New York Islanders win the Stanley Cup in 1980

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The 1980 Stanley Cup Final was contested by the New York Islanders in their first-ever Finals appearance and the Philadelphia Flyers, in their fourth Finals appearance, first since 1976. The Islanders would win the best-of-seven series four games to two, to win their first Stanley Cup and the third for a post-1967 expansion team after Philadelphia's Cup wins in 1974 and 1975.

The deciding game six was marred by one of the most infamous blown official calls in NHL playoff history. With the game tied 1-1, the Islanders Butch Goring picked up a drop pass from New York left wing Clark Gillies which had clearly gone back over the Flyers' defensive zone blue line into center ice. Linesman Leon Stickle waved the play as safe and Goring threaded a pass to right wing Duane Sutter who beat Philadelphia goalie Pete Peeters for a 2-1 New York lead. The Flyers argued vehemently to no avail. The Flyers defense and Peeters appeared to relax as if play had been blown dead once the puck went over the blue line. Flyers captain Mel Bridgman stated the play changed the momentum of the game at a critical time even though the Flyers scored shortly afterwards to tie the score 2-2. Stickle admitted after the game that he had blown the call.

The series-winning overtime goal in game six was scored by Bobby Nystrom and assisted by fellow third liners John Tonelli and Lorne Henning. Nystrom's redirection of Tonelli's cross ice pass from just above the Flyers left side face-off circle, floated up and over Goalie Pete Peeters' blocker before the Philadelphia keeper could slide over to stop the puck. Henning's "thread the needle" pass was a key component, of the goal.


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