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The Skinny: Isles 5, Pittsburgh 4

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Game 82 Isles 5, Pittsburgh 4    On to the Playoffs! Simon Holmstrom scored the winning goal with 5:3...

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Road to the Cup - April 22, 1980 -- Isles 4, Boston 2 (Isles win best-of-7 series 4-1)

40 Years Ago Tonight...

By Eric Hornick

Game 5
Isles 4, Boston 2
It was on to the semi-finals for the Never Say Dielanders, who rallied from a 2-0 deficit for a 4-2 win at Boston Garden.  The win clinched the series for the Isles, 4 games to 1.

Wayne Cashman and Peter McNab scored in the first 3:28 to give Boston the early 2-0 lead, as the Bruins, who were 20 seconds away from elimination less than 24 hours earlier seized the early momentum.

It stayed that way for the rest of the first and most of the second, when Stefan Persson got the Isles on the board. 

Emblematic of this series, there was another big fight midway through the second period as Duane Sutter and Clark Gillies fought with Al Secord and Mike Milbury. Later in the session, Ray Bourque (yes, Ray Bourque) received a triple-minor after he exchanged sticks and rough stuff with Garry Howatt (who received four minutes).  Bourque was still in the penalty box when Persson's goal changed the game.

Here's a bit of the fight from TV-38 (with Fred Cusick on the call); the clip begins with Milbury and Sutter already on the ice.

Still, the Isles trailed 2-1 in a usually unfriendly building heading to the third period, but this was a different Islander team.  Duane Sutter tied the game early in the period and just under six minutes into the period Clark Gillies scored what turned out to be the series-winning goal. Denis Potvin scored the final goal of the series with at 14:27; with that goal, School Was Out for the Bruins and the Isles had advanced. 

Here are some highlights from Dick Irvin on Hockey Night in Canada:

The Scoring:
1st Period
01:31 BOS Wayne Cashman (3) Ray Bourque, Craig MacTavish
03:28 BOSPP Peter McNab (8) Wayne Cashman, Rick Middleton

2nd Period
17:23 NYI PP Stefan Persson (2) Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy

3rd Period
02:38 NYI Duane Sutter (1) Bob Lorimer, Butch Goring
05:58 NYI Clark Gillies (4) Duane Sutter, Butch Goring
14:27 NYI Denis Potvin (1) Mike Bossy

The Series:
Game 1: Isles 2, Boston 1 (OT)
Game 2: Isles 5, Boston 4 (OT)
Game 3: Isles 5, Boston 3
Game 4: Boston 4, Isles 3 (OT)
Game 5: Isles 4, Boston 2
(Isles win series, 4-1)

Each team had 24 shots on goal....  Billy Smith improved to 7-1 in the playoffs.. The Isles had gone 3-8-4 in their prior 15 regular season games in Boston before winning all three games in the series....There were 416 penalty minutes in the series (Boston 209, Isles 207).

Overtime is Our Time!
1st round vs LA : Game 3  (W 4-3 Morrow 6:55)
2nd round vs Bos: Game 1 (W 2-1 Gillies 1:02)
2nd round vs Bos: Game 2 (W 5-4 Bourne 1:24) 
2nd round vs Bos: Game 4 (L 4-3 O'Reilly 17:13) 

Isles Scoring Leaders thru 9 Games
Bryan Trottier 6-9-15
John Tonelli 4-5-9
Bob Bourne 5-4-9
Butch Goring 2-7-9

Isles +/- Leaders thru 9 Games
Bryan Trottier +8
Dave Langevin +7
Gord Lane +7

Isles Penalty Minute Leaders thru 9 Games
Garry Howatt 63
Duane Sutter 46
Clark Gillies 44

The Isles had advanced to the Semi-Finals for the fifth time in sixth seasons. They would have a lot of time to prepare; while their eventual opponent the Sabres had already won their series, the NHL reseeded teams in each round.  It would take a Minnesota upset of Montreal (in game 7) to create an Islander-Sabre series for the third time in five years.  That series began in Buffalo on April 29th, so we'll pick up the story next Wednesday, the 40th anniversary of Game 1.

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