Has any NHL team ever won a game after being down 0-5? It would clearly be quite difficult and arguably miraculous.

  • 1
    Evidently, it is not arguable. Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 18:20

2 Answers 2


This has happened six times in NHL history so is not as uncommon as you suspect:

  • Intriguing to me is that only the first two were in the "high scoring" era; the last four were in the more mundane modern era of actual defense, where 5 goals at all was fairly unusual.
    – Joe
    Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 21:52
  • 2
    @Joe There are 4 more instances between 1983 and 1989 where teams came back from a 5 goal deficit if not 5-0 to win. More modern overtime rules I suspect also play a part - e.g. the Canadiens win in 2008 was in a shootout which would have been a tie under old rules.
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 22:07
  • That's a good point - so would the playoff game in 1982 had it been in the regular season! And then of course you have the Colorado game where they came back and won 7-5 in regulation, because the 1999 Avs were just that good... that game also had the rare double hat trick (Bure and Forsberg).
    – Joe
    Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 22:14
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    For perspective, about 60k NHL games have been played to date, making about 0.01% of games a 0-5 comeback. Of course, the vast majority of games never get to 0-5, so the likelihood of coming back if that deficit is actually reached will be quite a bit higher than that. Agree we're likely out of "miracle" territory, which could be benchmarked with the 1000:1 odds (0.1% chance) of 1980's Miracle on Ice. It would be miraculous for a random game to result in a 0-5 comeback, but seeing a comeback in a 0-5 game might not be. Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 18:27
  • Maybe also show us how to find the answer? Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 16:45

Wayne Gretzky probably doesn't want to remember this one, but the Oilers lost to the Kings 6-5 in 1982 in the playoffs (Game 3 of the Smythe division semi-finals that year) after leading 5-0 after 2 periods. Not only did the Kings come back from down 5-0, but they came back entirely in the 3rd period and OT, scoring their last 3 goals of regulation in less than six minutes, and the tying goal on the power play with only 5 seconds remaining in regulation.

Contributing to the demise were a ton of penalties in the second half of the third period - this was not super uncommon back then, but there was a ton of offsetting penalties leading to quite a long time of 4-on-4 play, which undoubtedly simplified things, plus the high-stick major by Gary Unger at exactly 15:00 that meant that the Kings were able to play two men up after pulling their goalie for the last three minutes. That plus some shenanigans with goaltenders that gave the Kings a breather allowed them to finally score at nearly the last second.

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