The Philadelphia Flyers closed out a four-game sweep of the game but overmatched Atlanta Flames with a comback 4-3 overtime road victory on April 14, 1974. Flyers enforcer Dave "the Hammer" Schultz played a pivotal role in the outcome.
After a failed clearing attempt by the Flames, Bobby Clarke set up an open Schultz in the left slot. A 20-goal scorer that season in addition to compiling 348 penalty minutes, Schultz unleashed a low shot that beat goaltender Phil Myre (a future Flyer) to end the series.
Earlier in the match, Atlanta jumped out to a 3-0 lead and it seemed like the series was destined to come back to the Spectrum for a fifth game. Things began to change at the 16:35 mark of the second period.
Atlanta forward Bryan Hextall - the father of future Flyers Hall of Fame goaltender and current-day general manager Ron Hextall - was one of the Flames players who was not shy about mixing it up with the Broad Street Bullies. With 3:25 left in the second period, Hextall dropped the gloves with Schultz amid a multi-player scrum in front of the Atlanta net at a stoppage of play.
During the course of the relatively short fight, Schultz grabbed a handful of Hextall's hair and later headbutted him - tactics that were legal in fights at the time but later outlawed - before raining down punches. Hextall, badly bloodied, vocalized that he was in trouble and the fight promptly ended as the lineman came in to intercede.
Just 13 seconds after play resumed, defenseman Andre "Moose" Dupont scored to cut the gap to 3-1. Clarke assisted on the goal. In the third period, Gary Dornhoefer (power play) went to the net and brought the Flyers back to within a goal at the 1:16 mark. With Flames defenseman (and future Flyers head coach) Pat Quinn in the penalty box for elbowing, Tom Bladon cranked up a shot that beat Myre to tie the game at 3-3 at the 6:34 mark. Once again, Clarke set up the play.
Winning goaltender Bernie Parent stopped 23 of 26 shots. The Flyers would face the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Semifinals.
April 14: Through the Years
- 1973: The Flyers stun the highly favored Montreal Canadiens with a 5-4 overtime win at the Forum in Game One of the Stanley Cup Semifinals. Rick MacLeish nets the game-winner at 2:56 of sudden death overtime. Simon Nolet scored a pair in regulation, while Bill Barber and Gary Dornhoefer also add to the cause.
- 1986: Peter Zezel's hat trick highlights a 7-1 blowout win over the New York Rangers to knot the first-round series at two games apiece and force a deciding game in the best-of-five series back in Philadelphia.
- 1987: The Flyers take a three games to two lead in their first-round series with the New York Rangers behind two goals by Rick Tocchet and one from Tim Kerr. Ron Hextall (21 saves on 22 shots) outduels former teammate Bob Froese (37 saves on 39 shots) in the 3-1 win at the Spectrum.
- 1995: The Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning enter the third period tied at 1-1 after Rod Brind'Amour and Paul Ysebaert trade off goals. In the final stanza, the Legion of Doom takes over as goals by Mikael Renberg (22nd of the lockout-shortened season) and John LeClair (22nd) nail down a 3-2 victory.
- 2004: Robert Esche posts a 35-shutout on the road to give the Flyers a commanding three games to one lead in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series with the New Jersey Devils. Kim Johnsson, Alexei Zhamnov and Keith Primeau provide the goal support in the 3-0 win.
April 14: Flyers birthdays
- Defenseman Larry Brown was born April 14, 1947 in Brandon, Manitoba.
- Tough guy winger Phil Crowe was born on April 14, 1970 in Nanton, Alberta.
- No-frills defenseman Jeff Finley was born April 14, 1967 in Edmonton, Alberta.