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The Skinny: Isles 4, New Jersey 1 - Isles clinch a Playoff Spot!

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Game 81 Isles 4, New Jersey 1    They're in! Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Kyle Palmieri scored goals 4...

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Road to the Cup - May 8, 1980 -- Buffalo 2, Isles 0 (Isles lead best-of-7 series 3-2)

40 Years Ago Tonight... (actually last night)
By Eric Hornick

Game 5
Buffalo 2, Isles 0
John Van Boxmeer and Richie Dunn scored power play goals while Bob Sauve made 22 saves to record the shutout as the Sabres cut the Isles' lead in the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals to 3-games-to-2 with a 2-0 win over the Isles in Game 5.

It was the Sabres' first win over the Isles in six home playoff games, dating back to the 1976 Quarter-Finals.

With John Tonelli serving an early penalty, Chico Resch allowed a power play goal just 1:52 into play in his first start since Game 2 of the preliminary series.  Resch, who had mopped up in the third period in game four, would allow only one other goal but the Isles were stymied by the Sabres' defense.  Chico would play another seven seasons in the NHL, but he would never start another playoff game.

The Scoring:

1st Period
01:52 BUF PP John Van Boxmeer (3) Rick Martin, Danny Gare

2nd Period
14:45 BUF PP Richie Dunn (2) Ric Seiling, John Van Boxmeer

3rd Period
No Scoring

The Series:
Game 1: Isles 4, Buffalo 2
Game 2: Isles 2, Buffalo 1 (OT)
Game 3: Isles 7, Buffalo 4
Game 4: Buffalo 7, Isles 4
Game 5: Buffalo 2, Isles 0
May 10 - At Isles
(Isles lead series, 3-2)

The Isles outshot Buffalo 22-15....  Chico Resch fell to 0-2 in the playoffs while Bob Sauve earned the win, improving to 6-1... It was the only time in the four Stanley Cup winning seasons that the Isles were shutout; they were blanked three times in the Drive For Five campaign...Resch finished his playoff career with a 17-17 record (all with the Isles)...The game established an Islander club record for fewest combined shots in a playoff game (37); that record was broken in a 1985 game with Washington...The 15 shots allowed set an Islander record that still stands today.

Overtime is Our Time!
1st round vs LA: Game 3 (W 4-3 Morrow 6:55)
Quarter-Finals vs Bos: Game 1 (W 2-1 Gillies 1:02)
Quarter-Finals vs Bos: Game 2 (W 5-4 Bourne 1:24)
Quarter-Finals vs Bos: Game 4 (L 4-3 O'Reilly 17:13)
Semi-Finals vs Buf: Game 2 (W 2-1 Nystrom 21:20)

Isles Scoring Leaders thru 13 Games
Bryan Trottier 8-12-20
Bob Nystrom 6-8-14
Bob Bourne 9-4-13

Isles +/- Leaders thru 13 Games
Bob Lorimer +11
Denis Potvin +8
Garry Howatt +8
Gordie Lane +8

Isles Penalty Minute Leaders thru 13 Games
Garry Howatt 63
Gord Lane 57
Duane Sutter 46
Clark Gillies 48

The Sabres were back in the series and while the Islander players were still confident, they had to feel that Game 6 was a must game for both sides. We'll pick up the story on Sunday, the 40th anniversary of Game 6, and the biggest game in Bob Lorimer's career.

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