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1996: Rogue Claude clips Draper's Wings

For avid fans of the fastest game on ice, the National Hockey League's regular season is a mere dress rehearsal for the real campaign: the Stanley Cup playoffs. Here's a look at 10 of the most memorable moments from NHL postseasons past.

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Claude Lemieux's despicable hit-from-behind on Red Wings centre Kris Draper in Game 6 of the 1996 Western Conference finals secures the journeyman right winger's place in the NHL's rogues gallery.
  The infamous incident (which leaves Draper with a concussion, broken jaw, cheek and orbital bones and would require extensive reconstructive facial surgery) also serves to obscure Lemieux's status as one of the most prolific playoff scorers in NHL history, while sparking a long and bitter rivalry between the Detroit franchise and Lemieux's Colorado Avalanche. Lemieux would be suspended just two games for his indiscretion, and his team would go on to win the Stanley Cup.

• After serving a two-game suspension for his hit on Kris Draper, Claude Lemieux scored the opening goal of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final series against the Florida Panthers. The Avalanche would go on to sweep the series in four straight games, securing the team its first ever Stanley Cup title and earning Lemieux his third championship ring.
  • Claude Lemieux is one of only eight NHL players to win the Stanley Cup with three different teams. His first championship was as a member of the 1985-86 Montreal Canadiens. He has twice hoisted the Cup as a member of the New Jersey Devils, first in 1995, and again in 2000.

• A consummate postseason performer, Lemieux retired with 80 career playoff goals, ranking him eighth on the all-time NHL list. On three separate occasions, his playoff scoring totals exceeded those of his proceeding regular seasons.

• Former Pittsburgh Penguin great Mario Lemieux bears no familial relation with Claude Lemieux. However, former NHL left winger Jocelyn Lemieux is Claude's younger brother.

Medium: Television
Program: Hockey Night in Canada
Broadcast Date: May 29, 1996
Announcer: Bob Cole
Commentator: Harry Neale
Duration: 1:27

Last updated: April 26, 2013

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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