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This day in sports: Bobby Orr scores iconic Cup-clinching goal for Bruins in 1970

A statue of Bruins legend Bobby Orr is shown in front of TD Garden in Boston during the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs.
A statue of Bruins legend Bobby Orr flying though the air after his Stanley Cup-clinching goal in 1970 is situated in front of TD Garden in Boston.
(Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)

The magic number was four for the Boston Bruins on this date in 1970 when they defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-3 in overtime and swept their way to the team’s first Stanley Cup championship in 29 years.

Bobby Orr, wearing No. 4, scored the fourth goal in the fourth period (40 seconds into OT) in the fourth game of the Stanley Cup Final. Orr’s goal is one of the most famous in NHL history and was photographed by Ray Lussier of the Boston Record-American, picturing Orr flying through the air with his arms extended after he made the shot.

As the puck went between the pads of Blues goaltender Glenn Hall, Orr was tripped by St. Louis defenseman Noel Picard, who also wore No. 4.

In games involving local teams that were postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Galaxy would have played the New York Red Bulls Sunday at Dignity Health Sports Park.

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The Dodgers were scheduled to play an afternoon game against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium. The Angels would have finished a six-game trip with a day game in Baltimore against the Orioles.

Here is a look at other memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

1919 — Sir Barton, ridden by Johnny Loftus, leads wire to wire and takes the Kentucky Derby by five lengths over Billy Kelly. The chestnut colt is the first thoroughbred to win the Triple Crown and one of three maidens (winless entries in racing parlance) to win the Derby.

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1969 — The plans for the National Football League to merge with the American Football League are complete. Baltimore, the defending NFL champion, Cleveland and Pittsburgh agree to align themselves with the AFL to unite the two leagues for the 1970 season. The NFL and AFL will play as one league, with two conferences of 13 teams each, the National and American.

1973 — The New York Knicks win their second NBA championship in five games with a 102-93 victory over the Lakers. Earl Monroe leads New York with 23 points, and Bill Bradley adds 20. The Knicks win four straight after the Lakers take the opener at the Forum.

1997 — Former UCLA sprinter Ato Boldon dashes to a mark of 9.89 seconds in the 100 meters at the Modesto Relays, the sixth man in history to be clocked faster than 9.90 seconds. Boldon’s time is only five-hundredths of a second off the world record set by Donovan Bailey at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996.

2001 — The XFL, the pro football league founded by the World Wrestling Federation and jointly owned by NBC, folds after one season. It is a critical and TV ratings disappointment. In the end, the XFL lasts two years fewer than another outdoor spring league — the USFL, which started airing on ABC in 1983 and folded after three seasons.

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2006 — Goaltender Cam Ward makes 28 saves in the Carolina Hurricanes’ 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, making him the second NHL netminder to win his first seven postseason starts. The 22-year-old rookie joins Tiny Thompson, who did it for Boston in 1930.

The NFL is operating under the assumption that the season will be played as scheduled, but COVID-19 has created many challenges for the league.

2008 — Greg Maddux, 43, of the San Diego Padres is the ninth pitcher in baseball history to win 350 games when he beats the Colorado Rockies, 3-2, at San Diego. Maddux yields an unearned run — set up by a three-base throwing error — over six innings.

2009 — Russia defends its gold medal at the world ice hockey championship at Bern, Switzerland, beating Canada 2-1 in a rematch of previous year’s final. Alex Radulov scores the eventual game winner for Russia, and Jason Spezza tallies for the Canadians.

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2014 — Michael Sam is picked by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the NFL draft, making him the first publicly gay player drafted by a pro football team. Sam, who played at Missouri and was the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year, is the 249th choice out of 256 players.

2016 — Stephen Curry is voted the NBA’s first unanimous most valuable player when he wins the award for the second season in a row after leading the defending champion Golden State Warriors to a record-setting campaign. Curry is the 11th player in league history to be voted MVP in consecutive seasons and the first guard since Steve Nash in 2004-05 and 2005-06.

SOURCES: The Times, Associated Press


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