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Flyers Put Buffalo Away: May 11, 1997

by @NHLFlyers

The Philadelphia Flyers have reached the Stanley Cup Final eight times in franchise history: the most of any team that joined the NHL in its 1967 expansion or beyond. In fact, since the 1967-68 season, only the Montreal Canadiens (11) and Boston Bruins (nine) have earned more trips to the Final among all NHL franchises.

Including seasons where they reached the championship round, the Flyers have made it to the Stanley Cup Semifinals (later called the Conference finals) round 16 times in franchise history. The 12th time came in 1997, as the Flyers closed out the Buffalo Sabres in five games to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals against the arch-rival New York Rangers.

Game Five in the Eastern Conference Semifinals took place in Buffalo on May 11, 1997.

The game was scoreless at the first intermission before John LeClair and Eric Lindros forged a 2-0 lead in the second period. Lindros then successfully converts a penalty shot to make it a 3-0 game.

The Sabres pushed back, to their credit, scoring three of the next four goals. Finally, a pair of tallies by Flyers rookie Dainius Zubrus dashed the Sabres' hopes of a comeback. Philadelphia prevailed, 6-3.

The Flyers would go on to take out the Rangers in five games, clinching Philly's seventh trip to the Stanley Cup Final in franchise history.

May 11: Through the Years

  • 1976: The Flyers drop their second straight one-goal game at the Montreal Forum in the 1976 Stanley Cup Final, losing 2-1 to the Canadiens. Goals by Jacques Lemaire (shorthanded) and Guy Lafleur plus a 25-save performance by Ken Dryden are just enough to win despite a 26-19 shot advantage for Philadelphia. Dave Schultz scores the lone Philadelphia goal. Wayne Stephenson stops 17 of 19 shots.


  • 1989: The Flyers' playoff run comes to an end in the Wales Conference Finals, as the team loses for the third time at the Spectrum, 4-2, to be eliminated in six games by the Montreal Canadiens. Late in the third period, Ron Hextall seeks revenge on Chris Chelios for the Montreal defenseman's vicious elbow that injured Flyers star Brian Propp in the first game of the series.


  • 2008: The Pittsburgh Penguins claim their second straight 4-2 win on home ice against the Flyers to take a two games to zero lead in the 2008 Eastern Conference Final. The game is tied at 2-2 after two periods after the Flyers rally for goals by Jeff Carter (power play) and Mike Richards (shorthanded in the final 24 seconds of the middle frame). Pittsburgh retakes the lead for good on a Max Talbot goal at 8:51 of the third period and later tacks on an empty-netter.


May 11: Flyers Birthday

  • Defenseman Mike Rathje was born on May 11, 1974 in Mannville, Alberta.  


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