For most his distinguished career with the Flyers, spritely forward Per-Erik "Pelle" Eklund much preferred to use his speed, ice vision and puck skills to set up teammates for goals. However, the gifted playmaking Swedish forward was often reluctant to shoot the puck, even when he had open opportunities.
During the 1987 Wales Conference Finals against the Montreal Canadiens temporarily shed his reticence to look for scoring chances of his own, and results were spectacular. Perhaps the greatest game of his NHL career came in Game 5 of the series. Eklund puts on an electrifying show, scoring a hat trick in spectacular fashion. The Habs, simply could not cope with his anticipation, speed and shiftiness.
Scott Mellanby, Brian Propp and Ron Sutter also scored for Philly, as the Flyers grabbed a three games to one lead in the series. Flyers rookie goalie Ron Hextall outplayed both Patrick Roy (16 saves on 20 shots) and Brian Hayward (five saves on seven shots). Hextall stopped 25 of 28 shots and earns an assist on Sutter's first period goal. Montreal recovered from an early 2-0 deficit to tie the game before Eklund and company pulled away to move within one victory of a trip to the Stanley Cup Final.
May 10: Through the Years
- 2004: The Flyers knot the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning at one game apiece with a 6-2 road blowout win in Game Two. The Flyers lead 3-0 after the first period and 5-0 after the second on goals by John LeClair, Mark Recchi (power play), Sami Kapanen (shorthanded), Vladimir Malakhov and Michal Handzus. The lead grows to 6-0 on a Mattias Timander goal in the third period. Robert Esche (29 saves) flirts with a shutout for 50-plus minutes before Tampa scores two otherwise meaningless goals.
- 2010: The Flyers take the second step in their historic comeback in the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a 4-0 road shutout win over the Boston Bruins. Brian Boucher (nine saves in 24:31 before having to leave the game with an injury) and Michael Leighton (14 saves in 35:25 as he takes over most of the goaltending chores for the rest of the playoffs) share the combined shutout. Simon Gagne, playing through injury and coming off scoring an overtime goal in Game Four to prolong the series, tallies twice. Scott Hartnell and previously seldom-used Ville Leino score once apiece as members of a line centered by Danny Briere.
May 10: Flyers Birthdays
- Defensive-minded forward Mikael Andersson was born May 10, 1966, in Malmo, Sweden.
- Longtime minor league power forward standout and depth NHLer Denis Hamel was born May 10, 1977 in Lachute, Quebec.