Welcome to another installment of This Week in Flyers History, which seeks to fill in the gaps in fans’ collective memories and to give them a hand up when their friends question their hockey knowledge.
For today, Easter Sunday, we gave you an extra two hours to catch up on sleep, come down from a Cadbury Creme Egg binge, and stock up on many slices of 10-pound Krakus ham.
April 8, 1980 Flyers 4, Oilers 3 (OT) — Bobby Clarke scores at 8:06 of overtime to give Philly the jump on expansion Edmonton in Game 1 of this preliminary-round series.
April 8, 1982 Rangers 7, Flyers 3 — After dropping Game 1 by a 4-1 count, the Smurfs came out with a vengeance at Madison Square Garden. Although Mikko Leinonen recorded just 109 points in three-plus NHL seasons, he managed to set a league record for assists in one playoff game:
April 8, 1987 Rangers 3, Flyers 0 — John Vanbiesbrouck helped the Rags upset the Flyers in the ’86 first round. New York then took three of four games during the 86-87 regular season at the Spectrum. He worked his magic again in Game 1 of the Patrick Division Semifinals, making 26 saves to put the hosts in an early hole.
April 8, 2011 Sabres 4, Flyers 3 (OT) — Scott Hartnell singlehandedly provides Buffalo the opportunity to win the game, clinch a playoff spot and set up a berth in the first round against Philly:
April 9, 1981 Flyers 8, Nordiques 5 — Bill Barber nets a hat trick, Mel Bridgman added two goals and a helper while the home club chased Quebec starter Dan Bouchard to go two up in this preliminary series from the Spectrum.
April 9, 1983 Rangers 9, Flyers 3 — Finishing off a shocking three-game sweep in the Patrick Semifinals, Herb Brooks’ fourth-place club routs Bob McCammon’s powerless division-winning team. Anders Hedberg and Rob McClanahan each scored twice, and the Blueshirts closed the door in the third period with four straight scores after the visitors closed the gap to 5-3.
April 9, 2000 Flyers 4, Rangers 1 — Mark Recchi picks up a goal and one assist, Brian Boucher needs to make just 15 saves as Philadelphia wraps up the top seed in the East with a win at MSG.
April 10, 1973 Flyers 3, North Stars 2 (OT) — Gary Dornhoefer with the goal they make
statues from. It gave the Orange and Black a 3-2 series edge. Rick MacLeish scored the first two goals of his playoff career earlier in the contest, and Doug Favell made 30 stops. Cesare Maniago was the unsuspecting victim, immortalized in bronze at the back entrance of the Spectrum.
April 10, 1985 Flyers 5, Rangers 4 (OT) — Mark Howe lifts the veil at 8:01 of overtime, rescuing Mike Keenan’s kids from imploding during Game 1 of the Patrick Division Semifinals. Down 3-0 and 4-3, New York came back to tie each time, the last on a Hedberg goal with 26 seconds left in regulation.
April 10, 1988 Flyers 5, Capitals 4 (OT) — Game 4 of the Patrick Semis saw the Caps, facing a 2-1 series deficit, come out like gangbusters and take a 4-1 lead early in the final period. Mark Howe, Kjell Samuelsson and Brian Propp scored to tie the game, then Murray Craven won it on a rebound at 1:18 of overtime. The iconic image of Craven and Rick Tocchet, on their knees, embracing in the right circle, made it onto the front page of the 1988-89 team calendar.
April 10, 1996 Flyers 5, Devils 1 — John LeClair hits the 50-goal mark for the first time in his career with a two-goal performance at the Meadowlands. He is the first man since Recchi in 1992-93 to hit the milestone.
April 11, 1980 Flyers 3, Oilers 2 (OT) — Ken Linseman scores at 3:56 of double overtime to lift the Flyers to a three-game sweep in the preliminary round at Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton’s first-ever home playoff game. The hosts led 2-0 after one, but the club which put together The Streak rallied for victory.
April 11, 1987 Flyers 3, Rangers 0 — Ron Hextall records his first career playoff shutout with a 34-save performance in Manhattan for Game 3 of the Patrick Semifinals.
April 11, 1989 Flyers 8, Capitals 5 — One for the ages, at the Capital Centre in Game 5 of the Patrick Division Semifinals and the series knotted at 2 games apiece. A back-and-forth contest was finally seized in the third period by the visitors, who ended up with a bit of history on their side. All calls courtesy of Channel 57:
Now, the goal which put Philly in the lead for good, again with Pelle Eklund working his magic:
And then, the history. Already with one goal to his credit, Hextall takes a swipe at playoff immortality and put the capper on the emotional victory. Gotta love the prescience shown by Mike “Doc” Emrick:
Finally, the hero in the afterglow:
April 11, 1997 Flyers 5, Devils 4 — New Jersey wrapped up the Atlantic Division title the night before, and so had nothing to play for in the regular-season finale. Still, it led 4-1 in the second period before Terry Murray’s club unleashed a comeback. LeClair reached 50 goals for the second straight season with his game-tying marker with 4:07 left in regulation — becoming the first Flyer since Tim Kerr to do it in back-to-back seasons.Trent Klatt scored the winner on a power play at 18:26.
April 11, 1998 Sabres 2, Flyers 1 — Responsible for the lone goal in this contest from Marine Midland Arena, LeClair scores his 50th goal for the third and final time, a blistering shot to beat Dominik Hasek.
April 12, 1993 Flyers 1, Rangers 0 — With his primary assist on Greg Hawgood’s first-period goal, Recchi sets a new franchise single-season points record at 120, breaking Clarke’s old record of 119. Dominic Roussel made 24 stops for the shutout.
April 13, 1985 Flyers 6, Rangers 5 — Curiously, this game, selected among the 10 best in franchise history, lacks the final minutes. Luckily for us, video has been provided of those tense final seconds. The narrow victory, coming in Game 3 of the Patrick Semis, marked the first time since 1981 that the Flyers won a playoff series — and they did it without the services of captain Dave Poulin and Brad Marsh wearing the “C.”
Down 2-1 after one, and 3-2 early in the second, Kerr simply caught fire, tallying a playoff individual record with four straight goals in a span of 8:16 to keep his team in front for good:
And the mad dash at the end. Check out the lo-fi graphics from Channel 29:
April 13, 1989 Flyers 4, Capitals 3 — Paul Holmgren’s fourth-place club finishes off the upset of Bryan Murray’s division winners in Game 6 of the Patrick Semis. Rick Tocchet got the winner with 3:19 left in regulation on a bizarre shot that trickled out of the grasp of Caps goaltender Pete Peeters.
April 14, 1973 Flyers 5, Canadiens 4 (OT) — Rick MacLeish scores at 2:56 of overtime to shock the Canadiens at the Forum in Game 1 of the quarterfinals.
April 14, 1974 Flyers 4, Flames 3 (OT) — Dave Schultz was and is still famed for his fistic abilities, but he did have a 20-goal season, two hat tricks, and an overtime playoff series winner to his credit. This goal capped a rally from a 3-0 deficit in Game 4 at the Omni, sending the Bullies on to face the New York Rangers in the semifinals:
April 14, 1986 Flyers 7, Rangers 1 — Facing elimination in a best-of-five series and on the road, Peter Zezel rescues Philly by posting his first career hat trick in this rout of New York that forced a deciding Game 5 at home.
April 14, 1988 Capitals 7, Flyers 2 — In a controversial move, then head coach Mike Keenan elects to start a struggling Hextall over the rested Mark Laforest — against the advice of both Bob Clarke and Bernie Parent — in Game 6 of the Patrick Semis and the Flyers holding a 3-2 series edge in this Spectrum matchup. Washington led 4-0 less than 24 minutes in and cruised to victory.