One of the more memorable goals in Flyers’ playoff history occurred on May 16,1985 . It was Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals vs. the Quebec Nordiques. With the Flyers up 3-2 in the series, they had the opportunity to close out the Nordiques at the Spectrum to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. Captain Dave Poulin, a tireless worker killing penalties over his career with the Flyers, showed those skills once again as he scored a 5-on-3 shorthanded goal via the breakaway vs. the Nordiques’ Mario Gosselin.
With the Flyers leading 1-0 after a first period goal by Rick Tocchet, the Flyers were quickly whistled for two penalties early in the second period. Both Joe Paterson and Brian Propp were serving minor penalties and the Nordiques had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:23 to try and even the score. Quebec was lead by the Czechoslovakian tandem of Peter and Anton Stastny along with snipers like Michel Goulet, Wilf Paiement, and Mario Marois.
While Poulin was playing at the top of the slot, Peter Stasny passed the puck to Marois along the left boards. As Flyers defenseman Mark Howe rushed towards him, Mario tried to quickly return the pass through the middle of the ice to Stastny. Poulin saw that Marois’ body and stick were facing the middle and jumped into the passing lane, intercepting the pass a full fifteen feet inside the blueline.
From there, it was a race down the ice as Poulin skated through center ice across the blue line and in on Gosselin. With Marois trailing and about to let loose a last gasp slash to disrupt a shot, Poulin settled the puck and fired a missile glove-side right underneath the crossbar, and 17,191 faithful Flyers fans erupted. That goal to make it 2-0 was not only the turning point of the game, it was a play that took all of the wind out of the sails of the Nordiques. They could only muster up fifteen shots for the game against star goaltender Pelle Lindbergh and were dominated the rest of the way. Doug Crossman scored to make it 3-0 midway through the second period on the power play, and that was all the Flyers needed. Overall the Flyers’ fired 36 shots on Gosselin and won going away.
You can see the video of Poulin’s breakaway goal here viaYouTube with a great call of the goal by the legendary Gene Hart.
Mike Watson is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on twitter @Mwats_99