Rendez-vous '87 was designed as a follow-up to the Challenge Cup series in 1979, hoping that the team of NHL All-Stars could beat the Soviet team, unlike before. To this end, the series was a two-game affair instead of a three-game affair in 1979. The two-game series took place during five days of festivities starting on February 9, 1987 and finishing on February 13. The series was very successful, with some, including Wayne Gretzky, calling for more international hockey, especially between Canada and the Soviet Union, the two top powers of hockey at the time. The teams split the games, with the NHLers winning the first game, 4-3, followed by a Soviet 5-3 victory two nights later.
Though they outscored the NHL 8-7 over the two games, Soviet coach Viktor Tikhonov made no claim to victory. "The NHL didn't win and neither did we, the person that won was hockey itself. Both games were like holidays, like festivals, two of the greatest hockey games you'll ever see."
NHL All-Stars won the game 4–3, thanks in part to the line of Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri and Esa Tikkanen. Dave Poulin scored the winning goal on a deflection from Mario Lemieux, but Lemieux was initially credited with the goal. On the bench, Lemieux could be seen pointing toward Poulin as the goal was announced.
The Soviets won the contest 5–3. This game featured the emergence of the young Soviet forward line consisting of Valeri Kamensky, Viacheslav Bykov, and Andrei Khomutov. After the game, the players on each team exchanged hockey sweaters as part of the hockey tradition.