1987 Stanley Cup playoffs

The 1987 Stanley Cup playoffs, the playoff tournament of the National Hockey League (NHL) began on April 8, after the conclusion of the 1986–87 NHL season. It concluded on May 31, with the Edmonton Oilers defeating the Philadelphia Flyers to win the Stanley Cup. In an attempt to reduce the number of first round upsets, the NHL expanded the best-of-five series in the first round to a best-of-seven series.

1987 Stanley Cup playoffs
Tournament details
DatesApril 8–May 31, 1987
Defending championsMontreal Canadiens
Final positions
ChampionsEdmonton Oilers
Runner-upPhiladelphia Flyers
Tournament statistics
Scoring leader(s)Wayne Gretzky (Oilers)
(34 points)
MVPRon Hextall (Flyers)

The 1987 playoffs marked the second consecutive year that all four former WHA teams made the playoffs in the same year. It would not happen again until 1999 by which time 3 of those teams had moved, the Quebec Nordiques to Denver, the Winnipeg Jets to Phoenix, and the Hartford Whalers to Raleigh, North Carolina. For the second time ever and first time since 1978, all of the Original Six teams made the playoffs in the same season.

At the time the Philadelphia Flyers set an NHL playoff record by playing in 26 games during the playoffs. This record has since been equaled by four other teams (2004 Calgary Flames, 2014 Los Angeles Kings, 2015 Tampa Bay Lightning and 2019 St. Louis Blues).

Playoff seedsEdit

The following teams qualified for the playoffs:

Prince of Wales ConferenceEdit

Adams DivisionEdit

  1. Hartford Whalers, Adams Division champions – 93 points
  2. Montreal Canadiens – 92 points
  3. Boston Bruins – 85 points
  4. Quebec Nordiques – 72 points

Patrick DivisionEdit

  1. Philadelphia Flyers, Patrick Division champions, Prince of Wales Conference regular season champions – 100 points
  2. Washington Capitals – 86 points
  3. New York Islanders – 82 points
  4. New York Rangers – 76 points

Clarence Campbell ConferenceEdit

Norris DivisionEdit

  1. St. Louis Blues, Norris Division champions – 79 points
  2. Detroit Red Wings – 78 points
  3. Chicago Blackhawks – 72 points
  4. Toronto Maple Leafs – 70 points

Smythe DivisionEdit

  1. Edmonton Oilers, Smythe Division champions, Clarence Campbell Conference regular season champions, Presidents' Trophy winners – 106 points
  2. Calgary Flames – 95 points
  3. Winnipeg Jets – 88 points
  4. Los Angeles Kings – 70 points

Playoff bracketEdit

  Division Semifinals Division Finals Conference Finals Stanley Cup Finals
A1 Hartford 2  
A4 Quebec 4  
  A4 Quebec 3  
  A2 Montreal 4  
A2 Montreal 4
A3 Boston 0  
  A2 Montreal 2  
Prince of Wales Conference
  P1 Philadelphia 4  
P1 Philadelphia 4  
P4 NY Rangers 2  
  P1 Philadelphia 4
  P3 NY Islanders 3  
P2 Washington 3
P3 NY Islanders 4  
  P1 Philadelphia 3
  S1 Edmonton 4
N1 St. Louis 2  
N4 Toronto 4  
  N4 Toronto 3
  N2 Detroit 4  
N2 Detroit 4
N3 Chicago 0  
  N2 Detroit 1
Clarence Campbell Conference
  S1 Edmonton 4  
S1 Edmonton 4  
S4 Los Angeles 1  
  S1 Edmonton 4
  S3 Winnipeg 0  
S2 Calgary 2
S3 Winnipeg 4  

Division SemifinalsEdit

Prince of Wales ConferenceEdit

(A1) Hartford Whalers vs. (A4) Quebec NordiquesEdit

This was the last series that the Nordiques/Avalanche franchise won in Quebec City, the franchise did not win another playoff series until 1996 when they were the Colorado Avalanche.

Quebec won series 4–2

(A2) Montreal Canadiens vs. (A3) Boston BruinsEdit

Montreal won series 4–0

(P1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (P4) New York RangersEdit

Philadelphia won series 4–2

(P2) Washington Capitals vs. (P3) New York IslandersEdit

Game seven of this series went four overtimes, and is known as the Easter Epic. It was the only one this year to go beyond one OT period.

New York won series 4–3

Clarence Campbell ConferenceEdit

(N1) St. Louis Blues vs. (N4) Toronto Maple LeafsEdit

Toronto won series 4–2

(N2) Detroit Red Wings vs. (N3) Chicago BlackhawksEdit

Detroit won series 4–0

(S1) Edmonton Oilers vs. (S4) Los Angeles KingsEdit

Edmonton won series 4–1

(S2) Calgary Flames vs. (S3) Winnipeg JetsEdit

This was the last series that the Jets/Coyotes franchise won in Winnipeg, the franchise did not win another playoff series until the 2012 Western Conference Quarterfinal while based in Arizona. This was also the last time a Winnipeg-based NHL team won a playoff series until 2018.

Winnipeg won series 4–2

Division FinalsEdit

Prince of Wales ConferenceEdit

(A2) Montreal Canadiens vs. (A4) Quebec NordiquesEdit

Montreal won series 4–3

(P1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (P3) New York IslandersEdit

Philadelphia won series 4–3

Clarence Campbell ConferenceEdit

(N2) Detroit Red Wings vs. (N4) Toronto Maple LeafsEdit

Detroit won series 4–3

(S1) Edmonton Oilers vs. (S3) Winnipeg JetsEdit

Edmonton won series 4–0

Conference FinalsEdit

Prince of Wales Conference FinalEdit

(P1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (A2) Montreal CanadiensEdit

Philadelphia won series 4–2

Clarence Campbell Conference FinalEdit

(S1) Edmonton Oilers vs. (N2) Detroit Red WingsEdit

Edmonton won series 4–1

Stanley Cup FinalsEdit

The Oilers and Flyers would meet again in the finals for the second time in three years. This time, Edmonton was the regular season champion with 50 wins and 106 points, and Philadelphia was second with 46 wins and 100 points.

Unlike the 1985 final, this series would go the distance; and for the first time since 1971, it did. Edmonton took the first two games at home, then split in Philadelphia. However, the Flyers won the next two games, one in Edmonton and one back in Philadelphia by one goal, to force a deciding seventh game. Edmonton won game seven to earn its third Stanley Cup in four seasons.

Edmonton won series 4–3

Player statisticsEdit


These are the top ten skaters based on points.[1]

Player Team GP G A Pts +/– PIM
Wayne Gretzky Edmonton Oilers 21 5 29 34 +10 6
Mark Messier Edmonton Oilers 21 12 16 28 +13 16
Brian Propp Philadelphia Flyers 26 12 16 28 +11 10
Glenn Anderson Edmonton Oilers 21 14 13 27 +13 59
Pelle Eklund Philadelphia Flyers 26 7 20 27 +11 2
Jari Kurri Edmonton Oilers 21 15 10 25 +11 20
Mats Naslund Montreal Canadiens 17 7 15 22 -1 11
Rick Tocchet Philadelphia Flyers 26 11 10 21 +7 72
Larry Robinson Montreal Canadiens 17 3 17 20 +4 6
Ryan Walter Montreal Canadiens 17 7 12 19 +4 10


This is a combined table of the top five goaltenders based on goals against average and the top five goaltenders based on save percentage, with at least 420 minutes played. The table is sorted by GAA, and the criteria for inclusion are bolded.[2]

Glen Hanlon Detroit Red Wings 8 5 2 227 13 1.68 .943 2 463:46
Ken Wregget Toronto Maple Leafs 13 7 6 366 29 2.29 .921 1 758:17
Grant Fuhr Edmonton Oilers 19 14 5 509 47 2.47 .908 0 1142:43
Kelly Hrudey New York Islanders 14 7 7 462 38 2.72 .918 0 838:59
Brian Hayward Montreal Canadiens 13 6 5 308 32 2.74 .896 0 701:58

See alsoEdit


  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Stanley Cup. Total Sports Canada. ISBN 1-892129-07-8.
Preceded by
1986 Stanley Cup playoffs
Stanley Cup playoffs Succeeded by
1988 Stanley Cup playoffs