Top 5 NHL players with the most empty-net goals in Stanley Cup playoff history

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Dallas Stars
NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Dallas Stars

Many Stanley Cup playoff games end with a mad flurry as the losing side pulls their goaltender for an extra attacker in a desperate bid to score, resulting in an empty net.

While such goals are a normal part of Stanley Cup playoff hockey, a common question arises: Who has the most empty-net goals in Stanley Cup playoff history?

The top five players in this category include some legendary names and a few surprising ones.

Top 5 NHL players with the most Stanley Cup playoff empty net goals

#1: Wayne Gretzky

Not much of a surprise here. The Great One holds the record for the most Stanley Cup playoff empty-net goals.

Among Gretzky’s mind-boggling achievements are 122 goals in 208 playoff games, with 260 assists. Curiously enough, nine of those 122 goals were empty netters.

#2: Brad Marchand

Current Boston Bruins captain Brad Marchand is tied with Gretzky for the most empty netters in playoff history. Marchand scored his ninth empty-net goal in Stanley Cup playoff play during Game 3 of this year’s Leafs-Bruins series.

With Marchand currently active, there’s a good chance he could surpass the Great One’s mark, taking sole possession of the lead for the most empty-net goals in playoff history.

#3: Henrik Zetterberg

Former Detroit Red Wings great, Henrik Zetterberg registered eight empty-net markers during his postseason career. He achieved the feat in 137 playoff games en route to winning multiple Cups in Motown.

Overall, Zetterberg notched 57 postseason goals, totaling 120 points. He ended his playing career one goal shy of the all-time mark.

#4: Mario Lemieux

Super Mario was a beast in Stanley Cup playoff matchups. He registered 76 goals and 96 assists for 172 points in 107 postseason appearances. He led the Pittsburgh Penguins to back-to-back Cups in the early 90s, cementing his legacy as one of the all-time greats.

Among his impressive feats are six empty net goals in postseason play. Unfortunately, injuries cut his playing days short.

#5: Nathan MacKinnon

Colorado Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon is quickly making a name for himself as one of the league’s best players. He’s tied with Lemieux, scoring six empty net goals in postseason play. Overall, MacKinnon has tallied 46 goals in 81 playoff contests.

Like Marchand, MacKinnon is currently active. If the Avs continue to be a perennial playoff team, he should have a chance to pass Lemieux and work his way up the chart. Perhaps MacKinnon could eventually catch Marchand and hold this interesting distinction for himself.

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