In the final installment of their historic comeback from a three games to zero deficit against the Boston Bruins in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Philadelphia Flyers saved the best for last.
After trailing the host Boston Bruins by a 3-0 score late in the first period, the intrepid Flyers storm back to score four unanswered goals in regulation.
James van Riemsdyk gave Philadelphia some life at 17:12 of the first period. Scott Hartnell narrowed the gap to one goal at 2:49 of the second period and then Danny Briere notched the tying goal at 8:39 of the second period. The game settled into a 3-3 deadlock until an opportunistic Simon Gagne power play goal at 12:52 of the third period put the Flyers ahead to stay. After yielding three early goals, Michael Leighton (22 saves) settled down the rest of the way as Philly started to take over the game.
With their victory in the series, the Flyers became just the third team in NHL history to win a playoff series after trailing three games to zero. The others were the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1942 Stanley Cup Final against the Detroit Red Wings and the 1975 New York Islanders against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Quarterfinal.
In 2014, the Los Angeles Kings became the fourth team to join the exclusive Comeback Club, downing the San Jose Sharks after trailing three games to zero in the Western Conference Quarterfinal.
May 14: Through the Years
- 1969: The Flyers make an offseason trade. The club sends John Miszuk to the Minnesota North Stars in exchange for Wayne Hillman.
- 1974: The Flyers move to the brink of championship glory, taking a three games to one lead in the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins with a 4-2 win at the Spectrum. The Flyers strike for early goals by Rick MacLeish and Dave "the Hammer" Schultz before the Bruins respond with two of their own. The action-packed and penalty-filled first period also sees three fights, with a bout between Schultz and Terry O'Reilly as the main event. After a scoreless second period and 14-plus scoreless minutes in the third period, Bill Barber puts the Flyers ahead to stay. Andre "Moose" Dupont adds some insurance to make it a 4-2 final. Victorious goalie Bernie Parent stops 28 of 30 Bruins' shots.
- 1985: The Flyers grab a three games to two lead in the Patrick Division Final against the Quebec Nordiques, putting themselves one win away from the fifth trip to the Stanley Cup Final in franchise history. Pelle Lindbergh plays brilliantly in net, stopping 30 of 31 shots to take first-star honors in a 2-1 road win in Game Six. Nevertheless, the Flyers trail, 1-0, after two periods before rallying for an early goal by callup player Joe Paterson and a late game-winner by Murray Craven. Mark Howe plays an outstanding game in 33 minutes of ice time and assists on Paterson's game-tying power play goal just one minute into the third period to take third-star honors.
- 1987: The Flyers earn their sixth trip to the Stanley Cup Final in franchise history, skating to a 4-3 regulation win over the Montreal Canadiens -- their third win at the hostile Forum in the series -- in Game Six. Emotions boil over even before the game starts. A brawl breaks out at the end of the pregame warmups and escalates with half-dressed players returning to the ice to do battle. Trailing 3-1 midway through the second period, the Flyers rally for goals by Illka Sinisalo and Scott Mellanby to tie the game. Rick Tocchet scores the game and series winner in the third period.
- 1995: The Flyers close out their first-round playoff series with the Buffalo Sabres with a 6-4 home win at the Spectrum in Game Five that is not nearly as close as the final score suggests. Philly builds a 5-0 lead -- including a 4-0 cushion after the first period -- before taking their foot off the gas pedal over the final 30 minutes. At one point, Buffalo Sabres coach John Muckler is so perturbed that he calls timeout simply to plead with his players to compete harder rather than standing around like spectators marveling at the puck-cycling dominance of Eric Lindros and Legion of Doom linemates John LeClair and Mikael Renberg. Lindros racks up a goal and two assists within the first 17:48 of the game. Rod Brind'Amour also chips in a power play goal and an assist on a Kevin Dineen tally.
- Left winger Don Blackburn was born on May 14, 1938 in Kirkland Lake, Ontario.
- Right winger Pierre Plante was born on May 14, 1951 in Valleyfield, Quebec.