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In the Air, 44 Years Ago Saturday: Bobby Orr

By Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff

Forty-four years ago today…

It is indeed one of the most iconic sports photographs ever taken, Ray Lussier’s image of a horizontal Bobby Orr celebrating his overtime goal against the St. Louis Blues on May 10, 1970, giving the Boston Bruins their first Stanley Cup in 29 years. Derek Sanderson dished the puck to Orr, who slipped it past Blues goalie Glenn Hall for the win, and an historic moment.

"If it had gone by me, it’s a two-on-one. So I got a little lucky there,” Orr said that day, “but Derek gave me a great pass and when I got the pass I was moving across. As I skated across, Glenn had to move across the crease and had to open his pads a little. I was really trying to get the puck on net, and I did. As I went across, Glenn’s legs opened. I looked back, and I saw it go in, so I jumped.”

Easy, right?

"Honest, I really don't know how it went in," said Orr.

As for Hall, ”The puck went between my pads," he said. "I should have made the save. It wasn't that tough a chance.”

The iconic image is often misunderstood as Orr scoring the winning goal mid-air, which truly isn’t the case, but it has nonetheless become a defining image in Boston, where a statue honoring the moment graces the outside of the TD Garden.

Of course the anniversary comes two days after Matt Fraser helped the Bruins to an overtime win over the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night, albeit with much lesser stakes. Game 5 of the series takes place Saturday night at the Garden with the series tied at two.

On the night of the win, Orr’s father, Doug, celebrated in the Boston Garden dressing room. "Maybe I shouldn't say this, but tonight I don't care if Bobby gets higher than a kite. He deserves it. I've never seen him drunk, but the way we're all feeling, who cares?”

And here, Fraser felt a little guilty about some frozen yogurt.

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