The Florida Panthers finally showed signs of life in the 2023 Stanley Cup Finals, taking down the Vegas Golden Knights in a 3-2 victory in Game 3. Instead of being down the dreaded 3-0, the Ice Cats are only down 2-1 and will have the chance to tie the series in Game 4 on Saturday. But how has NHL history ultimately treated teams who were down 2-0 in the championship round?
In the history of the Stanley Cup Finals, only five teams have come back from a 2-0 deficit to win the series and the title. Those five include the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, the 1966 and 1971 Montreal Canadiens, the 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins, and the 2011 Boston Bruins.
The 1942 Maple Leafs actually hold the distinction of being the first team in NHL history to come back from an 0-3 deficit and pull off a “reverse sweep.” The team climbed out of its steep hole against the Red Wings to take the cup with a 3-1 victory in Game 7. In 1966, the Canadiens fell behind 0-2 before rattling off four straight, clinching the title with a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 6. Five years later, the Canadiens turned an 0-2 deficit into a 2-2 tie with the Chicago Blackhawks and after dropping Game 5, they won the final two contests to win their 17th cup in franchise history.
The 2009 Penguins managed to tie their series against the Red Wings and after being blanked 5-0 in Game 5, they picked up a pair of 2-1 victories to seal claim the title. Two years later in 2011, the Bruins went down 0-2 to the Vancouver Canucks before flipping the script. Aside from a 1-0 loss in Game 5, they buried Vancouver by a combined score of 21-3 to win their first cup since 1972.