Greening adds his name to the list of Newfoundlanders who have scored clutch NHL playoff goals
The Ottawa Senators' Colin Greening (centre) is joined by Erik Condra, Andre Benoit and Jean-Gabriel Pageau (right) after the St. John's native scored the winning goal in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 the teams' Eastern Conference semifinal at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa on Sunday. — Photo by The Canadian Press
Colin Greening still has a ways to go to catch up with Daniel Cleary, Ryane Clowe and Michael Ryder for NHL career playoff points, but the big winger from St. John's sure etched his mark in the history books with a huge goal for his Ottawa Senators Sunday night.
Greening was the Senators' hero after banging home a rebound at 7:39 of the second overtime period in Ottawa Sunday, his third goal of these Stanley Cup playoffs.
Overall, Greening has three goals and an assist in 15 career Stanley Cup post season games.
The top-ranked Pittsburgh Penguins still lead the Eastern Conference semifinal series 2-1 with Game 3 in Ottawa Wednesday night.
Greening is not the first Newfoundland-born NHLer to come up big in a single game during the playoffs.
In fact, we can go all the way back to the 1962-63 season, when Alex Faulkner of Bishop's Falls - who will forever be known as the first Newfoundlander to play in the NHL - enjoyed a great post season with five goals in eight games.
Coming off a 10-goal, 10-assist regular season in Detroit, Faulkner saved his best for last, helping the Red Wings advance to the Cup final against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team he broke in with the previous season.
The Leafs would dispatch the Wings in a five-game final. In a Detroit's only win, a 3-2 decision, Faulkner netted a pair of goals, was named the game's first star and was interviewed on Hockey Night in Canada after the final whistle.
Another Red Wing, Cleary, leads all Newfoundland-born NHLers in career playoff scoring with 22 goals and 26 assists in 116 games entering last night's Western Conference semifinal Game 3 in Detroit.
The product of Riverhead, Harbour Grace, and the first Newfoundlander to win the Stanley Cup (2008 with Detroit), Cleary has scored some big post season goals, including a shorthanded effort against the Pens in Game 1 of the 2008 final.
With the Red Wings leading 2-0 on a pair of Mikael Samuelsson goals, Cleary drove a stake through the Penguins when he raced down the right wing and beat Marc-Andre Fleury at 17:18 of the third period.
However, Cleary's biggest goal may have come the following season in the 2009 playoffs, in Game 7 of the Red Wings-Anaheim Ducks second-round series.
With the game tied 3-3 and time ticking away in the third, Cleary potted the game-winner with just three minutes remaining in regulation, sending Detroit on to the conference final against the Blackhawks.
Holding down the No. 2 spot on the list of Newfoundlanders in playoff scoring is the New York Rangers' Clowe, a native of Fermeuse with 18 goals and 46 points through 70 post-season games.
Clowe, a trade deadline pickup from the San Jose Sharks this season, hasn't had much of an opportunity to pad those numbers this year, however, as he's been out for most of the playoffs with a suspected concussion.
Clowe played a couple of shifts in Game 5 of the first-round series against the Washington Capitals, but didn't finish the game and hasn't returned since.
What's worse, Clowe has not been skating with the Rangers in practise.
The Bonavista-born Ryder, with just over 200 career regular-season NHL goals, knows how to score, and he's been doing that in the Stanley Cup playoffs with 21 goals and 24 assists through 75 games. When the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup two years ago, Ryder tied for fourth on team scoring with eight goals and 17 points.
In 2011, the Bruins and Montreal Canadiens hooked up in a classic first-round series which went seven games.
The Canadiens took the opening two games in Boston, but the Bruins bounced back with two wins at the Bell Centre in Montreal. In Game 4, Boston trailed 3-1 halfway through the game, but tied things up before the second period intermission. The teams traded goals in the third sending the game to overtime.
A Canadiens' win would give Montreal the all-important 3-1 cushion heading back to Boston. However, at 1:59 of OT, Ryder slammed home the puck from the side of the net allowing the Bruins to head home with the series tied.
In terms of points-per-game ratio, Teddy Purcell of St. John's just may be the most productive Newfoundlander in the post season, with six goals and 17 points in 18 games.
Granted, all those came in the 2011 playoffs, when the Tampa Bay Lightning came within a goal of reaching the Cup final, only to be knocked out by the Bruins in a seven-game Eastern Conference final.
The Lightning forced a Game 7 with a 5-4 win in Tampa in Game 6, with Purcell scoring twice, including the game-winner.
The following is a list of Newfoundland-born NHLers, and their career Stanley Cup playoff stats (Monday's Detroit Red Wings-Chicago Blackhawks game not included):
Name GP G A Pts.
Daniel Cleary 116 22 26 48
Ryane Clowe 70 18 28 46
Michael Ryder 75 21 24 45
Teddy Purcell 18 6 11 17
Alex Faulkner 12 5 0 5
Colin Greening 15 3 1 4
John Slaney 14 2 1 3
Adam Pardy 6 0 2 2
Darren Langdon 25 1 0 1
Harold Druken 4 0 1 1
Brad Brown 11 0 0 0
Don Howse 2 0 0 0
Jason King 1 0 0 0
Note: Newfoundlanders with NHL experience who did not play in the Stanley Cup playoffs include Tony White, Joe Lundrigan, Jason Morgan, Dwayne Norris, Bob Gladney, Luke Adam, Doug O'Brien, Chad Penney, Terry Ryan Jr. and Darryl Williams. The list also does not include, for obvious reasons, goaltenders Doug Grant and Dan LaCosta.
Robin Short is The Telegram's Sports Editor. He can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org