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Grand moments

May 21st, 1979
On May 21, 1979, the Canadiens were a victory away from capturing their first Stanley Cup in front of hometown fans since the spring of 1968.

Holding a 3-1 lead in the series against the Rangers, Scotty Bowman’s team had no intention of returning to the Big Apple for a sixth game. Rick Chartraw put the Canadiens ahead with a goal 11 minutes into the first period. Carol Vadnais replied for the Rangers as the period wound down, scoring the only goal Dryden would allow on the night.

Jacques Lemaire took hold of the offensive reins during the middle frame, notching a pair of goals. Bob Gainey, who would be awarded that year’s Conn Smythe Trophy, added another in the 4-1 victory, with Réjean Houle assisting on three of his teammates’ tallies along the way.

Montreal’s fourth consecutive championship team was the 21st in franchise history and the last Canadiens squad that Scotty Bowman would lead to springtime success. Dryden, Lemaire and captain Yvan Cournoyer would all announce their retirements in the coming months.