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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...

Friday, May 22, 2020

Road to the Cup - May 22, 1980 -- Philadelphia 6, Isles 3 (Isles lead best-of-7 series 3-2)

40 Years Ago Tonight

By Eric Hornick

Game 5
Philadelphia 6, Isles 3
Rick MacLeish scored twice as the Flyers earned a 6-3 win in Philadelphia in game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.  Stefan Persson had two goals for the Islanders, both on the power play.  
The Flyers' win cut the Islanders' lead in the series to 3-games-to-2.

Persson's first goal had given the Isles the lead after 20 minutes but the Flyers took the lead in the middle period, despite a Bryan Trottier tally. Mike Busniuk scored 48 seconds after Trottier to give the Flyers the advantage. 

"It was a funny play," said Busniuk. "There were three of us going and I was lucky to pick up the pass after it went off Paul Holmgren's skate." At any rate, Busniuk was behind the goal and working his way to the front at the post to Smith's right. "Holmgren hollered and the defenseman (Gord Lane) went to him. There was no one to pass to, so I just took a shot. I don't know how or where it went in."

When MacLeish and Brian Propp scored 2:50 apart in the third period, the Flyers were basically assured a trip back to Long Island.

Steve Jacobson's Newsday story had an interesting title: "Flyers Bring Up the Old Choke Tag", referring to the Isles' problems the previous spring, which were mentioned by Flyer coach Pat Quinn. "Who was it that choked (when the Flyers were beaten in 5 by the Rangers in 79)", asked Garry Howatt.  "I will be happy to shake hands with Mr. Quinn on Saturday."


 The scoring:

1st Period
10:58 NYI PP Stefan Persson (4) Mike Bossy

2nd Period
01:45 PHI Bobby Clarke (8) Behn Wilson, Reggie Leach
05:55 PHI Rick MacLeish (8)
16:16 NYI Bryan Trottier (12) Mike Bossy, Stefan Persson
17:04 PHI Mike Busniuk (2) Brian Propp, Ken Linseman

3rd Period
09:43 PHI Rick MacLeish (9) Mel Bridgman
12:33 PHI PP Brian Propp (4) Ken Linseman, Paul Holmgren
14:57 NYI PP Stefan Persson (5) Butch Goring, Denis Potvin
17:26 PHI Paul Holmgren (10) Ken Linseman
 
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: Philadelphia 6, Isles 3
Game 6: May 24 at Isles (if necessary)
Game 7: May 27 at Philadelphia (if necessary)
(Isles lead series, 3-2)

Mini-Skinny:
The Isles outshot Philadelphia 38-31... Billy Smith fell to 14-4 in the playoffs while Pete Peeters earned the win ....Bryan Trottier's goal was his 27th point of the playoffs, tying the then-record... Stefan Persson's second power play goal didn't have much to do with the outcome, but it was the record-setting 13th scored by the Isles in the series...After going 2-0 in Los Angeles, 3-0 in Boston and 2-1 in Buffalo, the Isles fell to 1-2 in Philadelphia (still with the potential for a Game 7 in Philly (spoiler alert - it was not needed)).

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 20 Games
Bryan Trottier 12-15-27
Mike Bossy 9-12-21
Bob Bourne 10-9-19
Butch Goring 7-11-18
Denis Potvin 5-13-18
Bob Nystrom 7-9-16

Isles +/- Leaders thru 20 Games
Bob Lorimer +11
Denis Potvin +9
Garry Howatt +9
Butch Goring +8
Bryan Trottier +8

Isles Penalty Minute Leaders thru 20 Games
Gord Lane 83
Garry Howatt  82
Duane Sutter 74
Clark Gillies 56

So the Flyers were back in the series; five years earlier the Isles had come back from (3-0 and) 3-1 deficits to force a Game 7. The Isles were determined to make sure that didn't happen again. The end of the Road to the Cup was less than 48 hours away.

We'll finish the story on Sunday, the 40th anniversary of game 6.  

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