May 27th, 1975 :The Flyers win Game Six vs. the Buffalo Sabres to win their second consecutive Stanley Cup.
This was the first Stanley Cup finals to be played between two non-"Original Six" teams since the NHL expanded in 1967. The series headed to Buffalo with the Flyers ahead three games to two and looking to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions. The home team had won each game in the series and the Sabres were looking to force a Game 7. They would have to play their best game to do so after a poor performance just 2 days earlier, a 5-1 drubbing in Philly.
Thankfully, this game wasn’t witness to the oddities of Game 3 in Buffalo a week earlier. Many fans remember that as the “fog game," where an unseasonably warm day along with the lack of air conditioning in the old Buffalo Auditorium resulted in a ‘fog” over the ice. During stoppages of play, rink employees skated around the arena ice using bedsheets in an attempt to dissipate the fog. In some instances during the game, players, officials and the puck were virtually invisible to most in attendance. The game was also noted for another odd incident. A bat was flying around in the arena, in the rafters and around the players for the majority of the game. Eventually, Buffalo center Jim Lorentz took a swing at it and killed it with his stick. (Could you imagine this being added to the Philadelphia Sports reputation if a Flyer were to have done it?) In that game, Rene Robert scored for the Sabres in OT to give them a 5-4 win.
For the first 40 minutes of Game 6, both goaltenders stood tall for their clubs. Despite nine power plays and 44 shots between the two teams, Bernie Parent and Roger Crozier were equal to anything that came their way. The score was tied at zero heading into the third period. At the start of the third, the Flyers’ Bob Kelly got his team on the board just 11 seconds in. From a dump in by “the Rifle” Reggie Leach that went behind the Sabres’ net, both Kelly and Bobby Clarke converged on defenseman Jerry Korab. While Korab checked Kelly, Clarke came in and checked Korab off the play. Kelly found the puck in his skates, wheeled in front on his backhand and fired it past Crozier to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.
With the lead, the Flyers just suffocated the Sabres for the next 16 minutes and Buffalo couldn’t get the equalizer. With just under three minutes left, the puck went back to the point and, once again, Korab was part of this play. His shot from the point was blocked by the Flyers’ Orest Kindrachuk and the deflection went all the way back into the Sabres’ zone to Crozier’s left. Both Korab and left winger Brian Spencer chased Kindrachuk, leaving Bill Clement wide open. Orest passed it to the middle where Clement was in all alone, twenty feet from Crozier. He approached the net with great poise and with his head up; he fired a wrist shot through the legs of Crozier to make it 2-0. The Flyers’ bench erupted and they all headed over the boards in celebration with Clement in the Sabres’ zone. They knew, barring a collapse, the Cup was theirs once again.
With that goal, the Sabres were deflated. They had been unable to solve the great Bernie Parent up to that point and didn’t do so for the last 2:47 of the game. The Flyers won their second consecutive Stanley Cup, four games to two, and both times, Parent shutout the opponent in the Cup-winning game (1974 was 1-0 vs Boston). He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP once again and kept Lord Stanley in Philadelphia with its “Broad Street Bullies” for another year.
A very good quality video of game six can be seen here via YouTube
Mike Watson is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on twitter @Mwats_99