This Day in Blackhawks History: Hawks/Habs Set Scoring Record

May 8, 2022  (12:39)

After combining for 31 goals over the first four games of the 1973 Stanley Cup Finals, the Chicago Blackhawks headed to the Forum in Montreal down 3-1 in the series on this date 49 years ago.

The Hawks would throw everything plus the kitchen sink at Montreal's Ken Dryden to win the game 8-7, the highest scoring Stanley Cup Final game in league history which is a mark that stands to this day.
The two teams went back-and-forth with neither team taking a lead larger than one goal until Hawk forward Jim Pappin's 8th playoff goal wrapped the scoring in an eight-goal second period, to give Chicago a 7-5 lead. The eight combined goals in one period were also a playoff record at the time. Chicago head coach Billy Reay commented to the press, «I noticed that everybody wrote us off again. And we came back again. All season long this team has been coming up with the big game when we needed the big game, and they did it again.»
Stan Mikita scored two goals and picked up a pair of assists for the Blackhawks. They also got two goals from Pappin, while 35-year-old Lou Angotti (one of the oldest guys on the team) scored the game-winning tally in the third period.
The two teams scored a combined 56 goals in the series, which is another record that has yet to be broken. The combined Finals goals record had stood since 1955, when the Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings combined for 47 goals in seven games. Who knows how high the mark could have gotten between the Hawks/Habs if the two teams played a seventh game? Montreal wrapped up the series in Game 6 with a 6-4 win.
Montreal was second in goals scored during the regular season with 329 (one goal behind the Boston Bruins) and first defensively, allowing only 184 against. Chicago scored 284 goals that season, the fifth best total in the league, while their 225 goals against ranked fourth.
The two teams boasted 12 future Hall of Famers, ten on the Canadiens' side, and they included stalwart goaltenders Dryden and Tony Esposito, perhaps the two best netminders of the 1970's, with eight combined Vezina trophies.
Looking back 49 seasons, it still seems inconceivable that these two clubs, backed by goalies of their caliber, would be involved in a final that saw four games go into double digits (8-3, 7-4, 8-7 and 6-4), as the teams combined for an average of 9.33 goals per game. The offenses were just better than the goaltenders on those days.
The Hawks were paced in scoring by Pappin's 92 points during the season, a career-high. His 41 goals also led the way. Dennis Hull and Pit Martin also scored 90 points.
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This Day in Blackhawks History: Hawks/Habs Set Scoring Record

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