1979: Game#1 Stanley Cup Final Rangers @ Canadiens





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Uploaded on Feb 5, 2011

The path to the 1979 Stanley Cup started smoothly enough with a four-game sweep of the Maple Leafs, the second straight season that the Habs ended Toronto's season.

Hometown fans went home happy after every game of the semifinal series between Montreal and Boston. The Canadiens captured the opening games at the Forum, 4-2 and 5-2. Boston Garden fans watched their Bruins pull even with a pair of one-goal victories, the second ending when Jean Ratelle broke a 3-3 tie nine minutes into the extra frame.

Continuing to trade wins, Montreal took the fifth game 5-1 and then dropped a 5-2 decision to bring the series back home for a deciding game, the first time in four years that a Habs team faced elimination in the postseason.

Leading 4-3 with just minutes remaining in the game, Boston took a penalty for having too many men on the ice. Guy Lafleur converted a Jacques Lemaire pass, netting the tying goal with just over a minute to go in regulation.

Nine minutes into overtime, Yvon Lambert buried a pass from Mario Tremblay behind Gilles Gilbert, the most important of his 27 career playoff goals to put the Canadiens back on the road to their sixth Stanley Cup of the 1970s.

The Rangers, who disposed of the Islanders in their semifinal, took the opening game of the Finals. The 4-1 decision in front of the Forum faithful would be their only victory as Montreal rolled on to a 22nd Stanley Cup, with Jacques Lemaire netting the deciding goal in the fifth game.

Bob Gainey, with 16 points in the run for a fourth straight championship, was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP.

The 1979 Stanley Cup marked the end of an era in Montreal, with veterans Lemaire, Dryden and Cournoyer all announcing their retirements and coach Scotty Bowman leaving the organization by the time training camp opened the following fall.

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