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1972 Stanley Cup Finals

The 1972 Stanley Cup Finals was contested by the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers. It was the Rangers first appearance in the championship final series since 1950. The Bruins were making their first appearance since their victory in the 1970 Finals. It was the second Boston-New York Final series, the other being the 1929 Finals. The Bruins would win the best-of-seven series four games to two.

1972 Stanley Cup Finals
1972 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.png
1 2 3 4 5 6 Total
Boston Bruins 6 2 2 3 2 3 4
NY Rangers 5 1 5 2 3 0 2
Location(s) Boston, MA (Boston Garden) (1,2,5)
New York, NY (Madison Square Garden) (3,4,6)
Coaches Boston: Tom Johnson
New York: Emile Francis
Captains Boston: Vacant
New York: Vic Hadfield
Dates April 30 to May 11, 1972
MVP Bobby Orr (Bruins)
Series-winning goal Bobby Orr (11:18, first, G6)

This was only the second Stanley Cup Final contested by New York in which the Rangers hosted all of their home games. The first such Final, held in 1929, had lasted only two games. All other previous Finals contested by the Rangers had partly or entirely coincided with an annual circus formerly held at Madison Square Garden, compelling the Rangers to play Finals games at neutral sites and/or at the venues of their opponents.


Paths to the FinalsEdit

Boston defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4–1 and the St. Louis Blues 4–0 to advance to the final.

New York defeated the defending champion Montreal Canadiens 4–2 and the Chicago Black Hawks 4–0 to set up an "Original Six" final.

Game summariesEdit

Boston was led by Bobby Orr, who scored 4 goals and 4 assists in the final, including the Cup winner, and won the Conn Smythe Trophy for the second time.

Boston won series 4–2

Game oneEdit

April 30 New York Rangers 5–6
(1 – 4, 1 – 1, 3 – 1)
Boston Bruins Boston Garden
Attendance: 14,995

Game one in Boston saw both teams play poorly. The Bruins at one point led 5–1 as Ken Hodge completed a hat trick, and Hodge and Derek Sanderson scored short-handed goals on the same Ranger power play at the end of the first period. However, the Rangers then tied the game, before Garnet "Ace" Bailey beat Rangers star defenseman Brad Park to have the Bruins prevail 6–5.[1]

Gary Doak of the Rangers was ejected from the game after a heated argument with referee Bill Friday over a penalty he received at 18:50 of the first period.

Game twoEdit

May 2 New York Rangers 1–2
(0 – 1, 1 – 0, 0 – 1)
Boston Bruins Boston Garden
Attendance: 14,995

Game two had Gilles Villemure replace Ed Giacomin in goal for the Rangers. He played well, but the Bruins did too and won 2–1.

Game threeEdit

May 4 Boston Bruins 2–5 New York Rangers Madison Square Garden

In New York, Giacomin was back in goal for game three as the Rangers won 5–2. Brad Park opened the scoring with a power play goal and scored another in the first period. Rod Gilbert also had two goals in the game.

Game fourEdit

May 7 Boston Bruins 3–2 New York Rangers Madison Square Garden

Giacomin was having trouble with a knee he injured during the Chicago series and lost game four 3–2.

Game fiveEdit

May 9 New York Rangers 3–2 Boston Bruins Boston Garden

Game five in Boston had Villemure again replace Giacomin. Boston led 2–1 after two periods. However, Bobby Rousseau scored twice in the third period, his second at 12:45 turned out to be the winner in a 3–2 win for the Rangers.[2]

Game sixEdit

May 11 Boston Bruins 3–0 New York Rangers Madison Square Garden

Game six in New York saw Boston play flawlessly and Gerry Cheevers picked up a shutout, 3–0. Bobby Orr's first-period marker ended up standing as the Stanley Cup-winning goal, and he also assisted on the Bruins' second goal. Orr spent 10 minutes in the penalty box after arguing with referee Art Skov but upon his return on the ice played a crucial role in killing off a penalty to the Bruins. Wayne Cashman scored two goals, one of which trickled in behind Gilles Villemure.[2]


Hockey Night in Canada moved all playoff coverage from CBC to CTV (in actuality, MacLaren Advertising, Ltd., the actual rights holders of HNIC at the time, worked out arrangements with CTV to move the full NHL playoffs there) to avoid conflict with the lengthy NABET strike against the CBC.

In the United States, CBS took a rather calculated risk in not televising the game five match on May 9 (CBS aired regular programming, including the original Hawaii Five-O in that time period on that Tuesday night). This was despite the fact that game five was a potential clincher with the Bruins up three games to one on the Rangers. CBS ultimately lucked out (since the Rangers won game five 3-2), and televised the clincher (game six) on Thursday night, May 11.

Boston Bruins 1972 Stanley Cup championsEdit


Coaching and administrative staff:

Stanley Cup engraving

The Boston Bruins were misspelled as BQSTQN BRUINS with two "Q"s instead of "O"s. Boston was spelled correctly on the replica cup created in 1992–93.

  • Every winning member engraved on the Stanley Cup with Boston in 1972 had already appeared on the Stanley Cup. The only other time in Stanley Cup history, that at least one member engraved on the Cup was not a first time winner was in 1960.
  • Chris Hayes† played in (his only NHL game) Stanley Cup Finals game 2. and Garry Peters played Stanley Cup Semi-Finals game 1, both qualified for engravment, but their names were not engraved on the Stanley Cup. (See Peters 1965 engraving with Montreal). (See 1970 engraving for the 3 players included on the Stanley Cup, who did not play for Boston.)
  • As with the 1970 team, the Boston Bruins did not have a Captain, as John Bucyk, Phil Esposito, Ted Green and Ed Westfall were Alternate Captains (all but Ted Green were Alternate Captains on the 1970 squad as well). As was the case in 1970, Bucyk, the most senior of the Alternate Captains, and was presented with the Cup,

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Mulvoy, Mark (May 8, 1972). "Violence Is The Goal". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved April 20, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Mulvoy, Mark (May 22, 1972). "An Iceman Too Hot To Handle". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved April 20, 2010. 


  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Stanley Cup. NHL. 
  • Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Triumph Books. ISBN 978-1-55168-261-7. 
Preceded by
Montreal Canadiens
Boston Bruins
Stanley Cup Champions

Succeeded by
Montreal Canadiens