Comeback kids: Do the Rangers have a shot?

June 12, 2014 09:27 AM
Top 5 NHL playoff series comebacks

The New York Rangers won Wednesday night, beginning a long, uphill struggle against a Los Angeles Kings 3-0 lead. With the series now at 3-1, their chances of taking the Cup are still slim: only five teams in North American sports have ever come back from a 3-0 deficit, though it already happened once during this year's playoffs (see next slide) and  seems to be happening more often of late. 

Luckily for the Rangers, hockey seems to have a higher degree of unpredictability that allows for these kinds of comebacks — four of the five teams that have achieved that feat are from the NHL.

Click next for a look at the top five NHL comebacks of all time.

5. Tie — 17

There are 17 NHL teams that have come back from 3-1 deficits, according to The most recent was the Montreal Canadiens when they edged out the Washington Capitals in the 2010 conference quarterfinals.

Image courtesy of Lisa Gansky.

4. Los Angeles Kings

The Rangers need look no further than a couple of weeks ago when the Kings made their mark on history this April when they came back from a 3-0 deficit in the first round against the San Jose Sharks.

Image courtesy of Prayitno.

3. Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers made their comeback from a 3-0 series deficit against the Boston Bruins in the 2010 conference finals before being beat by the Chicago Blackhawks in the finals that year. 

Image courtesy of Rhys Asplundh.

2. New York Islanders

The other team in New York topped the Pittsburgh Penguins after trailing 3-0 in their series in the 1975 quarterfinals. 

Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York.

1. Toronto Maple Leafs

In the greatest and first of these NHL comebacks, the Maple Leafs ousted the Detroit Red Wings in the 1942 Stanley Cup Finals after spotting a three-game lead.


Image in Public domain 

About the Author

Thom is an editorial intern at Futures. He studies magazine editing, economics and sociology at the University of Missouri and will graduate in May 2016. You can reach him at