The Philadelphia Flyers have a chance to become only the third team in NHL history to overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-7 series. Wednesday night's 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins has already made them the first team in 35 years to force a Game 7 after losing the first three games of a series.
Not only are the 1975 New York Islanders the last team to overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a series, they're also the last one to force a Game 7 after losing the first three games of a series. The Isles overcame an 0-3 deficit to beat Pittsburgh in the 1975 quarterfinals, then nearly repeated the feat in the semis against Philadelphia. The defending champion Flyers won the first three games, lost the next three but won 4-1 at home in Game 7.
The '75 Islanders are the only team to accomplish either feat in the last 65 years.
The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs are the only other team to overcome a 3-0 series deficit to win -- they dropped the first three games of the Final against Detroit but won the next four to take the Cup. The Wings nearly got even in the Final three years later -- Detroit dropped the first three games without scoring a goal, then won the next three before dropping a 2-1 decision in Game 7.
The other 0-3 to 3-3 series came in the first ever played under the best-of-7 format. The 1939 New York Rangers dropped the first three games of their semifinal series against Boston, won the next three and took Game 7 to double overtime before losing 2-1. It was the third overtime win of the series for the Bruins -- with journeyman forward Mel Hill earning the sobriquet "Sudden Death" by scoring all three OT winners. Boston went on to win the Stanley Cup.
This year's Flyers are the 162nd team in playoff history to drop the first three games of a series since the NHL adopted the best-of-7 format for the first time in 1939. They defied history just by getting to a fifth game -- 103 (64 percent) of series that began 3-0 ended in a sweep. They did it again by winning Game 5; only 13 of the 58 teams that survived Game 4 also won Game 5, and eight of them were KO'd in the sixth game.