| April 7–May 16, 1982|
New York Islanders
| Chicago Black Hawks
The 1982 Stanley Cup playoffs, the championship of the National Hockey League (NHL) began on April 7, after the conclusion of the 1981–82 NHL season. The playoffs concluded on May 16 with the champion New York Islanders defeating the Vancouver Canucks 3–1 to win the Final series four games to none and win the Stanley Cup.
The first round of the 1982 playoffs saw three first-place teams (Edmonton, Minnesota, and Montreal) upset by fourth-place teams, a round which featured what is still the greatest comeback in NHL history: The Kings' 6–5 win over Edmonton in game three. After trailing 5–0 after two periods, the Kings scored five third period goals—three in the last 5:22, the final goal coming with only five seconds left in regulation. Los Angeles then scored on a face-off early in overtime, thus completing the "Miracle on Manchester".
The eventual champion New York Islanders nearly capitulated in the first round as well, losing games three and four of their first-round playoff series with Pittsburgh after crushing the Penguins in the first two games. In game five, the Islanders scored twice in the last five minutes to force overtime and then won the series on John Tonelli's goal 6:19 into the extra session. This served as a wake-up call for New York, who lost only two more games the rest of the way on their march to third straight Stanley Cup. Their Finals opponents, the Vancouver Canucks, finished the regular season with only 77 points, defeating three teams beneath them in the standings (Calgary 75, Los Angeles 63, and Chicago 72) in the much weaker Campbell Conference.
1982 Stanley Cup playoffs Wikipedia
The 1982 playoffs used a new format. Four teams from each division would qualify for the playoffs, and played a best-of-five semifinal round followed by a best-of-seven series to determine the division playoff champions. The Adams and Patrick winners would meet in the Wales Conference Final, while the Norris and Smythe winners played in the Campbell Conference Final. The two Conference Champions played for the Stanley Cup. With the exception of extending the first round to a best-of-seven in 1987, this format remained in place through the 1993 playoffs.
The following teams qualified for the playoffs:
- Montreal Canadiens, Adams Division champions – 109 points
- Boston Bruins – 96 points
- Buffalo Sabres – 93 points
- Quebec Nordiques – 82 points
- New York Islanders, Patrick Division champions, Prince of Wales Conference regular season champions – 118 points
- New York Rangers – 92 points
- Philadelphia Flyers – 87 points
- Pittsburgh Penguins – 75 points
- Minnesota North Stars, Norris Division champions – 94 points
- Winnipeg Jets – 80 points
- St. Louis Blues – 72 points (32 wins)
- Chicago Black Hawks – 72 points (30 wins)
- Edmonton Oilers, Smythe Division champions, Clarence Campbell Conference regular season champions – 111 points
- Vancouver Canucks – 77 points
- Calgary Flames – 75 points
- Los Angeles Kings – 63 points
John Tonelli scored the game-tying goal late in the third period and game-winning overtime goal in the decisive Game 5 to lift the Islanders over the Penguins.
In the Stanley Cup Final, the Cinderella run of the Vancouver Canucks came to an end with a four-game sweep by the Islanders, winning their third consecutive Stanley Cup.