"I'm reaching the point where I'll need some rest pretty soon," Parent says. He may get it. Stephenson ended his retirement last week.
Boston had been having problems, too, winning only one of its previous five games, with the once-tight Bruin defense yielding 21 goals during that stretch. Boston had even lost a game at home for the first time in almost a year. Moreover, Brad Park, the Bruins' best defenseman, would have to watch both games from the stands because of a bad back. And the streaking Buffalo Sabres, who had ended the Bruins' 31-game unbeaten string on home ice with a 6-2 victory, were rapidly wiping out Boston's lead in the Adams Division race, which once had been as high as 10 points.
Nevertheless, the Bruins took an early 1-0 lead in the Garden when Wayne Cashman rerouted a long shot past the screened Parent. Capitalizing on Park's absence, Philadelphia exploited Boston's defensive weaknesses for two goals, and Parent preserved the Flyers' lead to the end. Late in the game it seemed almost certain that the Bruins would pull out a tie, but Parent twice robbed rookie Stan Jonathan at close range. Then Clarke scored, or was given credit for scoring, a very peculiar goal—or non-goal. With Boston Goaltender Gilles Gilbert on the bench in favor of a sixth attacker, Clarke broke in alone on the unattended Boston goal. Just as Clarke fired the puck, Bobby Schmautz of the Bruins illegally threw his stick at it—and Clarke's shot flew wide. Referee Bruce Hood properly awarded Clarke the goal for a 3-1 Flyer victory.
What impressed Shero more than the score was the fact that the Flyers had limited the Bruins to just 18 shots. The Flyers took only 16 shots themselves but, as Shero said, "It's not how many shots you take that counts, it's how many good shots you take. This was the first good game we've played on the road all year. When we play our game, we don't lose too often." What did not impress Shero, though, was the play of Leach, who spent most of the game on the bench, watching Holmgren and Bennett take regular turns. "He'll play when he starts to check," Shero said.
Shero would not even let Leach dress for Saturday afternoon's rematch at the Spectrum. Boston again took an early lead, moving on top 3-1. The Bruins tried to put the Flyers away, but the nimble Parent stopped three breakaways and also survived one power-play barrage of six shots. "That stretch was the kind of lift Bernie always used to give us," said Barber. Inspired by Parent's work, the Flyers dominated the Bruins in the third period, outshooting them 16 to 2 and scoring two goals in the last three minutes to turn a 3-2 defeat into a 4-3 victory. Dornhoefer scored the tying goal, then stole the puck from Defenseman Dallas Smith and set up Barber for the winning goal, his second score of the game and 10th of the season. "Winning like this," said Joe Watson, "proves that we've got things rolling again."
The sweep completed, Clarke wiped the blood from a cut under his nose. He wore a satisfied grin. "Those people who buried us," he said, "I guess now they realize how tough it'll be to keep us in the coffin."