Hextall's mistakes KO'd the Flyers and helped New Jersey win its first Cup. The beneficiary was Devils coach Jacques Lemaire, who had scored the most telling soft goal in NHL history. Late in the second period of Game 7 of the 1971 Stanley Cup finals between the Montreal Canadiens and the Chicago Blackhawks, Lemaire fired the puck from center ice at goalie Tony Esposito before wheeling toward the bench for a line change. Esposito fanned on the shot, and the goal cut the Hawks' lead to 2-1. Lemaire had no idea he had scored until his Montreal teammates reacted with glee. In the third period the Canadiens scored twice to give Montreal the chalice.
"They had us, but that goal made it our championship," says Lemaire. "Soft goals can change everything."