An Original Six rivalry. A playoff rivalry. A family rivalry. In the early 1970’s, the Esposito’s had it all when it came to Phil and Tony.
And on this day in Bruins history, April 19th, 1970, “Espo” –as he was belovedly known in Boston– bested his younger netminding-brother from the Chicago Blackhawks in a familial playoff face off.
That’s right… Phil got his fill of goals netting a hat trick on Tony in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals, leading the B’s to a 6-3 victory on the road at Chicago Stadium.
Espo scored twice in the first period and completed his trademark trifecta with a power-play goal at 14:59 of the second. Boston would sweep the Hawks and then do the same to the St. Louis Blues in the Finals. Esposito went on to score ten more goals, totaling thirteen for his Cup-winning playoff run (27 points overall).
Throughout his prolific career in the Black N’ Gold, Espo notched twenty-six “hatties” and would win the NHL’s scoring title (the Art Ross Trophy) an impressive five times.
In one of the most moving ceremonies in franchise history, the Boston Bruins organization retired Esposito’s No. 7 (fittingly in 1987) with an assist to Ray Bourque who gave the jersey off his back to the teary-eyed legend at center ice.
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