Bruins history in the Stanley Cup Finals

Goalie Tim Thomas led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup title in 2011. The Boston Globe

The Bruins have appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals 19 times and have won it all six times, most recently in 2011 when they defeated the Vancouver Canucks for their first NHL title in 39 years. Here’s a review of their appearances.

2013: Bruins vs. Blackhawks

Result: Lost, 4-2

Star: Patrick Kane (Chicago, right wing)

Notable: The teams went to overtime three times in the first four games that they split (including Chicago’s three-OT win in Game 1). But Chicago went on to win after an epic Bruins collapse in Game 6. Up 2-1 late in the third period, Boston allowed two goals, 17 seconds apart, inside of the game’s final 90 seconds to hand the Cup to the Blackhawks.


2011: Bruins vs. Canucks

Result: Won, 4-3

Star: Tim Thomas (Boston, goaltender)

Notable: The Bruins did not lead the Stanley Cup finals series until they won it. Their Game 7 victory in Vancouver was the first game in which the visiting team won.

1990: Bruins vs. Oilers

Result: Lost, 4-1

Star: Bill Ranford (Edmonton, goaltender)

Notable: The Oilers came out on top in a marathon-like Game 1, which ended with less than five minutes to go in triple overtime. It is still the longest game ever played in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Boston won Game 3, but never scored more than two goals against Bill Ranford all series and the Oilers won in five.

1988: Bruins vs. Oilers

Result: Lost, 4-0

Star: Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton, center)

Notable: A power failure in at the Boston Garden in Game 4 caused play to be suspended, but the game was never replayed. Wayne Gretzky set a record for most assists in one playoff year, playing a hand in 31 goals. The Great One tallied 13 points in the Finals, propelling the Oilers to their fourth Stanley Cup victory in five years.

1978: Bruins vs. Canadiens

Result: Lost, 4-2

Star: Larry Robinson (Montreal, defense)

Notable: In a Stanley Cup rematch, the Canadiens prevailed again, but worked a little harder. After winning the first two games, the Bruins stormed back to even the series. Montreal went on to win one at home and then clinched the Cup at the Boston Garden.


1977: Bruins vs. Canadiens

Result: Lost, 4-0

Star: Guy Lafleur (Montreal, right wing)

Notable: The Bruins’ only lead of the series came in the first period of Game 4. Montreal’s Guy Lafleur and Jacques Lemaire were too much to handle, as they scored or assisted in more than half of their team’s goals in the series sweep.

1974: Bruins vs. Flyers

Result: Lost, 4-2

Star: Bernie Parent (Philadelphia, goaltender)

Notable: The Bruins had home ice advantage and had never lost to the Flyers in 19 meetings (17-0-2). The Bruins won the opener, but the Flyers won the next three and then Game 6 behind Bernie Parent’s hot goaltending.

1972: Bruins vs. Rangers

Result: Won, 4-2

Star: Bobby Orr (Boston, defense)

Notable: In the second meeting between Boston and New York in the Stanley Cup Finals, Bobby Orr led the way, as he netted four goals and assisted four others. After winning the first two games, the two teams alternated victories until Boston clinched in Game 6. The Bruins haven’t held the Cup since.

1970: Bruins vs. Blues

Result: Won, 4-0

Star: Bobby Orr (Boston, defense)

Notable: At the moment of scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal on Glenn Hall in overtime, Bobby Orr got tripped by Blues defender Noel Picard and Orr raised his arms in celebration while flying through the air. The image (left) is regarded as the most famous in NHL history.


1958: Bruins vs. Canadiens

Result: Lost, 4-2

Star: Maurice Richard (Montreal, right wing)

Notable: Maurice “the Rocket’’ Richard scored four of his playoff-leading 11 goals in the finals, including a pivotal overtime goal in Game 5 to swing the series in Montreal’s favor.

1957: Bruins vs. Canadiens

Result: Lost, 4-1

Star: Fleming Mackell (Boston, center)

Notable: The Bruins scored just six times in five games, but Bruins center Fleming Mackell scored four of them.

1953: Bruins vs. Canadiens

Result: Lost, 4-1

Star: Gerry McNeil (Montreal, goaltender)

Notable: Montreal coach Dick Irvin’s move to put in Gerry McNeil for Jacques Plante ater two games paid off, as McNeil recorded two shutouts, including one in the championship-clinching Game 5.

1946: Bruins vs. Canadiens

Result: Lost, 4-1

Star: Elmer Lach (Montreal, center)

Notable: The Bruins salvaged an overtime win in Game 4 at the Boston Garden, but the Canadidens broke a 3-3 tie in Game 5 with three unanswered to secure the Stanley Cup.

1943: Bruins vs. Red Wings

Result: Lost, 4-0

Star: Johnny Mowers (Detroit, goaltender)

Notable: Johnny Mowers and the Red Wings shut out the Bruins in Games 3 and 4 at the Boston Garden. The Red Wings outscored the B’s 16-5 in the series.

1941: Bruins vs. Red Wings

Result: Won, 4-0

Star: Milt Schmidt (Boston, center)

Notable: In the third best-of-seven series ever played in a Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins became the first to win the Cup in four straight games.

1939: Bruins vs. Maple Leafs

Result: Won, 4-1

Star: Frank Brimsek (Boston, goaltender)

Notable: In a low-scoring Stanley Cup Finals, Bruins netminder Frank Brimsek held the Maple Leafs to just six goals in the series. The only Bruin loss was in overtime, 3-2, at Boston Garden.


1930: Bruins vs. Canadiens

Result: Lost, 2-0

Star: Sylvio Mantha (Montreal, defense)

Notable: The Bruins ended the 44-game season with the best winning percentage in NHL History (.875), but a two-game sweep led the NHL to change the Finals to a best-of-five format. Canadiens captain Sylvio Mantha scored once in both wins.

1929: Bruins vs. Rangers

Result: Won, 2-0

Star: Cecil “Tiny’’ Thompson (Boston, goaltender)

Notable: The Bruins won Game 1 at home, 2-0, and Game 2 on the road, 2-1, with rookie Cecil Thompson in net. Game 1’s shutout was the third by a rookie in a Stanley Cup final.

1927: Bruins vs. Senators

Result: Lost, 2-0-2

Star: Cy Denneny (Ottawa, left wing)

Notable: The final game of the series got messy. Several players were fined and suspended, and one player, Bruin Billy Coutu, attacked a referee and became the first NHL player to be expelled for life from the league.


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