On April 17, 2004, the Philadelphia Flyers finally exorcized some painful past playoff memories. On that afternoon, the host Flyers downed their longtime playoff arch-nemesis, the New Jersey Devils, to close out their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series in five games.
After Alexei Zhamnov (third goal of the series) and Scott Niedermayer traded off goals, the game entered the third period tied at 1-1. With time ticking down to 5:27, defensive defenseman Danny Markov drove home a shot past Martin Brodeur to put the Flyers ahead to stay.
The goal, assisted by Zhamnov and Vladimir Malakhov was the first all-Russian tally in Flyers' franchise history. Sami Kapanen later added an empty net goal to seal a 3-1 win.
The lone downside the game: The Flyers lost defenseman Kim Johnsson, who had played brilliantly throughout the series, to a broken bone in his right hand.
April: 17: Through the Years
- 1975: Bernie Parent (31 saves) and the Flyers shut out the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second straight game as they take a three games to zero lead in their Stanley Cup quarterfinal series. Gary Dornhoefer and RIck MacLeish provide the goal support in the 2-0 victory.
- 1977: Continuing their climb back from a 0-2 deficit in the series, the Flyers earn their second straight overtime victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Maple Leaf Gardens to knot the series at two games apiece. The Flyers trail the high-scoring game 5-2 with six minutes in the third period before rallying for three unanswered goals to force overtime. After Bobby Clarke (two goals) scores at 18:27 of the third period; just 16 seconds after Tom Bladon trims the deficit to 5-4. The game appears to be headed for double-overtime when Reggie Leach scores with 50 seconds left in the extra frame to complete the 6-5 victory.
- 1978: The Flyers jump out to a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven Stanley Cup Quarterfinal series with the Buffalo Sabres as they grab a 4-1 win at the Spectrum in Game One. Rick MacLeish scores even strength and power play goals, while Bernie Parent turns back 24 of 25 shots. Bob "the Hound" Kelly and Bill Barber round out the scoring. Orest Kindrachuk collects two assists.
- 1980: Philadelphia takes a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Quarterfinals with a 4-1 win at the Spectrum over the New York Rangers. The game is scoreless until midway through regulation when Paul Holmgren and Bill Barber score just 13 seconds apart to give the Flyers a two-goal lead. Rick MacLeish and Reggie Leach (empty net, shorthanded) ice the game in the third period. Pete Peeters (31 saves) comes within 5:19 of a shutout before Ron Duguay got the Rangers on the board. New York, which had six power plays in the game to one for the Flyers, drew no closer.
- 1997: The Flyers get off to a strong start in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, earning a 5-1 win. The Flyers first and second lines account for all five goals. The Legion of Doom strikes twice, as both Eric Lindros (one goal, two assists) and John LeClair light the lamp. Mikael Renberg also assists on LeClair's goal, which comes just 38 seconds into the middle period and puts Philadelphia up by two goals. In the meantime, Pat Falloon notches a pair of goals and Rod Brind'Amour earns a goal and an assist. Garth Snow gets the nod in goal by Terry Murray and stops 27 of 28 shots. Only a Jaromir Jagr goal in the third period gets past Snow. Philly peppers ex-Flyers goalie Ken Wregget with 38 shots.
- 2002: One of the most frustrating playoff series in Flyers franchise history gets off to a promising start. Roman Cechmanek (35 saves on 35 shots) blanks the Ottawa Senators in a game that is scoreless at the end of regulation. Finally, at 7:47 of overtime, Ruslan Fedotenko scores to win a game in which the Flyers were largely outplayed. The Flyers will go on to get shut out in each of the next three games and then lose the series in five games with just two goals scored -- and one regulation goal -- for the entire series.
- 2008: Mike Knuble's stuff-in goal at 6:40 of double-overtime in Game 4 of the 2008 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals gave the Philadelphia Flyers a commanding three games to one lead over the Washington Capitals with the series going back to DC for Game 5. A pair of Jeff Carter goals in the first period -- one in the opening minute and the second with 1:27 left -- enabled the Flyers to get to intermission tied at 2-2 after a seesaw opening stanza. After Washington defenseman Steve Eminger (who later briefly plays for the Flyers) restored a Washington lead in the second period, Danny Briere equalized the game midway through the third period to force OT. Martin Biron stopped 38 of 41 shots to earn the win, while Cristobal Huet stopped 42 of 46 for the Capitals.