Edmonton Oilers win Stanley Cup
The 1987 Stanley Cup Final was played between the Edmonton Oilers and the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Oilers would win the series 4–3, for their third Stanley Cup victory.
For the third straight year, the Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers finished the regular season with the two best records in the NHL. 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, losing only two games in the process. They beat the Los Angeles Kings in five games, swept the Winnipeg Jets, 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. It took them six games to knock off the New York Rangers, went the full seven against the New York Islanders, and then beat the Montreal Canadiens in six to claim their second Prince of Wales Trophy in three years.
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.
This was a re-match of the 1985 Stanley Cup Finals, where the Oilers beat the Flyers in five games. Unlike the 1985 final, 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.
During the Stanley Cup presentation, Oilers captain Wayne Gretzky would give the Cup to Steve Smith, who one year earlier scored on his own net that led to their downfall against the Calgary Flames in the Smythe Division Final. Ron Hextall would receive the Conn Smythe Trophy for his efforts.
Many people consider this to be one of the greatest Stanley Cup Finals of all time.
After a disappointing second-round exit in 1986 to the Calgary Flames, the Edmonton Oilers were back in 1987 and craving for their third Stanley Cup in four years. The final series was decided in a seventh game for the first time since 1971. Wayne Gretzky scored 34 points as Edmonton won its franchise's third Stanley Cup. But Philadelphia's valiant goaltender Ron Hextall won the Conn Smythe Trophy. Even though he was on the losing end of the finals, Ron kept the Flyers in the game on most nights posting a 2.77 goals-against average with two shutouts and 15 wins.