New York Islanders win the Stanley Cup in 1980

The 1980s began with the emergence of a new League power; the New York Islanders won four straight Stanley Cup titles. New York won an NHL-record 19 consecutive playoff series before reluctantly passing the torch to another budding group of Hall of Famers when it lost to the Edmonton Oilers in the 1984 Final. Edmonton won the Stanley Cup five times in the next seven seasons. The only other franchises to drink from the Cup during the decade were the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames, who traded championships when they faced off in the Final in 1986 and 1989.

It was their first-ever Finals appearance and the Philadelphia Flyers and 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 third for a post-1967 expansion team after Philadelphia's Cup wins in 1974 and 1975.

The deciding game six was marred by one of the most infamous blown official calls in NHL playoff history. With the game tied 1-1, the Islanders Butch Goring picked up a drop pass from New York left wing Clark Gillies which had clearly gone back over the Flyers' defensive zone blue line into center ice. Linesman Leon Stickle waved the play as safe and Goring threaded a pass to right wing Duane Sutter who beat Philadelphia goalie Pete Peeters for a 2-1 New York lead. The Flyers argued vehemently to no avail. The Flyers defense and Peeters appeared to relax as if play had been blown dead once the puck went over the blue line. Flyers captain Mel Bridgman stated the play changed the momentum of the game at a critical time even though the Flyers scored shortly afterwards to tie the score 2-2. Stickle admitted after the game that he had blown the call.

The series-winning overtime goal in game six 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 was a key component, of the goal.

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