1980sEdmonton OilersNHLNHL Stanley Cup FinalsPhiladelphia FlyersUSA NetworkWayne Gretsky

NHL – 1987 Stanley Cup Finals – Game 4 – Edmonton Oilers VS Philadelphia Flyers – With Al Trautwig


This 1987 Stanley Cup featured what might have been the best NHL team ever assembled…..and certainly the best offensive team ever….as the Edmonton Oilers won 5 Stanley Cups from 1984 – 1990 with teams that included RW Jari Kurri, G Grant Fuhr, LW Glenn Anderson, D Paul Coffey, LW Mark Messier, D Kevin Lowe, G Andy Moog, LW Peter Morris, D Lee Fogolin, D Charlie Huddy and C Wayne Gretzky, The Great One.

The Oilers and Flyers met 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….as this was a rematch of the 1985 Stanley Cup Finals….where the Oilers beat the Flyers in five games….but, unlike the 1985 Finals, this series went to seven games. 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.

For the third straight year, the Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers finished the regular season with the two best records in the NHL….and while the Oilers’ success came from their vaunted offense….the Flyers relied on grit, defensive play, and solid goaltending from Vezina Trophy winner Ron Hextall.

The Oilers cruised into the Finals with relative ease by losing only two games in the process….as they beat the Los Angeles Kings in five games…..swept the Winnipeg Jets in the next round….and then beat the Detroit Red Wings in five to win the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl for the fourth time in five years. The Flyers, meanwhile, had a much harder road….as It took them six games to knock off the New York Rangers….then went the full seven against the New York Islanders….and then beat the Montreal Canadiens, the reigning champion, in six to claim their second Prince of Wales Trophy in three years.

Game 4 was played on Sunday, May 24, 1987 at The Spectrum in Philadelphia….as the momentum from game 3 did not carry over for Philadelphia….after The Great One notched 3 assists in leading the Oilers won, 4–1….thus giving the Oilers a three games to one series lead. In a relatively sedate affair, the most shocking event came when Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall viciously chopped his stick across the back of the legs of Edmonton’s Kent Nilsson in the third period when trailing 4–1. Hextall was apparently incensed that Anderson and other Oilers had cruised through the goal crease untouched and unpenalized during the game….so, he took out his frustration on the last Oiler he happened to see skate by….as Hextall’s actions caused Nilsson no injury…..but resulted in Hextall being suspended for the first eight games of the 1987–88 season.

For any NHL fan, this game and this series is MUST SEE TV…..and well worth the watch again.

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