1972–73 Boston Bruins · NHL
Division 2nd East
1972–73 record 51-22-5
Goals for 330 (1st)
Goals against 235 (6th)
General Manager Harry Sinden
Coach Tom Johnson
Bep Guidolin
Alternate captains Johnny Bucyk
Phil Esposito
Dallas Smith
Don Awrey
Arena Boston Garden
Average attendance 15,003
Team Leaders
Goals Phil Esposito (55)
Assists Phil Esposito (75)
Points Phil Esposito (130)
Penalties in minutes Carol Vadnais (127)
Wins Ed Johnston (24)
Goals against average Jacques Plante (2.00)
← Seasons →
1971–72 1973–74

The 1972–73 Boston Bruins season was the Bruins' 49th season in the NHL. The Bruins finished second in the East Division with 107 points and lost in the Quarter-finals to the New York Rangers, four games to one.


Expansion DraftEdit

The 1972 NHL Expansion Draft was held on June 6, 1972 to fill the rosters of the league's two newest teams, the New York Islanders and the Atlanta Flames. Each team was allowed to protect two goalies and fifteen skaters.


Ed Westfall's shorthanded goal makes it 3-0 Boston, Game 2 of the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals, May 5, 1970.

The first round involved selecting goalies, two for each of the expansion teams. An established team could only lose one goalie and if one was picked, they could protect another skater. Bruins prospect Dan Bouchard was selected by the Flames with the third goalie pick, resulting in Boston protecting John McKenzie. Skaters were selected next with the Bruins losing Ed Westfall to the Islanders as the fifth skater selected. Boston protected Nick Beverley and lost only one other player, Garry Peters was picked by the Islanders with the seventh skater pick. Ed Westfall had played with the Bruins since the 1961-62 season and had been part of both the 1970 and 1972 Stanley Cup winning teams. He'd play seven seasons for the Islanders, serve as their captain and retire just before New York's four Stanley Cup run from 1980-83.

World Hockey AssociationEdit

Cheevers skates-26Feb1972

The loss of Gerry Cheevers was a major factor in the Bruins not repeating as Stanley Cup champions.

The Bruins were one of the hardest hit teams as the World Hockey Association (WHA) signed players away from the NHL. Goalie Gerry Cheevers, defenseman Ted Green and forwards Derek Sanderson and John McKenzie were all lost. Cheevers departure was arguably the most difficult on the team as the Bruins struggled to find a suitable partner for Eddie Johnston and saw an increase in goals against from the previous season. Cheevers would return to the Bruins for the 1975-76 season.

Orr and SindenEdit

Bobby Orr underwent surgery on his left knee for the third time in June 1972. He wasn't sufficiently recovered to play in the Summit Series in September 1972 though he did practice and travel with the team.

Within days of coaching Team Canada to victory in the 1972 Summit Series, Harry Sinden signed a five year contract as the Bruins new general manager. Milt Schmidt, the Bruins GM since the 1967-68 season, was made executive director. Sinden held the role for the next 28 years.



Phil Esposito was the scoring leader in the 1972 Summit Series.

Two Bruins made the roster of Team Canada for the 1972 Summit Series. Eddie Johnston was the third goalie and did not play in the eight games versus the Soviet National Team but did play in games versus Sweden and the Czechoslovak National Team. Bobby Orr trained and travelled with the team but did not play while recovering from knee surgery. Phil Esposito was the team's number one center and as the series progressed, became Team Canada's emotional leader. He finished as the series scoring leader and while overshadowed by the timely heroics of Paul Henderson, Esposito had 2 goals and 2 assists in Canada's 6-5 victory in the series finale in Game 8.

Regular SeasonEdit

Terry O'Reilly-72-73

Terry O'Reilly played his rookie season in 1972-73.

Although the Bruins had lost a number of quality players to the 1972 expansion draft and the WHA, they did have enough talented skaters in their farm system to replace them. Gregg Sheppard, who had led the Oklahoma City Blazers in scoring in 1971-72, took Derek Sanderson's place as the third line center. Sheppard had a fantastic rookie season, finishing with 50 points, the most ever by a Bruins freshman to that point. Sheppard would play six seasons for Boston, scoring 30 goals or more in three of them. Sheppard's linemates were Don Marcotte and fellow rookie Terry O'Reilly. O'Reilly would play thirteen seasons for the Bruins, become their captain, coach and have his jersey #24 retired. Mike Walton, who had played on several lines the previous season, replaced John McKenzie on the second line with Fred Stanfield and John Bucyk. The first line of Phil Esposito, Wayne Cashman and Ken Hodge remained intact. Garnet Bailey, Doug Roberts and rookie Fred O'Donnell comprised the fourth line.

Ed Johnston-1972

Eddie Johnston played his last season for the Bruins in 1972-73.

The first defense pairing of Bobby Orr and Dallas Smith was unchanged while Carol Vadnais was matched with Don Awrey. Ted Green was replaced with rookie Nick Beverley who had played five years in the minors. Finding a replacement to fill the loss of Gerry Cheevers with a goalie of equal quality was not possible. Boston's talent pipeline had been denuded of goaltenders by the expansion drafts of 1967 and 1972 in which Bernie Parent, Doug Favell and Dan Bouchard had been picked. Eddie Johnston took over the duties as the number one goalie but had his worst season since 1966-67. This would be his last season of the eleven he played for Boston. Johnston was supplemented by 36 year old career minor-leaguer Ross Brooks and John Adams. Both played their first NHL games spelling off Johnston.

Hodge goal-21Oct1972

Bobby Orr returned to the line-up and assisted on a goal by Ken Hodge, October 21, 1972.

The Bruins had a bumpy start to the season, mainly attributed to Bobby Orr not playing as he continued to recover from off-season knee surgery. Matt Ravlich took Orr's place in the line-up. After a 4-2 home opening loss to the Los Angeles Kings on October 8, 1972, a 4-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings followed on October 11. The Bruins first ever game against the New York Islanders on October 14 provided the first win of the season, 7-4, in which Fred Stanfield had three points and Fred O'Donnell scored his first career NHL goal. Phil Esposito and Carol Vadnais both had four point nights in the 8-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on October 15. Bobby Orr returned to the line-up in the re-match against Pittsburgh on October 21 and had an assist in a 4-2 win.

Bailey-Smith fight-26Oct1972

Gary Smith fought Garnet Bailey, October 26, 1972.

Orr had a goal the next night in a 5-4 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Having played seven consecutive games, Ross Brooks went in for Ed Johnston during the 2-2 tie with the Buffalo Sabres on October 25. Having come back from injury too soon, Orr was pulled from the line-up and Ron Jones took his place. During the 6-3 loss to the Chicago Black Hawks on October 26, Hawks goalie Gary Smith took exception to Garnet "Ace" Bailey being in his crease. Smith started a fight that ended when Bailey punched Smith in the mask and wrestled him to the ice. Gregg Sheppard played his first game during the 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 28 and then had a Hat trick the next night as the Bruins walloped the Islanders 9-1. The month was a disappointment with a 5-5-1 record but Phil Esposito had 6 goals and 14 points.

Orr goal-18Nov1972

Bobby Orr scores on his second return to the line-up, November 18, 1972.

The Bruins began to gel in November despite playing without Bobby Orr. The addition of Gregg Sheppard gave Boston one of the league's best third lines and the offense flourished. Sheppard had three points during a 6-6 tie with the California Golden Seals on November 3, followed by Phil Esposito and Ken Hodge both having a five point game during the 8-3 win over Detroit on November 9. Orr returned to the line-up for good on November 18 against the Islanders and had a goal and an assist. Goalie John Adams played his first NHL game while Esposito had four points in the 7-3 win. The Bruins caught fire and lost only one game during the rest of 1972.

Orr goal-30Nov1972

One of four points by Bobby Orr, November 30, 1972.

Gregg Sheppard had an assist and two goals, including the winner, during the 6-5 victory over the Maple Leafs on November 19. Bobby Orr had two goals during the 4-2 over California on November 23 and another goal during the Bruins first ever game against the Atlanta Flames the next night. John Adams recorded his first career shutout while Orr also added two assists and Sheppard notched his tenth goal as the Bruins won 4-0. Adams earned another start and tied the Montreal Canadiens 3-3 on November 29. Orr powered the Bruins to a 5-4 win over Buffalo on November 30 with two slapshot goals from the point and two assists. Esposito finished the month with 15 goals and 37 points while the Bruins improved their record to 13-7-3.

Cashman thru doors-13Dec1972

Wayne Cashman is checked through the Zamboni doors by Jim Schoenfeld, December 13, 1972.

Boston had a fantastic December in which Ed Johnston and John Adams split the goaltending duties. The Bruins won the first four games which included a shutout by Johnston during the 5-0 win over the St. Louis Blues on December 7 and Ken Hodge scoring a hat trick during the 8-4 win over California on December 10. Boston's only loss of the month was to Buffalo on December 13 by 7-3. The game was extremely chippy with the Sabres Jim Schoenfeld getting into three separate fights. Schoenfeld's first battle was due to checking Wayne Cashman against the Zamboni doors, which promptly collapsed, sending both players into the walkway. Everyone on the ice joined in and a melee ensued. In the third period, Schoenfeld fought Bobby Orr and with less than two minutes left in the game, Carol Vadnais. In total, 154 penalty minutes were called with Schoenfeld garnering 33.

Orr from Espo-29Dec1972

Bobby Orr scores the winner from Phil Esposito, December 29, 1972.

The Bruins won the remaining seven games in December beginning with a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers. The Bruins peppered Rangers goalie Gilles Villemure with 55 shots, 15 by Phil Esposito alone. Ken Hodge and Gregg Sheppard both had a pair of goals in the 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on December 17. Hodge continued piling up the points with four during the 8-1 thumping of Detroit on December 21 while Phil Esposito had three. After winning a home and home series against Atlanta, both by 3-1 scores, Ed Johnston picked up his second shutout of the month on December 29 in a 2-0 win over the Minnesota North Stars. An Orr rush capped with a give-and-go with Esposito provided the winner. Orr had 10 goals and 41 points in only 21 games while Esposito led the league in scoring with 21 goals and 55 points. The Bruins ended 1972 with a 25-8-3 record.

Orr goal-4Jan1973

Bobby Orr scores on Jacques Caron, January 4, 1973.

On New Year's Day 1973, Bobby Orr led Boston with six assists in demolishing Vancouver 8-2. Phil Esposito had a hat trick while Ken Hodge tallied four points. In St. Louis on January 4, a bizarre accident occurred at the hotel the Bruins were staying at as Mike Walton tripped and fell through a glass door. Bleeding badly, he was rushed to the hospital where he required over 200 stitches and a blood transfusion. Walton survived and had recorded 21 goals and 37 points before the mishap. The Bruins were shaken and lost that evening 4-2 to the Blues and 5-4 in Chicago on January 7. Rich Leduc was recalled to replace Walton and had a goal and an assist in his second NHL game, a 4-1 win over Toronto on January 13.

Bucyk 3 goals-18Jan1973

John Bucyk had a four goal game, January 18, 1973.

On January 14, Phil Esposito was unstoppable, scoring four goals and an assist as the Bruins blanked the Sabres 6-0. Nick Beverley had his first NHL goal in this game while John Bucyk also scored. On January 18, 1973 against the Islanders, John Adams had a terrible first period and was pulled with the Bruins trailing 5-1. In the second period, Bucyk completed a hat trick and Wayne Cashman added a goal but the Bruins were still behind 7-4 at the end of the second period. At 6:50 of the third period, Cashman scored, his fourth point of the game, and two minutes later, Terry O'Reilly cut the Islanders lead to one goal. Poor defensive play resulting in the Islanders winning 9-7 despite Bucyk scoring again for his fourth goal of the game.

Cashman from Orr-28Jan1973

Wayne Cashman had a hat trick, January 28, 1973.

Losing to the lowly Islanders dispirited the Bruins as they lost four of their next six games. Wayne Cashman had a hat trick in the 5-2 win over California on January 21 but three straight losses, all by 4-2 scores, to the Rangers, Red Wings and Black Hawks followed. John Adams played his last game for the Bruins in the loss against Detroit and was regulated to the minors. During the 4-2 loss to Chicago on January 27, Phil Esposito scored on brother Tony, who threw his glove to the ice in frustration. January ended on a high note with a 6-5 win over Los Angeles in which Ross Brooks took over the backup goalie role. Wayne Cashman had his second hat trick of the month while Bobby Orr notched three points. Orr had 12 goals and 54 points while Phil Esposito still led the league with 30 goals and 74 points. With a 30-15-7 record, the Bruins were in third place in the Eastern Division, trailing the Canadiens and the Rangers.

Espo goal-1Feb1973

Phil Esposito had a hat trick, February 1, 1973.

Mike Walton returned to the line-up for the February 1, 1973 game against Toronto. Phil Esposito had a hat trick and five points while Orr had four points as the Bruins won 5-2. After a 7-3 loss to the Rangers on February 3, the Bruins lost only once more in February. Ross Brooks played a solid game in tying Philadelphia 2-2 on February 4 before Phil Esposito scored the winning goal, his 35th of the season, to beat Minnesota 3-2 on February 7. After this game, Tom Johnson was relieved of coaching duties and returned to an executive role with the Bruins. Bep Guidolin, who began his NHL career with the Bruins as a 16 year old in the 1942-43 season, took over. After a disastrous time in the WHA, where he played only eight games and his contract was bought out, Derek Sanderson was signed by the Bruins as a free agent. He returned to the line-up on February 10, wearing jersey #27, as Boston beat Pittsburgh 6-3 with Mike Walton scoring a hat trick.

Orr goal-15Feb1973

Bobby Orr from Phil Esposito, February 15, 1973.

Ross Brooks recorded his first NHL shutout during the 2-0 win over Los Angeles on February 11 and won again in the next game, 7-3, against Vancouver on February 13. Bobby Orr was a factor in every goal on February 15 in a 3-1 win over the Flyers. Derek Sanderson had his first goal since returning to the Bruins during the 4-1 win over Chicago on February 18. The goal was shorthanded while Ken Hodge scored his 30th goal of the season and Brooks picked up the win. Trailing 4-0 to Vancouver on February 20, the Bruins exploded with four goals in the second period in a 7-6 win as Hodge had the winner. Boston ended the month by peppering Kings goalie Gary Edwards with 52 shots in a 7-5 win. John Bucyk had a hat trick while Brooks went undefeated in February. Bobby Orr had 18 goals and 76 points while Phil Esposito still led the league in scoring with 40 goals and 97 points. With a 40-17-5 record the Bruins still trailed the Rangers and Canadiens in the Eastern Division standings.

Orr goal on Flames-9Mar1973

Bobby Orr scores against the Flames, March 9, 1973.

The Bruins stumbled at the start of March, losing their first two games after Garnet Bailey was traded for Gary Doak. Bailey was an integral part of both Bruins Cup wins while Doak would play for Boston until the 1980-81 season. Jacques Plante was acquired from Toronto and shutout Chicago 4-0 in his first game for Boston on March 4, 1973. Beginning with the 3-2 win over Atlanta on March 9, Boston went on a ten game winning streak with Plante, Ed Johnston and Ross Brooks sharing the goaltending duties. Playing with Gregg Sheppard versus Montreal on March 11, Doug Roberts and Fred O'Donnell had a fantastic game, each scoring a goal, in a 5-3 win. Plante record his third victory and an assist during the 4-1 win over Buffalo on March 15 as Bobby Orr scored his second goal of the game on a 200 foot shot into an empty net. Boston thumped Atlanta 7-1 on March 18 with Phil Esposito collecting five points and his linemates Wayne Cashman and Ken Hodge, three each.

Orr assist to Bucyk-22Mar1973

Bobby Orr's incredible assist to John Bucyk, March 22, 1973.

The winning streak continued on March 22 against Minnesota with a 5-3 victory as Bobby Orr made one of the most incredible plays of his career. With the Bruins leading 2-1 nearing the nine minute mark of the second period, Orr was knocked to ice while rushing into the North Stars zone. While sliding on his back, he made a perfect blind backhand pass to John Bucyk who scored, one of five points Bucyk had in the game. The Bruins passed the Rangers for second place in the East Division with the win. Jacques Plante assisted on the winning goal during the 3-0 triumph over the New York Rangers on March 24 and picked up his second shutout of the month.

Orr 3rd goal-31Mar1973

Bobby Orr scores his third goal, March 31, 1973.

During the 6-1 win over Buffalo on March 25, Phil Esposito scored his 50th and 51st goals while Bobby Orr also had two goals. During the March 28 game versus the Rangers, with the game tied 3-3 early in the third period, and having already scored, Phil Esposito added three consecutive goals for a 6-3 win, cementing the Bruins hold on second place. Despite Bobby Orr scoring a hat trick against Toronto on March 31, the Bruins lost 7-3 with Ed Johnston in net. The Bruins closed out the regular season with a 5-3 loss to Montreal on April 1 in which Johnston was pulled for Ross Brooks. Phil Esposito won his fourth Art Ross Trophy, was runner-up for the MVP and made the First All-Star Team. Bobby Orr finished third in league scoring, despite missing 15 games, won his sixth consecutive James Norris Memorial Trophy and also made the First All-Star Team. Thirty-eight year old John Bucyk finished eighth in league scoring.

Final StandingsEdit

East Division
Montreal Canadiens 78 52 10 16 329 184 783 120
Boston Bruins 78 51 22 5 330 235 1097 107
New York Rangers 78 47 23 8 297 208 765 102
Buffalo Sabres 78 37 27 14 257 219 940 88
Detroit Red Wings 78 37 29 12 265 243 893 86
Toronto Maple Leafs 78 27 41 10 247 279 716 64
Vancouver Canucks 78 22 47 9 233 339 943 53
New York Islanders 78 12 60 6 170 347 881 30

Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points
Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.

Game LogEdit

Regular Season Schedule
No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1LOctober 8, 19722–4 Los Angeles Kings (1972–73) 0–1–0
2LOctober 11, 19723–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1972–73) 0–2–0
3WOctober 14, 19727–4 @ New York Islanders (1972–73) 1–2–0
4WOctober 15, 19728–4 Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73) 2–2–0
5LOctober 18, 19721–7 @ New York Rangers (1972–73) 2–3–0
6WOctober 21, 19724–2 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73) 3–3–0
7LOctober 22, 19724–5 Vancouver Canucks (1972–73) 3–4–0
8TOctober 25, 19722–2 @ Buffalo Sabres (1972–73) 3–4–1
9LOctober 26, 19723–6 Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73) 3–5–1
10WOctober 28, 19723–2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73) 4–5–1
11WOctober 29, 19729–1 New York Islanders (1972–73) 5–5–1
12LNovember 2, 19722–5 @ Los Angeles Kings (1972–73) 5–6–1
13TNovember 3, 19726–6 @ California Golden Seals (1972–73) 5–6–2
14WNovember 5, 19724–2 @ Vancouver Canucks (1972–73) 6–6–2
15WNovember 9, 19728–3 Detroit Red Wings (1972–73) 7–6–2
16LNovember 12, 19723–5 Montreal Canadiens (1972–73) 7–7–2
17WNovember 16, 19724–0 St. Louis Blues (1972–73) 8–7–2
18WNovember 18, 19727–3 @ New York Islanders (1972–73) 9–7–2
19WNovember 19, 19726–5 Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73) 10–7–2
20WNovember 23, 19724–2 California Golden Seals (1972–73) 11–7–2
21WNovember 24, 19724–0 @ Atlanta Flames (1972–73) 12–7–2
22WNovember 26, 19726–4 Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73) 13–7–2
23TNovember 29, 19723–3 @ Montreal Canadiens (1972–73) 13–7–3
24WNovember 30, 19725–4 Buffalo Sabres (1972–73) 14–7–3
25WDecember 3, 19725–1 New York Islanders (1972–73) 15–7–3
26WDecember 7, 19725–0 St. Louis Blues (1972–73) 16–7–3
27WDecember 9, 19724–3 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73) 17–7–3
28WDecember 10, 19728–4 California Golden Seals (1972–73) 18–7–3
29LDecember 13, 19723–7 @ Buffalo Sabres (1972–73) 18–8–3
30WDecember 14, 19724–2 New York Rangers (1972–73) 19–8–3
31WDecember 17, 19725–3 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73) 20–8–3
32WDecember 19, 19723–2 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73) 21–8–3
33WDecember 21, 19728–1 Detroit Red Wings (1972–73) 22–8–3
34WDecember 23, 19723–1 Atlanta Flames (1972–73) 23–8–3
35WDecember 27, 19723–1 @ Atlanta Flames (1972–73) 24–8–3
36WDecember 29, 19722–0 @ Minnesota North Stars (1972–73) 25–8–3
37WJanuary 1, 19738–2 @ Vancouver Canucks (1972–73) 26–8–3
38LJanuary 4, 19732–4 @ St. Louis Blues (1972–73) 26–9–3
39LJanuary 7, 19734–5 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73) 26–10–3
40TJanuary 11, 19731–1 Minnesota North Stars (1972–73) 26–10–4
41WJanuary 13, 19734–1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73) 27–10–4
42WJanuary 14, 19736–0 Buffalo Sabres (1972–73) 28–10–4
43LJanuary 18, 19737–9 New York Islanders (1972–73) 28–11–4
44LJanuary 20, 19730–3 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73) 28–12–4
45WJanuary 21, 19735–2 California Golden Seals (1972–73) 29–12–4
46LJanuary 24, 19732–4 @ New York Rangers (1972–73) 29–13–4
47LJanuary 25, 19732–4 Detroit Red Wings (1972–73) 29–14–4
48LJanuary 27, 19732–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73) 29–15–4
49WJanuary 28, 19736–5 Los Angeles Kings (1972–73) 30–15–4
50WFebruary 1, 19735–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73) 31–15–4
51LFebruary 3, 19733–7 New York Rangers (1972–73) 31–16–4
52TFebruary 4, 19732–2 Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73) 31–16–5
53WFebruary 7, 19733–2 @ Minnesota North Stars (1972–73) 32–16–5
54WFebruary 10, 19736–3 Pittsburgh Penguins (1972–73) 33–16–5
55WFebruary 11, 19732–0 Los Angeles Kings (1972–73) 34–16–5
56WFebruary 13, 19737–3 Vancouver Canucks (1972–73) 35–16–5
57WFebruary 15, 19733–1 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1972–73) 36–16–5
58LFebruary 17, 19732–5 @ Minnesota North Stars (1972–73) 36–17–5
59WFebruary 18, 19734–1 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73) 37–17–5
60WFebruary 20, 19737–6 @ Vancouver Canucks (1972–73) 38–17–5
61WFebruary 21, 19736–2 @ California Golden Seals (1972–73) 39–17–5
62WFebruary 24, 19737–5 @ Los Angeles Kings (1972–73) 40–17–5
63LMarch 1, 19733–4 St. Louis Blues (1972–73) 40–18–5
64LMarch 3, 19731–5 @ Montreal Canadiens (1972–73) 40–19–5
65WMarch 4, 19734–0 Chicago Black Hawks (1972–73) 41–19–5
66LMarch 7, 19732–5 @ St. Louis Blues (1972–73) 41–20–5
67WMarch 9, 19733–2 @ Atlanta Flames (1972–73) 42–20–5
68WMarch 11, 19735–3 Montreal Canadiens (1972–73) 43–20–5
69WMarch 13, 19733–0 @ New York Islanders (1972–73) 44–20–5
70WMarch 15, 19734–1 @ Buffalo Sabres (1972–73) 45–20–5
71WMarch 16, 19735–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1972–73) 46–20–5
72WMarch 18, 19737–1 Atlanta Flames (1972–73) 47–20–5
73WMarch 22, 19735–3 Minnesota North Stars (1972–73) 48–20–5
74WMarch 24, 19733–0 New York Rangers (1972–73) 49–20–5
75WMarch 25, 19736–1 Buffalo Sabres (1972–73) 50–20–5
76WMarch 28, 19736–3 @ New York Rangers (1972–73) 51–20–5
77LMarch 31, 19733–7 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1972–73) 51–21–5
78LApril 1, 19733–5 Montreal Canadiens (1972–73) 51–22–5


New York Rangers 4, Boston Bruins 1Edit

The teams met the year before in the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals where the Bruins prevailed in six games. Rangers coach Emile Francis had watched game films of the Bruins and noticed that Bobby Orr was favoring his knee. Instead of trying to keep the puck away from Orr when shooting the puck in Boston's zone, Francis instructed his players to put the puck in Orr's corner and then forecheck him aggressively. Although he had played well in his short time with the Bruins, goalie Jacques Plante didn't hold up in this series. He was replaced with Eddie Johnston and Ross Brooks but all were outplayed by the Rangers Eddie Giacomin.

1973-Apr4-Plante Orr Vickers

#8 Steve Vickers, Jacques Plante and Bobby Orr, 1973 Quarter-finals Game 1, April 4, 1973.

Game 1 at the Boston Garden saw Plante and Giacomin start in goal. The Bruins Doug Roberts and the Rangers Brad Park traded first period goals before Bruce MacGregor put New York up 2-1 at 7:25. The next shift, Ted Irvine targeted Orr and the two fought, both receiving seven penalty minutes. With Orr off, the Rangers scored three goals, Park with his second of the game and two goals from Walt Tkaczuk. With New York leading 5-1 heading into the third period, Pete Stemkowski and Derek Sanderson traded goals. Orr was held pointless as was Phil Esposito's line, which was badly outplayed by Tkaczuk's line, as the Rangers stunned the Bruins 6-2.

Espo torn ligaments-5Apr1973

Phil Esposito suffers torn right knee ligaments and is lost for the playoffs, 1973 Quarter-finals Game 2, April 5, 1973.

Game 2 at Boston again saw Plante and Giacomin start in goal. The teams traded goals in the first period with Wayne Cashman and Steve Vickers scoring. Phil Esposito assisted on Cashman's goal which would be his only point of the series. In the second period, disaster struck the Bruins after the Rangers Ron Harris caught Esposito with a hip check, tearing Esposito's right knee ligaments and putting him out of the series. The Bruins then took two penalties in quick succession which the Rangers Ted Irvine and Pete Stemkowski scored on. Doug Roberts scored his second of the series to cut the Rangers lead to 3-2 heading into the third period. With Roberts in the penalty box, Walt Tkaczuk scored his third of the series. Orr was again held scoreless as the Rangers won 4-2 and took a two games to none lead with the series heading to New York.

Game 3 at Madison Square Garden saw Plante replaced by Eddie Johnston in net for the Bruins. Reaching the end of his brilliant career, Plante played his last NHL match in Game 2. Derek Sanderson took Phil Esposito's place centering Wayne Cashman and Ken Hodge. The changes sparked the Bruins, who took a 1-0 lead on a shorthanded goal by Gregg Sheppard. Pete Stemkowski tied it up just before the first period ended. Boston's second line scored its first goal of the series as Fred Stanfield put the Bruins up 2-1 at 3:13 of the second period. Jean Ratelle tied it up at 6:12 of the third period before Sheppard's second of the game at 10:39 which proved to be the winner. Mike Walton scored an empty net goal as the Bruins won 4-2 behind a stellar performance by Johnston, despite New York out shooting Boston 37-27. Bobby Orr didn't have a point for the third straight game.

Vickers goal-Game4-8Apr1973

Steve Vickers makes it 4-0, 1973 Quarter-finals Game 4, April 8, 1973.

Game 4 at New York saw Johnston start again for Boston while Giacomin remained in the net for the Rangers. New York scored early as Brad Park led a 3 on 1 which ended with a tap-in by Rod Gilbert at 2:35 of the first period. At 16:30, after the Bruins twice failed to clear the puck from their zone, a Bruce MacGregor shot caromed off the boards to Pete Stemkowski who knocked it in the short side on Johnston for a 2-0 Rangers lead. In the second period, Bobby Rousseau beat Johnston with a slapshot while on a partial breakaway before Don Marcotte overskated the puck which resulted in Steve Vickers gaining the puck alone in front of Johnston. He fired a low shot past Johnston for a 4-0 Rangers lead. The third period was scoreless, even though Boston twice had a two man advantage. Despite being outshot 33-25, a brilliant defensive effort saw the Rangers take a three games to one stranglehold on the series. Giacomin earned the shutout, the first by a Ranger goalie in the playoffs since Chuck Rayner had one in the 1950 Semi-finals.

Orr goal-Game5-10Apr1973

Bobby Orr scores, Game 5 of the 1973 Stanley Cup Quarter-finals, April 10, 1973.

Game 5 at Boston saw the desperate Bruins start Ross Brooks in goal for his only career playoff game while Giacomin started his fifth straight game. Steve Vickers scored on the first shift of the game but a little over a minute later, Bobby Orr evened the score with his only goal of the series. Ken Hodge gave Boston a 2-1 lead at 12:45 on the power play before Vickers and Bruce MacGregor scored two quick goals. Ed Johnston went in for Brooks to start the second period and held the Rangers at bay until the last minute when Walt Tkaczuk potted his fourth of the series. Rod Gilbert put New York up 5-2 at 4:10 of the third period until three minutes later, Don Marcotte cut the lead to 5-3. However, it was all the offense the Bruins could muster. Vickers completed his first career playoff hat trick as the Rangers won 6-3 and took the series.

# Date Visitor Score Home Record
1 April 4 New York Rangers 6-2 Boston Bruins 1-0
2 April 5 New York Rangers 4-2 Boston Bruins 2-0
3 April 7 Boston Bruins 4-2 New York Rangers 1-2
4 April 8 Boston Bruins 0-4 New York Rangers 1-3
5 April 10 New York Rangers 6-3 Boston Bruins 4-1

Player StatsEdit

Regular SeasonEdit

# Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG
7 Esposito, PhilPhil Esposito C 78 55 75 130 871619511
4 Orr, BobbyBobby Orr D 63 29 72 101 9956713
9 Bucyk, JohnJohn Bucyk LW 78 40 53 93 121810010
8 Hodge, KenKen Hodge RW 73 37 44 81 58101605
17 Stanfield, FredFred Stanfield LW 78 20 58 78 1012702
12 Cashman, WayneWayne Cashman LW 76 29 39 68 1005603
21 Marcotte, DonDon Marcotte LW 78 24 31 55 4932123
19 Sheppard, GreggGregg Sheppard C 64 24 26 50 1837023
11 Walton, MikeMike Walton C 56 25 22 47 3710002
10 Vadnais, CarolCarol Vadnais D 78 7 24 31 12721103
20 Smith, DallasDallas Smith D 78 4 27 31 7238000
24 O'Reilly, TerryTerry O'Reilly RW 72 5 22 27 10927001
14 Bailey, GarnetGarnet Bailey LW 57 8 13 21 897031
26 Awrey, DonDon Awrey D 78 2 17 19 9029000
27 Sanderson, DerekDerek Sanderson C 25 5 10 15 3811020
16 O'Donnell, FredFred O'Donnell LW 72 10 4 14 553002
28 Roberts, DougDoug Roberts RW 45 4 7 11 713002
6 Beverley, NickNick Beverley D 76 1 10 11 267000
18 LeDuc, RichRich LeDuc C 5 1 1 2 2 -1000
31 Plante, JacquesJacques Plante G 8 0 2 2 20000
30 Brooks, RossRoss Brooks G 16 0 1 1 00000
1 Johnston, EddieEddie Johnston G 45 0 1 1 20000
23 Ravlich, MattMatt Ravlich D 5 0 1 1 0 -5000
25 Doak, GaryGary Doak D 5 0 0 0 2 -1000
18 Oddleifson, ChrisChris Oddleifson C 6 0 0 0 0 -1000
29 Jones, RonRon Jones D 7 0 0 0 01000
31 Adams, JohnJohn Adams G 14 0 0 0 00000
Johnston, EddieEddie Johnston 2510 45 24 17 1 137 3.27 5
Brooks, RossRoss Brooks 910 16 11 1 3 40 2.64 1
Adams, JohnJohn Adams 780 14 9 3 1 39 3.00 1
Plante, JacquesJacques Plante 480 8 7 1 0 16 2.00 2
Team: 4680 78 51 22 5 232 2.97 9


# Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM PPG SHG GWG
19 Sheppard, GreggGregg Sheppard C 5 2 1 3 0011
27 Sanderson, DerekDerek Sanderson C 5 1 2 3 13000
9 Bucyk, JohnJohn Bucyk LW 5 0 3 3 0000
28 Roberts, DougDoug Roberts RW 5 2 0 2 6000
12 Cashman, WayneWayne Cashman LW 5 1 1 2 4000
21 Marcotte, DonDon Marcotte LW 5 1 1 2 0000
4 Orr, BobbyBobby Orr D 5 1 1 2 7000
17 Stanfield, FredFred Stanfield LW 5 1 1 2 0000
11 Walton, MikeMike Walton C 5 1 1 2 2000
20 Smith, DallasDallas Smith D 5 0 2 2 2000
8 Hodge, KenKen Hodge RW 5 1 0 1 7100
7 Esposito, PhilPhil Esposito C 2 0 1 1 2000
16 O'Donnell, FredFred O'Donnell LW 5 0 1 1 5000
25 Doak, GaryGary Doak D 2 0 0 0 2000
26 Awrey, DonDon Awrey D 4 0 0 0 6000
6 Beverley, NickNick Beverley D 4 0 0 0 0000
24 O'Reilly, TerryTerry O'Reilly RW 5 0 0 0 2000
10 Vadnais, CarolCarol Vadnais D 5 0 0 0 8000
30 Brooks, RossRoss Brooks G 1 0 0 0 0000
31 Plante, JacquesJacques Plante G 2 0 0 0 0000
1 Johnston, EddieEddie Johnston G 3 0 0 0 0000
Johnston, EddieEddie Johnston 160 3 1 2 9 3.38 0
Brooks, RossRoss Brooks 20 1 0 0 3 9.00 0
Plante, JacquesJacques Plante 120 2 0 2 10 5.00 0
Team: 300 5 1 4 22 4.40 0


Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/- = plus/minus; PIM = Penalty minutes; PPG = Power-play goals; SHG = Short-handed goals; GWG = Game-winning goals

MIN = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals-against; GAA = Goals-against average; SO = Shutouts

Awards and RecordsEdit


Draft PicksEdit

See also: 1972 NHL Amateur Draft
Round # Player Nationality College/Junior/Club Team (League)
116 Mike Bloom Flag of Canada.svg Canada St. Catharines Black Hawks (OHA)
232 Wayne Elder Flag of Canada.svg Canada London Knights (OHA)
348 Michel Boudreau Flag of Canada.svg Canada Laval National (QMJHL)
464 Les Jackson Flag of Canada.svg Canada New Westminster Bruins (WCHL)
580 Brian Coates Flag of Canada.svg Canada Brandon Wheat Kings (WCHL)
696 Peter Gaw Flag of Canada.svg Canada Ottawa 67's (OHA)
7112 Gordie Clark Flag of Scotland Scotland U. of New Hampshire (ECAC)
8128 Roy Carmichael Flag of Canada.svg Canada New Westminster Bruins (WCHL)




Highlights of the Bruins-Islanders game on January 18, 1973.

See AlsoEdit


  1. 1972-73 Boston Bruins Statistics - Retrieved on 2009-06-09.
  2. National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book 2006, p.220, Dan Diamond & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-920445-98-5
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