"Thirteen seconds left in the game. Ten seconds," intoned legendary Flyers play-by-play announcer Gene Hart with the excitement in his voice rising with each word.
"Orr shoves it down the ice. Parent makes the save. Ladies and gentlemen, the Flyers are going to win the Stanley Cup! The Flyers win the Stanley Cup! The Flyers win the Stanley Cup! The Flyers have won the Stanley Cup!"
The afternoon of May 19, 1974 will forever hold a sacred place in Philadelphia sports history as the Flyers defeated the powerhouse Boston Bruins, 1-0 in Game 6 of the 1974 Stanley Cup Final. In so doing, the Flyers became the first expansion team to capture the most coveted and storied trophy in team sports.
Flyers Hall of Fame center Rick MacLeish, one season removed from becoming the first member of the Flyers' 50-goal club, tipped a point shot from Andre "Moose" Dupont past Boston goalie Gilles Gilbert for a power play goal at 14:48 of the first period. The skinniest of leads held up the rest of the way as Bernie Parent stopped everything the Bruins could throw at him.
With 2:22 remaining in the third period, Flyers captain Bob Clarke forced legendary Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr to grab and spin him around for a holding penalty. The Flyers did not score on the ensuing power play, handing it cautiously as precious seconds ticked off the clock before Orr returned to the ice and the Bruins tried one last desperate sortie in vain.
With time about to expire, two-time All-Star defenseman Joe Watson hovered over the puck behind the Flyers net on a Bruins icing. By now, the Bruins did not have enough time left to conceivably score a game-tying goal starting from a faceoff in their own zone. Time expired without the formality of a faceoff in the Boston end. Flyers checking center Terry Crisp made a beeline for the official and talked him into handing over the game-ending puck as the rest of the Flyers mobbed Parent and jubilantly embraced one another.
Soon, Flyers fans began to swarm the ice to join the celebration. NHL president Clarence Campbell handed over the Stanley Cup. Parent, who also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, and Clarke were the first to lift the Cup. As the Flyers players took a victory lap around the ice, the crowd of fans grew larger.
The Flyers and the entire Delaware celebrated throughout the night. The next day, a crowd estimated at two million people descended upon the championship parade route on Broad Street.
May 19 in Flyers History:
1980: The New York Islanders take a three games to one lead over the Flyers in the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals with a 5-2 win at the Nassau Coliseum. The Flyers cut into deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 to trail but just a goal with 8:07 remaining but late tallies by Bobby Nystrom and Clark Gillies put the game out of reach. John Paddock and Ken Linseman scored in a losing cause for the Flyers.
May 19 Flyers birthdays:
Checking center Marc Bureau was born May 19, 1966.
Two-stint goaltender Michael Leighton was born May 19, 1985.