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Gilles Gilbert, Goalie the Flyers Defeated in Cup Finals, Dies at 74

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Philadelphia Flyers' Rick MacLeish beats Bruins goalie Gilles Gilbert for deciding goal in 1974 Stanley Cup finals. (AP photo)
Rick MacLeish scores Cup-winning goal past Bruins' Gilles Gilbert (AP Photo)

When the Philadelphia Flyers won their first Stanley Cup in 1974, the Boston Bruins goalie they defeated was Gilles Gilbert.

Gilbert died Saturday at age 74, the Bruins announced.

In the deciding Game 6 at a roaring Spectrum, Gilbert stopped everything but a deflected Rick MacLeish shot on which he had no chance. MacLeish’s goal gave the Philadelphia Flyers a 1-0 game victory and a 4-2 win in the series.

The Flyers’ Bernie Parent got the acclaim, and the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP. Captain Bobby Clarke, only 24 years old, started his legacy as an all-time Flyer.

The rough-and-tumble Flyers’ upset of the big, bad Bruins in six games was monumental. Philadelphia was the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup.

Gilbert, a Quebec native, was nearly as brilliant as Parent in those finals. Check the numbers:

  • Parent: 4-2, .933 save percentage, 13 goals allowed, 2.16 goals-against average.
  • Gilbert: 2-4, .911 save percentage, 15 goals allowed, 2.50 goals-against average.

Parent, 28, was tremendous in the Flyers’ victories. That was the difference. He only allowed five goals in the Flyers’ four wins.

 

Many believe if the Bruins had won Game 2, they would have won the Cup. That’s the game Clarke scored in overtime on a rebound over a sprawling Gilbert.

Gilbert played 14 NHL seasons from 1969-83. He was 192-143-60 in 416 games. He played for the Minnesota North Stars, Bruins and Detroit Red Wings.

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