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.
May 6, 1976 Flyers 6, Bruins 3 — In an HBO special, Robert Wuhl recently parroted the old maxim: “When the legend is better than fact, print the legend.” That certainly applied to Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals.
Long-held rumor was that Reggie Leach didn’t show up to the pregame, and his linemates Bill Barber and Bob Clarke were dispatched to find him — which they did, in his house, passed out drunk. Further legend states that nothing would rouse him from his stupor — except a beer or two more. Whatever happened, it sparked one of the all-time performances in team and NHL playoff history to send Philly into the Finals:
May 7, 1975 Islanders 4, Flyers 3 (OT) — New York avoids a sweep when Jude Drouin scores at 1:53 of the extra session, kicking off another all-time NHL playoff comeback.
May 7, 1985 Flyers 4, Nordiques 2 — The ride continued for Mike Keenan’s kids, taking Game 2 of the Wales Conference Finals in convincing fashion at Le Colisee. Dave Poulin opened the scoring:
And Peter Zezel capped it with one of the greatest checks in franchise annals:
May 7, 1995 Flyers 4, Sabres 3 (OT) — Opening their first playoff series in six years without Eric Lindros, it was Karl Dykhuis’ skipping point shot that eluded Dominik Hasek for the winner at 10:06 of overtime, beginning a string of OT success for the Orange and Black in the ’95 postseason.
May 7, 2000 Flyers 6, Penguins 3 — Andy Delmore records the hat trick, giving him five goals just in this Eastern Semifinal series alone, as Philly goes up 3-2 on Pittsburgh in a Sunday afternoon game on South Broad Street.
May 7, 2010 Flyers 5, Bruins 4 (OT) — Simon Gagne keeps the hosts alive, now down 1-3 in their Eastern semi against Boston. He tallied at 14:40 of the fourth period.
May 8, 1975 Islanders 5, Flyers 1 — Bernie Parent gives up five goals on 24 shots and Fred Shero’s club fails in their second attempt to close out New York, this time at the Spectrum.
May 8, 1980 Flyers 7, North Stars 3 — Leach scored twice, Clarke added a goal and two assists, while a four-goal first period burst helped Pat Quinn’s team reach the Finals with a convincing home decision:
May 8, 1987 Flyers 4, Canadiens 3 — Ron Hextall makes 19 saves in a first period to keep Montreal’s lead to 2-0, then the visitors pump in four of the game’s last five scores to take Game 3 of the Wales Finals at the Forum. Propp nets the winner with 3:09 left in regulation, but here’s Rick Tocchet’s go-ahead score with help from Pelle Eklund, who scored twice in the second to even things:
May 9, 1974:
May 9, 1989 Flyers 2, Canadiens 1 (OT) — Poulin made yet another in a series of clutch plays, scoring the winner at 5:02 into overtime and keep the ’89 playoff run going, here in Game 5 at Montreal:
May 9, 2000 Flyers 2, Penguins 1 — Keith Primeau is knocked from the game early in the first period due to a concussion, but John LeClair gets the winner early in the second period and Philadelphia earns another trip to the Eastern Finals with a narrow win in Game 6 of the Semifinals at Mellon Arena. Brian Boucher stopped 27-of-28 shots.
May 10, 1987 — Game 4 of the Wales Conference Finals belonged to Eklund, who snapped a 2-2 tie in the second period and sent the Flyers to victory. Here, the go-ahead score:
Then, the one which finished off his hat trick in the third period:
May 10, 2010 Flyers 4, Bruins 0 — Boucher and Michael Leighton combine for the shutout in Game 5 of the Eastern semis at TD Garden. Leighton is called upon in the second period when Ryan Parent falls on Boucher’s leg in the crease, causing a playoff-ending injury. Gagne scored twice, and Ville Leino and Scott Hartnell once each.
May 11, 1989 Canadiens 4, Flyers 2 — Paul Holmgren’s first year at the helm ends in Game 6 of the Wales Finals, as Montreal scores four straight times to offset an early deficit, created on this tally just after a power play expired:
But everybody knows what happened as the clock ticked down and it was certain the Flyers were done. Ron Hextall exacts his revenge on Chris Chelios for his hit on Propp from Game 1:
May 11, 1997 Flyers 6, Sabres 3 — After blowing their chance to sweep Buffalo and reach the Eastern Finals two nights earlier at home, Philly takes care of business in Western New York on Mother’s Day broadcast by Fox:
May 12, 1995 Flyers 4, Sabres 2 — Lindros returns from his four-game, 12-day absence from a freak eye injury, picks up an assist as the visitors roll out to a 4-0 lead and hang on to go up 3-1 in the Eastern Quarterfinals.