With the series tied at 2-2, the Philadelphia Flyers headed to Washington for game 5 of the 1989 Patrick Division Semifinals — a fancy name for the first round of the playoffs back then.
With the Capitals down 7-5 in the third period, head coach Bryan Murray decided to pull the goalie, a risky move with Hextall in net for the Flyers.
Equally recognized for his aggression and his puck handling ability (Hextall ranks 8th all-time in points by a goalie), Ron Hextall retrieved the Capitals dump behind his own and fired for the empty Capitals net at the far end, making history once again.
Although Billy Smith is credited with the first goal by a goalie in NHL history, Hextall was the first goalie to score a goal by shooting the puck himself.
Billy Smith’s goal was shot by Rob Ramage of the Colorado Rockies into his own open net. Smith is recognized as the goal scorer as he was the last Islander to touch the puck prior to Ramage’s own goal.
If it weren’t for Ron Hextall making history with his playoff goal, we wouldn’t expect a bench-clearing empty-net game 5 goal celebration from the Flyers 😂
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