New York Islanders win Stanley Cup
The 1980 Stanley Cup Final was contested by the New York Islanders in their first-ever Finals appearance and the Philadelphia Flyers, in their fourth Finals appearance, first since 1976.
The Islanders would win the best-of-seven series four games to two, to win their first Stanley Cup and the second for a post-1966 expansion team.
New York defeated the Los Angeles Kings 3–1, the Boston Bruins 4–1 and the Buffalo Sabres 4–2 to advance to the final. Philadelphia defeated the Edmonton Oilers 3–0, the New York Rangers 4–1 and the Minnesota North Stars 4–1 to make it to the final.
Denis Potvin scored his first power-play overtime goal in Stanley Cup history in game one. Bob Nystrom scored the Cup winner in overtime in Game 6, his fourth career overtime goal. Ken Morrow joined the team after winning the Olympic gold medal and added the Stanley Cup to cap a remarkable season.
In the United States, the first five games were syndicated by the Hughes Television Network. Hughes used CBC's Hockey Night in Canada feeds for the American coverage. Meanwhile, Game 6 was televised in the United States by the CBS network, as a special edition of its CBS Sports Spectacular anthology series. This would be the last NHL game to air on U.S. network television until 1990. As of 2009, it is also the last Stanley Cup Final game to be played in the afternoon (earlier than 5:00 local time).
The series-winning overtime goal in Game 6 was scored by Bobby Nystrom and assisted by fellow third liners John Tonelli and Lorne Henning. Nystrom's redirection of Tonelli's cross ice pass from just above the Flyers left side face-off circle, floated up and over Goalie Pete Peeters' blocker before the Philadelphia keeper could slide over to stop the puck. Henning's 'thread the needle' pass is generally a forgotten part, but was the key component, of the goal.
The end result of the series was marred by controversy, as the Islanders were offside on the play that resulted in their second goal of game 6, but the call was not made. Linesman Leon Stickle admitted after the game that he had blown the call.
It took eight seasons but the New York Islanders finally took home their first Stanley Cup. Bob Nystrom scored the emotional overtime winner against the Philadelphia Flyers in game six. Only Nystrom and Islander's goaltender Billy Smith had been with the team since the franchise was founded back in 1972. Winning game one, defenseman New York's Denis Potvin scored the first overtime power-play goal in Stanley Cup history. This was the first of four consecutive Cups for the later-crowned New York Islanders dynasty.