After winning back-to-back Stanley Cup titles in 1974 and 1975, the Flyers quest for a three-peat ended when the Montreal Canadiens swept them in the Stanley Cup Finals. The win propelled a Canadiens dynasty that would win four consecutive Stanley Cups. Along the way, the Canadiens recorded a 28-game unbeaten streak in 1977-78 – an NHL record.
The Flyers began the 1979-80 season inauspiciously. After defeating their division rival the New York York Islanders in their home opener, they were then blown out 9-2 by the Atlanta Flames on October 13, 1979. Then the streak began. On December 20, 1979, the Flyers tied the Pittsburg Penguins to improve to 20-1-9 and tie the Canadiens unbeaten streak.
The Flyers then faced a road trip that had them playing 7 of 8 games on the road, including the last six. In the first game in Boston, they won 5-2 to break the record.
On January 4, 1980, the Flyers beat the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden 5-3 to surpass the Los Angeles Lakers unbeaten streak of 33 games. At this time, however, unlike the NBA there was no overtime during the regular season to resolve ties at the end of regulation time.
On January 6, 1980, Philadelphia beat the Sabres in Buffalo 4-2 to extend the record to 35 games but ran out of gas the next night in Minnesota as the North Stars clobbered them 7-1. The Flyers record of 35 games still stands to this day.
The Flyers ended the regular season 48-12-20 – the best record in the NHL. They returned to the Stanley Cup Finals only to fall 4-2 to the next NHL dynasty – the New York Islanders who would win the next four Stanley Cups.
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