is held by the Boston Bruins, who made 29 straight postseasons from 1967-1968 to 1995-1996. 


What player has the longest active playoff streak?

Ryan McDonagh of the Tampa Bay Lightning and James Neal of the Edmonton Oilers each hold the active playoff streak record, with 11 straight postseason appearances. The record for most consecutive postseasons is 20, held by Niklas Lindstrom and Larry Robinson.

What is the most goals scored in a playoff game by one player?

The record for most goals scored by one player in a playoff game is five, held by Newsy Lalonde in 1919, Maurice Richard in 1944, Darryl Sittler in 1976, Reggie Leach in 1976 and Mario Lemieux in 1989.

Who is the NHL’s active leader in postseason game-winning goals?

Joe Pavelski of the Dallas Stars and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins lead active players with 12 postseason game-winning goals each, tied for 25th most all-time. Brett Hull and Wayne Gretzky are tied for first with 24. 

Which goalie has the highest save percentage in NHL postseason history?

Mike Smith of the Edmonton Oilers currently owns the highest save percentage in NHL postseason (since the 1955-1956 season) at .934 in 23 games played. Craig Anderson of the Washington Capitals isn’t far behind with a .929 save percentage in 46 games, fourth best all time. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is also in the top 10 with a .926 save percentage in 93 games, which is tied for eighth with Braden Holtby of the Vancouver Canucks. 

Robin Lehner of the New York Islanders has posted a 2.01 goals against average in the playoffs, which is 13th best all time. He has allowed 49 goals in 26 games. Only 12 players in NHL history have a GAA under 2.00.

What is the longest game in NHL postseason history?

Five overtimes just weren’t enough. Twice in NHL postseason history, a game went into a sixth overtime to determine a winner. In 1936, Detroit defeated the Montreal Maroons, 1-0, after 116 minutes and 30 seconds of hockey,  the longest NHL playoff game in history. That broke the record set in 1933, when the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Boston Bruins, 1-0, in a game that took 104 minutes and 46 seconds. 

Imagine watching more than 100 minutes of scoreless hockey? 

In more recent history, the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-1, in the 2000 conference semifinals during a game that went five overtimes and took just over 92 minutes for the third longest postseason game.



And just last season, the soon-to-be-champion Tampa Bay Lighting defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2, in the first round during a 5-OT thriller that lasted 90 minutes and 27 seconds, the fourth longest postseason game.    

What are the most goals scored in a NHL playoff series?

The most goals by a team in a playoff series is 44 by the 1984-1985 Edmonton Oilers in a 4-2 series win over the Chicago Blackhawks in the conference finals. 

The fewest goals scored by one team in a four-game series is one by the 2002-2003 Wild.

The fewest goals scored by one team in a seven-game playoff series is eight by the 2010-2011 Canucks in a 4-3 series loss to the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Has a team ever scored more than a dozen goals during a Stanley Cup playoff game?

The most goals scored by a team in a playoff game is 13 by the Edmonton Oilers in a 13-3 win over the Kings in the division semifinals. 

The most goals scored by a team in one period of a playoff game is 7 by the 1943-1944 Montreal Canadiens. That was in the third period of an 11-0 win over Toronto.

Records per

Mike Gavin contributed to this story