Welcome to the final installment for this season 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.
We’ll be back in October with lots more facts, figures and pictures to stoke the fires of all things past.
In the meantime, don’t forget to check out my series on the 1987 Stanley Cup Finals, beginning this coming Thursday.
May 13, 1975 Flyers 4, Islanders 1 — Kate Smith made another command performance, belting out “God Bless America”prior to Game 7 of this Stanley Cup Semifinal in front of a sellout crowd at the Spectrum. Gary Dornhoefer scored after just 19 seconds and Rick MacLeish twice more before the game was 7 1/2 minutes old and New York, which rallied from an 0-3 series deficit, was finally put to rest. Philly racked up a 35-15 shot edge and MacLeish finished off a hat trick late in regulation.
May 13, 1980 Islanders 4, Flyers 3 (OT) — On an exceedingly-rare power-play opportunity in overtime of a Stanley Cup Final, Denis Potvin sends the visitors to victory with his score 4:07 into the extra session — one second before a Jim Watson holding penalty was set to expire.
May 14, 1974 Flyers 4, Bruins 2 — Bill Barber and Andre Dupont score 2:15 apart late in the third period to snap a 2-2 tie and send the Bullies to a 3-1 series lead in the Finals.
May 14, 1985 Flyers 2, Nordiques 1 — Current Phantoms head coach Joe Paterson and Murray Craven score in the third period and the visitors escape Le Colisee with a win and a 3-2 series edge in the Wales Conference Finals. Pelle Lindbergh made 13 of his 30 saves in the final 20 minutes.
May 14, 1987 Flyers 4, Canadiens 3 — One of the most thrilling series-clinching games in club history got off to a weird, and violent, but unforgettable start at the Forum. Video courtesy of CBC’s French carrier:
The scrum cost Ed Hospodar, a spare part but important part of the Flyers’ depth puzzle due to injuries to key personnel, the entire seven-game finals due to suspension for precipitating the brawl. It also established Claude Lemieux as an arch villain for Philadelphia fans and players alike.
Here’s the truncated Channel 57 version, with descriptions from Gene Hart and Bobby Taylor:
Once the game started, the Quebecois crowd booed the American anthem, then roared as Mike McPhee scored at the 59-second mark. And though Poulin returned to action for the first time since Game 7 of the Islanders series due to cracked ribs and scored a short-handed goal, Larry Robinson and Bobby Smith tallied to give the Habs a 3-1 edge early in the second.
That’s when destiny struck. Ilkka Sinisalo and Scott Mellanby scored in a span of less than two minutes to tie it, then Rick Tocchet finished off a 2-on-1 with Brian Propp for the game-winner at 7:11 of the third. Ron Hextall finished with 29 saves and the team made it back to face the Oilers for the second time in three seasons.
May 14, 1995 Flyers 6, Sabres 4 — Rod Brind’Amour, Eric Lindros, Kevin Haller and Patrik Juhlin score in the first period and Terry Murray’s surprise club paves its way to the next round by beating Buffalo in Game 5 of this Eastern Quarterfinal.
May 14, 2010 Flyers 4, Bruins 3 — The greatest playoff performance in franchise lore is complete at TD Garden in Boston, as Philly comes back from an 0-3 series deficit and 3-0 deficit in the first period to gain entry to the Eastern Finals:
They became the first NHL team since the 1975 New York Islanders to accomplish the feat, and just the fourth in pro sports history (1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 2004 Boston Red Sox) to win after losing the first three in a best-of-seven playoff.
May 15, 1973 — Keith Allen makes his most shrewd deal yet, reacquiring Bernie Parent from the Toronto Maple Leafs, along with a second-round pick that turned into Larry Goodenough, for Doug Favell and a first-round pick.
May 15, 1975 Flyers 4, Sabres 1 — Game 1 of the championship round goes the way of the hosts. Bill Barber scores twice, Ross Lonsberry and Clarke add tallies in a four-goal third. Parent makes 27 saves.
May 15, 1980 Flyers 8, Islanders 3 — Paul Holmgren becomes the first American player in NHL history to record a hat trick in a Stanley Cup Finals game, Bobby Clarke adds a goal and three assists, and Philly gets even in the series with a blowout win. Billy Smith continued his poor play against the O&B, chased from the game in the second period after allowing six goals on 26 shots.
May 16, 1976 Canadiens 5, Flyers 3 — Despite Reggie Leach’s tally 41 seconds in, Montreal proved to be too much. Guy LaFleur scored the go-ahead goal with 5:42 left in regulation, and the Habs finished off a sweep at the Spectrum and won the first of four straight Cups.
May 16, 1985 Flyers 3, Nordiques 0 — Game 6 of the Wales Conference Finals belonged to the hosts, who thoroughly shut down Quebec, outshooting their foes by a 36-15 margin. The back-breaker came early in the second, during a 5-on-3 advantage for the Nords:
Pelle Lindbergh recorded his third and final shutout of the ’85 postseason and the youngest team by average age in the league made it to the Finals.
May 16, 2010 Flyers 6, Canadiens 0 — Michael Leighton opens up the Eastern Conference Finals with a 28-save performance for his first full shutout of the playoffs. Six different goal scorers fill the stat sheet and put the brakes on Montreal’s miracle run through the first two rounds.
May 18, 1975 Flyers 2, Sabres 1 — Philly goes 2-up on Buffalo thanks to Clarke’s game-winner less than seven minutes into the third plus Parent’s 19 stops.
May 18, 2010 Flyers 3, Canadiens 0 — Leighton becomes the first Flyers goaltender since Bernie Parent to record back-to-back shutouts in the postseason, making 30 saves in Game 2 of this East final. Danny Briere, Simon Gagne and Ville Leino all lit the lamp, once in each period.
May 19, 1974 — Cup #1:
Thanks again for reading/viewing!