|Champion Boston Bruins|
Start date April 30, 1972
|MVP Bobby Orr|
|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
Series-winning goal Bobby Orr (11:18, first, G6)
Similar 1973 Stanley Cup Finals, 1970 Stanley Cup Finals, 1969 Stanley Cup Finals, 1960 Stanley Cup Finals, 1959 Stanley Cup Finals
The 1972 Stanley Cup Final NHL championship series 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.
- Paths to the Final
- The series
- Game one
- Game two
- Game three
- Game four
- Game five
- Game six
- Stanley Cup engraving
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 Final
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.
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.
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.
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 two had Gilles Villemure replace Ed Giacomin in goal for the Rangers. He played well, but the Bruins did too and won 2–1.
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.
Giacomin was having trouble with a knee he injured during the Chicago series and lost game four 3–2.
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.
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.
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.