The 1975 NY Islanders proved Game 7 can go either way for the Oilers and Panthers

Game 6 1975 Stanley Cup Semifinal Flyers at Islanders Full HD NHL on NBC feed
Game 6 1975 Stanley Cup Semifinal Flyers at Islanders Full HD NHL on NBC feed / IslandersPride

The New York Islanders made the post-season for the first time in franchise history in 1975, and while it didn't culminate in winning the Stanley Cup, it remains one of the more memorable runs in franchise history. The 1975 season would prove to be a building block for a Stanley Cup dynasty and the only time a team had two separate 3-0 series comebacks to force Game 7s in NHL history.

One Game 7 went their way, one didn't, proving that despite what's transpired over the last three games, anything can happen when the Edmonton Oilers look to complete one of the most dramatic comebacks in sports history on the road against the Florida Panthers on Monday night.

The most unforgettable singular moment from the 1975 post-season will forever be JP Parise's goal 11 seconds into overtime to defeat the New York Rangers in Game 3 of the preliminary round at Madison Square Garden that earned the team from Long Island their first series win. However, what the upstart team accomplished over the next two series was even more impressive.

After eliminating the Blueshirts, the first three games against the Pittsburgh Penguins were all losses, putting Al Arbour's young team on the brink of elimination. Even back then, "Remember the Leafs" was a rallying call, harkening back to the 1942 Toronto team that won four consecutive games to defeat the Detroit Red Wings and win the Stanley Cup.

The Isles didn't have a lead against the talented Penguins until Game 4.

A 3-1 win at the Coliseum extended the series and was followed by a win in the pivotal Game 5 to send the series back to Long Island for Game 6. Late empty net goals from Ed Westfall and Gary Howatt put away the Penguins 4-1 to force Game 7 on the road. Westfal, the team's captain, scored the game's only goal late in the third, and Glenn 'Chico' Resch made 30 saves to shutout the Pens, and send the Isles to Philly to meet the defending Stanley Cup champions in the semi-finals.

The series win versus Pittsburgh was immediately recognized as one of the greatest comebacks in NHL history, but what the coming-of-age Islanders almost pulled off the next round would have been even more impressive.

After doing something that hadn't been done since 1942, they almost did it again. The Islanders lose the first three games to the Flyers, including a heartbreaking 5-4 Game 2 loss in OT and a 1-0 defeat in Game 3. With their very recent history serving as proof that a comeback was possible, the Isles staved off elimination in Game 4 on Jude Drouin's OT winner to strengthen their belief.

A resounding 5-1 win at The Spectrum in Game 5 was followed from a come-from-behind 2-1 win at the Nassau Coliseum in Game 6 setting up a decisive Game 7. However, this time, the comeback wasn't meant to be. Gary Dornhoefer scored :19 seconds into the game and Rick MacLeish scored on the power-play a little over two minutes later as the Flyers took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission and held off the Islanders for a 4-1 win en route to their second consecutive Stanley Cup championship.

If Edmonton can complete the comeback and become the first team since the 1942 Leafs to win the Stanley Cup after a 3-0 series deficit, it will be recognized as arguably the greatest comeback in sports history, but history has proven that just because the Panthers are down, they are not out.

Including the two Isles comebacks, there have now been ten instances where NHL teams have forced a Game 7 after being down 3-0 in a series. Four times, the comeback was completed, while five times, it came up one game short. The 1975 Islanders were on both sides of that fate and will forever be brought up when a team is on the brink of what Edmonton is trying to accomplish.