(Photo Credit: File photo/The Associated Press)

By: Steve McClure | Follow me on Twitter / X @stmcclure1993

May 4th (1972): The Bruins lost Game Three to the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup finals, but Hall-of-Famer Bobby Orr made NHL history when he scored at 1:10 of the second frame. The 24-year-old defenseman scored his seventeenth career playoff goal in only his 47th game, breaking the record for goals by a defenseman in playoff competition. Orr still holds the best career ‘goals per playoff game’ average for defensemen (.351). The Bruins would go on to defeat New York four games to two to win their fifth Stanley Cup.

May 5th (1970) Bobby Orr collected two assists against the Blues in Game Two of the Stanley Cup finals to become the highest scoring ‘single playoff season’ point producer for NHL defensemen. The two assists gave him eighteen for the 1969-70 postseason. He would finish the series with twenty total points.

May 7th (1970): The Boston Bruins win their ninth straight playoff game of the 1970 playoffs as they defeat the St. Louis Blues in Game Three of the Stanley Cup finals 4-1. Phil Esposito racked up three assists, and Gerry Cheevers stopped 20 of 21 shots. Wayne Cashman’s two third period goals sealed the deal for the Bruins and gave them a 3-0 series lead. Blues’ netminder Glen Hall faced 46 Boston shots in the losing effort.

May 7th (1972): In the Game Four matchup against the Rangers in the 1972 Cup finals, Bobby Orr broke his own record for points by a defenseman in the postseason, which he set two years prior against St. Louis. Orr’s two goals and one assist in the game propelled him to 22 points. He would add two more points in the series to finish with 24, which to this day stands as the sixth most points by a defenseman in a single playoff. His 1.60 points/game in the 1972 playoffs is second only to Oiler defenseman Paul Coffey’s 2.06 in the 1985 playoffs.

May 8 (1979): Rugged 5-8 left-winger Stan Jonathan, a member of the Bruins All-Centennial Team, scored a playoff hat trick in Game Six versus the Montreal Canadiens, leading the Bruins to a 5-2 win in the 1979 Stanley Cup semifinals. Jonathan’s shooting percentage was 100% in the game, as he had three attempts—all of them beating the Canadiens’ goalie Ken Dryden. Boston goaltender Gilles Gilbert held the Montreal attack in check by stopping 25 attempts. The huge win at Boston Garden forced a Game Seven showdown at the Montreal Forum, a classic game in which the Bruins would lose in heartbreaking fashion.

May 8 (2013): Another Bruins All-Centennial Team member scored a playoff hat trick on this date in 2013. David Krejci collected his three goals against Toronto in a 4-3 Game Four victory during the conference quarterfinals. ‘Krech’ scored the OT game-winner, helping provide the Bruins with a three games to one cushion against the Leafs in a tight series that Boston would eventually win in seven games. The Czech forward joined fellow Bruins All-Centennial team member Jean Ratelle as the only Bruins to cap a postseason hat trick with an overtime winner.

May 9 (1974) The mighty Boston Bruins lost Game Two of the 1974 Stanley Cup finals to the upstart Philadelphia Flyers. Bobby Clarke knocked home a rebound past the sprawling goaltender Gilles Gilbert and forward Terry O’Reilly, causing the Garden crowd to go quieter than Boston Public Library. The Flyers came into the contest winless at Boston Garden over the course of nineteen prior meetings—an 0-17-2 string—including a Game One loss to Boston. Defenseman Andre DuPont of the Flyers had scored a dramatic game-tying goal with :52 seconds left in regulation to tie the game and force overtime. In retrospect, some Philly fans feel that—thanks to Bobby Clarke and the other Broad Street Bullies—the win catapulted the Flyers into believing they could beat the Big, Bad Bruins, a team which the organization had modeled themselves after in terms of effort and style. Philadelphia went on to take the series four games to two, becoming the first NHL expansion team to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup.

May 10 (1968): The best NHL player to ever lace up skates was awarded his first Norris Memorial Trophy on this date in 1968 as the league’s best defenseman. The trophy would be his alone for the next seven years in a row. No other NHL defenseman has won the award as often as the Parry Sound, Ontario, native. In the prior 1966-67 season, Orr was a finalist for the award, but the Professional Hockey Writers Association named Harry Howell of the New York Rangers the winner instead.

May 10 (1970): On Mother’s Day of 1970, Bobby Orr scored his famous ‘flying’ overtime goal against the Blues in Game Four, giving the Bruins their first NHL title since 1941. Orr took a dish pass from Derek Sanderson from behind the goal line and tucked it behind goaltender Glen Hall forty seconds into OT. The moment has become one of the NHL’s most iconic images. Orr was voted the Conn Smythe Trophy-winner as the most valuable player of the 1970 playoffs.

May 10 (1971): On this date in 1971, Boston’s Bobby Orr was awarded the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player. It was the second year in a row that Orr had achieved this honor, and the following year he would win it a third time. In the 1970-71 season Orr was phenomenal; he set the record for most assists in a season with 102, most assists in a season including the playoffs with 109, most goals by a defenseman with 37, most points by a defenseman in a season with 139, and most points by a defenseman in a season including the playoffs with 151. Orr would also go on to win the Norris Memorial Trophy for the fourth straight season in 1971.

(Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)