Okay baseball fans, and even casual ones, you know about Carlton Fisk's famous home run in the bottom of the 12th inning in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series at Fenway Park. Walk off home run to win the game right off of the foul pole. Probably among the top 5 most famous home runs in baseball history just for its notoriety, although I think there are plenty of other home runs in baseball history that were more IMPORTANT to the context of winning. Here's why. Fisk's homerun is still a legendary moment, but it didn't change anything. The Red Sox lost Game 7 to the Reds in another close game. So in reality the Fisk home run just delayed a Reds win, and a Red Sox loss. If the Red Sox win, then the walk off home run is as important as David Freese's one in Game 6 in 2011. So what moments does hockey have like that? In other words, great moments in a series, or a game, that we all know about but still didn't translate into a victory.
Paul Kariya 2003 - He was drilled by Scott Stevens in Game 6 of the 2003 Cup final. He literally is shown "coming to" as he is laying on the ice as we see the fog come back on his visor. Then he comes back and scores a goal that seals the deal and makes it 4-1. All after that big hit. Great moment, but the Ducks lost Game 7, and the Cup.
Valeri Kamensky 1987 Canada Cup - Scored an impossible highlight reel goal in Game 2 of the Canada Cup final with a minute to go to tie the game against Canada. What ensued was double overtime and tons of chances for the Russians to win it but in the end Mario nets the winner and then Canada wins in Game 3. If the Russians win in Game 2, that Kamensky goal whether we Canadians like to admit it or not, is more revered.
Rene Robert's fog goal 1975 - A rare time you see Bernie Parent let in a soft goal. However, this one can be explained. Game 3 goes into overtime in a game in Buffalo that was so hot there was a fog over the ice. The game would have to stop just so the players could all skate around the ice to lift the fog. If the Flyers win this game they are up 3-0 in the series but Robert's goal gives the Sabres the win. They win Game 4 but then lose the next two to Philly and ultimately the Cup. Yet whenever we think about the 1975 final, we always think about this game first.
* - Plays such as the Yzerman goal in 1996 or Richard's famous dazed goal in 1952 or Morrow's 1984 overtime winner aren't what I was looking for because while those teams didn't win the Cup, they did win their series.