5th-seeded ’71-’72 Rangers Comeback from 3-1 Series Deficit to Clinch Second UNP Appearance by Defeating 6th-seeded ’78-’79 Rangers in Seven Games

(Photo via Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images)

There were a number of players to post big games, but Rod Gilbert posted the biggest performance in the biggest game. (Photo via Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images)

First off, here is the entire tournament bracket!

This series featured a lot of goals and there were nine in Game 1. The 5th-seeded ’71-’72 Rangers, the reigning representatives, took the opening game by a score of 8-1. Vic Hadfield and defenseman Brad Park led them in the win with four (2G, 2A) and three (1G, 2A) points, respectively. The 6th-seeded ’78-’79 Rangers responded with a 10-goal performance in Game 2 as they won 10-6. They scored five times in the first period alone and forced the ’71-’72 Rangers to pull starting netminder Ed Giacomin. Phil Esposito scored five times and added an assist while linemate Anders Hedberg totaled six assists in the win. Then, thanks to four goals in both the first and third periods of Game 3, the ’78-’79 Rangers took a 2-1 series lead with a 9-5 win. Hedberg and Espo led the way again as they posted three (2G, 1A) and four (1G, 3A) points, respectively. Meanwhile Pat Hickey tallied three assists.

The offenses finally slowed down in Game 4 as the ’78-’79 Rangers took a 3-1 series lead after a 2-1 win in that fourth game. Espo’s shorthanded goal early in the third was the game-winner while John Davidson stopped 48 of 49 shots against. The comeback for the reigning representatives began with a 6-5 win in Game 5. Jean Ratelle‘s three points (1G, 2A) led the way. Then, the ’71-’72 Rangers blew out the ’78-’79 Rangers 9-1 Game 6 to force a Game 7. The game was tied 1-1 after the first period, but the reigning representatives would score four times in both the second and the third periods. Five points each from defensemen Rod Seiling and Jim Neilson led the way for the ’71-’72 Rangers. Then, in Game 7, five goals in the second period helped lead the ’71-’72 Rangers to complete the comeback with a 7-5 win. Rod Gilbert‘s goal and three assists led them offensively in the win while Seiling tickled the twine twice. 

GAME 1:

1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Overtime Total
’78-’79 Rangers 0 1 0 1
’71-’72 Rangers 4 2 2 8

GAME SUMMARY: ™71-’72 NYR – 8   ’78-’79 NYR – 1   (1-0   ’71-’72 NYR)

STARS OF THE GAME:

1st Star: LW – Vic Hadfield (’71-’72 NYR) – 2 G   2 A   4 P   +2   7 S

2nd Star: D -“ Brad Park (’71-’72 NYR) – 1 G   2 A   3 P   +3   2 S

3rd Star: C – Walt Tkaczuk (’71-’72 NYR) – 1 G   1 A   2 P   +1   6 S

GAME 2:

1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Overtime Total
’78-’79 Rangers 5 3 2 10
’71-’72 Rangers 2 2 2 6

GAME SUMMARY:  ’78-’79 NYR – 10   ’71-’72 NYR – 6   (1-1)

STARS OF THE GAME:

1st Star: C – Phil Esposito (’78-’79 NYR) – 5 G   1 A   6 P   +2   8 S

2nd Star: LW – Pat Hickey (’78-’79 NYR) – 3 G   1 A   4 P   +2   5 S

3rd Star: RW – Anders Hedberg (’78-’79 NYR) – 0 G   6 A   6 P   +2   6 S

GAME 3:

1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Overtime Total
’71-’72 Rangers 1 3 1 5
’78-’79 Rangers 4 1 4 9

GAME SUMMARY:  ’78-’79 NYR – 9   ’71-’72 NYR – 5   (2-1   ’78-’79 NYR)

STARS OF THE GAME:

1st Star: C – Phil Esposito (’78-’79 NYR) – 1 G   3 A   4 P   +4   6 S

2nd Star: RW – Anders Hedberg (’78-’79 NYR) – 2 G   1 A   3 P   +2   9 S

3rd Star: D – Dave Maloney (’78-’79 NYR) – 1 G   2 A   3 P   +3   3 S   2 PIM

GAME 4:

1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Overtime Total
’71-’72 Rangers 1 0 0 1
’78-’79 Rangers 1 0 1 2

GAME SUMMARY:  ’78-’79 NYR – 2   ’71-’72 NYR – 1   (3-1   ’78-’79 NYR)

STARS OF THE GAME:

1st Star: G – John Davidson (’78-’79 NYR) – W   1.00 GAA   .980 SV% (48 SV’s)

2nd Star: G – Ed Giacomin (’71-’72 NYR) – L   2.00 GAA   .941 SV% (32 SV’s)

3rd Star: C – Phil Esposito (’78-’79 NYR) – 1 G   0 A   1 P   +2   6 S

GAME 5:

1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Overtime Total
’78-’79 Rangers 3 2 0 5
’71-’72 Rangers 2 4 0 6

GAME SUMMARY:  ’71-’72 NYR – 6   ’78-’79 NYR – 5   (3-2   ’78-’79 NYR)

STARS OF THE GAME:

1st Star: C – Jean Ratelle (’71-’72 NYR) – 1 G   2 A   3 P   +1   2 S

2nd Star: LW – Vic Hadfield (’71-’72 NYR) – 1 G   1 A   2 P   +1   7 S   4 PIM

3rd Star: LW – Ted Irvine (’71-’72 NYR) – 1 G   1 A   2 P   +1   3 S

GAME 6:

1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Overtime Total
’71-’72 Rangers 1 4 4 9
’78-’79 Rangers 1 0 0 1

GAME SUMMARY:  ’71-’72 NYR – 9   ’78-’79 NYR – 1   (3-3)

STARS OF THE GAME:

1st Star: D – Jim Neilson (’71-’72 NYR) – 2 G   3 A   5 P   +7   6 S   2 PIM

2nd Star: C – Jean Ratelle (’71-’72 NYR) – 3 G   1 A   4 P   +3   6 S

3rd Star: D – Rod Seiling (’71-’72 NYR) – 0 G   5 A   5 P   +6   5 S

GAME 7:

1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Overtime Total
’78-’79 Rangers 0 3 2 5
’71-’72 Rangers 1 5 1 7

GAME SUMMARY:  ’71-’72 NYR – 7   ’78-’79 NYR – 5   (4-3   ’71-’72 NYR)

STARS OF THE GAME:

1st Star: RW – Rod Gilbert (’71-’72 NYR) – 1 G   3 A   4 P   Even   5 S

2nd Star: D – Rod Seiling (’71-’72 NYR) – 2 G   1 A   3 P   Even   8 S

3rd Star: RW – Anders Hedberg (’78-’79 NYR) – 2 G   0 A   2 P   +3   6 S

The ’71-’72 New York Rangers are the 41st team to qualify for the upcoming 2015 Ultimate NHL Playoff.It will be their second trip to the tournament and they are the 21st team that will repeat as their franchises representatives. Up next is the 2015 New York Islanders Qualifying Tournament!

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