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Road to the Cup - May 24, 1980 -- Isles 5, Philadelphia 4 (OT) (Isles win best-of-7 series AND STANLEY CUP 4-2)

40 Years Ago Today By Eric Hornick Game 6 Isles 5,  Philadelphia 4 The Stanley Cup is ours!   Bob Nystrom converted a pass from John Tonelli...

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Road to the Cup - May 19, 1980 -- Isles 5, Philadelphia 2 (Isles lead best-of-7 series 3-1)

40 Years Ago Tonight
By Eric Hornick

Game 4
Isles 5, Philadelphia 2
The Islanders moved within one game of the Stanley Cup, with a 5-2 win over the Flyers in game 4 of the 1980 Final.

Unlike game 3, the Isles would score only once on the power play – Mike Bossy gave the Isles a 1-0 lead with a power play marker; Butch Goring also scored in the opening session to give the Isles a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes.

John Paddock (who will play an important role in Game 6) scored early in the second period to cut the Islanders’ advantage in half entering the third period.

Bryan Trottier restored the two-goal advantage at 6:06 of the third period with his 11th goal of the postseason, but Ken Linseman temporarily brought Philly within one at 11:53.  It took just 42 seconds for Bob Nystrom to restore the Isles two-goal advantage, and 1:33 after that Clark Gillies gave the Isles the final margin of victory.

Here's video of the game, from Hockey Night in Canada:


It was very warm on Long Island and it affected the ice.  "It was so humid out there; it was like skating in hard snow", Coach Arbour told Parton Keese of the NY Times.

Three days later, the Islanders would head into Philadelphia for their first opportunity to win the Stanley Cup.

The scoring:


First Period

1 - NYI : Bossy 9 (Gillies, Trottier) (PP) 7:23
2 - NYI : Goring 7 (Gillies, Sutter) (EV) 13:06

Second Period
3 - PHI : Paddock 1 (MacLeish, Wilson) (EV) 1:35

Third Period
4 - NYI : Trottier 11 (Howatt) (EV) 6:06
5 - PHI : Linseman 4 (Propp, Gorence) (EV) 11:53
6 - NYI : Nystrom 7 (Bourne) (EV) 12:35
7 - NYI : Gillies 6 (Sutter) (EV) 14:08

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

Mini-Skinny:
The Isles were outshot by Philadelphia 36-27... Billy Smith improved to 14-3 in the playoffs (extending his own NHL record) while Pete Peeters took the loss ....The Isles had tallied 11 power play goals in the first four games (the record at the time was 12)...It was the Isles' 3rd straight win at home, after going only 3-3 in their first six playoff games.

Series Leaders:
Denis Potvin 4-3-7
Mike Bossy 3-4-7
Clark Gillies 2-5-7
Bobby Clarke 3-3-6

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 19 Games
Bryan Trottier 11-15-26
Bob Bourne 10-9-19
Mike Bossy 9-10-19
Denis Potvin 5-12-17
Butch Goring 7-10-17
Bob Nystrom 7-9-16

Isles +/- Leaders thru 19 Games
Bob Lorimer +12
Denis Potvin +10
Garry Howatt +9
Butch Goring +9

Isles Penalty Minute Leaders thru 19 Games
Gord Lane 81
Duane Sutter 77
Garry Howatt 74
Clark Gillies 54

The Isles had themselves a 3-1 series lead and the Stanley Cup would meet the Islanders at the Spectrum.  The end of the Road to the Cup was so close you could almost sip champagne.  Fourteen wins down; only one to get.

We'll pick up the story on Friday, the 40th anniversary of game 5.

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