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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Road to the Cup - May 17, 1980 -- Isles 6, Philadelphia 2 (Isles lead best-of-7 series 2-1)

40 Years Ago Tonight
By Eric Hornick

Game 3
Isles 6, Philadelphia 2
For the first time in team history, the Islanders hosted a Stanley Cup Final game, and the fans were treated to a "power"-ful display by the home team. The Isles scored 5 power play goals (3 in the first period) and cruised to a 6-2 win over the Flyers and a 2-1 lead in the first Stanley Cup Final game ever played on Long Island.  Denis Potvin scored twice and added two assists – all on the power play as the Isles converted on their first five power plays; at the time of their fifth goal they were 10-18 on the power play.

Here's the entire game (from TV-29 in Philadelphia) with the legendary voice of the Flyers, Gene Hart and his partner Bobby Taylor. You'll hear Gene's amazement with the success of the Islander power play.

The Scoring:

1st Period
02:38 NYI SH Lorne Henning (3) Bob Bourne
07:43 NYI PP Denis Potvin (4)
13:04 NYI PP Bryan Trottier (10) Mike Bossy, Denis Potvin
14:29 NYI PP Mike Bossy (8) Clark Gillies, Denis Potvin

2nd Period
15:41 NYI PP Clark Gillies (5) Stefan Persson
17:25 NYI PP Denis Potvin (5) Stefan Persson, Mike Bossy

3rd Period
09:48 PHI Bobby Clarke (7) Reggie Leach, Mike Busniuk
11:32 PHI Mike Busniuk (1) Mel Bridgman

The Series:
Game 1: Isles 4, Philadelphia 3 (OT)
Game 2: Philadelphia 8, Isles 3
Game 3: Isles 6, Philadelphia 2
Game 4: May 19 at Isles
Game 5: May 22 at Philadelphia (if necessary)
Game 6: May 24 at Isles (if necessary)
Game 7: May 27 at Philadelphia (if necessary)
(Isles lead series, 2-1)

The Isles outshot Philadelphia 40-32... Billy Smith improved to 13-3 in the playoffs while Phil Myre took the loss in relief....The five power play goals set the club record (matched in the Bossy 50-in-50 regular season game the following year); it was only the second time in NHL playoff history that a team scored five power play goals... The three power play goals in the first period also set a club playoff record (tied the following year)...Denis Potvin's two goals was his second multi-goal game of the playoffs (tying the then-NHL record); he is the only NHL defenseman with three multi-goal games in a single playoff (done the following year).  Denis would finish with 11 multi-goal games in the playoffs (still the NHL record)....It was also the second of four playoff games with at least four points for Potvin, who was the first player in NHL history to record four such games (since broken by Paul Coffey)...Lorne Henning opened the scoring with his third goal of the playoffs, all shorthanded.  It was the final playoff goal of his career...but there would be one more assist.  It was the 7th shorthanded goal scored by the Isles in the playoffs, establishing a new NHL record...With the Isles in command the Flyers tried to rough things up in the second period as Mke Busniuk fought Bob Nystrom and Jack McIlhargey fought Gord Lane.  In all, there were 102 penalty minutes (52 to the Isles)...The Isles had tallied 10 power play goals in the first three games (the record at the time was 12); in their history they have never scored 10 power play goals in three consecutive regular season games.

The Legend of Fort Never Lose
Coming into this game, the Isles were a rather pedestrian 4-3 at the Coliseum, having done most of their damage on the road (setting a then-record with 8 wins).  John Tonelli was quoted this way, when asked abut the Flyers' regular season struggles at the Coliseum: "It makes no difference at all; there is no home ice advantage in the Stanley Cup playoffs."  That was about to change, as this was the second game of a 31-4 stretch in playoff games on Coliseum ice.

Overtime is Our Time!
1st round vs Los Angeles: Game 3 (W 4-3 Morrow 6:55)
Quarter-Finals vs Boston: Game 1 (W 2-1 Gillies 1:02)
Quarter-Finals vs Boston: Game 2 (W 5-4 Bourne 1:24)
Quarter-Finals vs Boston: Game 4 (L 4-3 O'Reilly 17:13)
Semi-Finals vs Buffalo: Game 2 (W 2-1 Nystrom 21:20)
Final vs Philadelphia: Game 1 (W 4-3 Potvin 4:07)

Isles Scoring Leaders thru 18 Games
Bryan Trottier 10-14-24
Bob Bourne 10-8-18
Mike Bossy 8-10-18
Denis Potvin 5-12-17
Butch Goring 6-10-16
Bob Nystrom 6-9-15

Isles +/- Leaders thru 18 Games
Bob Lorimer +12
Denis Potvin +10
Garry Howatt +8
Butch Goring +7

Isles Penalty Minute Leaders thru 18 Games
Gord Lane 81
Duane Sutter 77
Garry Howatt 74
Clark Gillies 54

The Isles had themselves a 2-1 series lead; the end of the Road to the Cup was in sight.  Thirteen wins down; only two to get.

We'll pick up the story on Tuesday, the 40th anniversary of game 4.

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