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Flyers Oust Isles to End Hard-Fought Series: May 2, 1987

by @NHLFlyers

The Philadelphia Flyers' road to the 1987 Stanley Cup Finals was anything but an easy one. Each and every series went six or seven games and each was a war of attrition. On May 2, 1987, the Flyers wrapped up their Patrick Division Final (Wales Conference Semifinal) series with a decisive 5-1 win at the Spectrum over the New York Islanders.

 A pair of third period goals by Ilkka Sinisalo put the game out of reach after the Flyers got three scores in the opening period from Dave Brown, Brian Propp (shorthanded) and Brad Marsh (also shorthanded). Rookie goaltender and eventual Conn Smythe Trophy winner Ron Hextall (22 saves) blanked the Islanders' attack until the final minute of the third period before Denis Potvin scored an otherwise meaningless goal to end the shutout bid. Peter Zezel and Dave Poulin collected a pair of assists apiece.

The Flyers led the series three games to one after four games but the four-time Stanley Cup champion Islanders showed resolve in posting 2-1 and 4-2 victories over the next two games. Game Six was especially costly to the Flyers, as they lost more than the game. The club also lost perennial 50-plus goal sniper Tim Kerr for the rest of the playoffs with a serious shoulder injury. He would go on to endure five shoulder operations in a 14-month period and missed all but a handful of games the next season. 

May 2: Through the Years

  • 1976: The Flyers take a two games to one in the Stanley Cup semifinals with a 5-2 road win over the Boston Bruins. Wayne Stephenson stops 24 of 26 shots and a three-goal outburst by the Flyers in the third period -- Mel Bridgman, Reggie Leach and Tom Bladon -- swings the game after it is tied, 2-2, at the second intermission. Ross Lonsberry and Bill Barber notch respective first-period and middle-frame goals.


  • 1995: Behind the shutout goaltending of Dominic Roussel (22 saves), the Flyers close out the 48-game 1994-95 regular season with a 2-0 road win over the New York Islanders at Nassau County Coliseum. Early first period goals by Mikael Renberg (26th of the season) and Eric Desjardins stand up the rest of the way. Eric Lindros (eye injury) misses the game. Rod Brind'Amour steps in between Legion of Doom wingers Renberg and John LeClair.


  • 2000: The Flyers begin a dramatic comeback from a two games to zero deficit in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 4-3 overtime victory in Pittsburgh in Game Three. Andy Delmore's second goal of the game is the winning tally after a latter third period goal by the Pens' Jaromir Jagr forces overtime. Delmore's game winner comes at 11:01 of overtime. The next game between the teams will be an historic one that goes five overtimes.


  • 2004: Paced by a hat trick from captain Keith Primeau (two shorthanded tallies and one shorthanded goal), the Flyers crush the Toronto Maple Leafs, 7-2, to take a three games to two lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Michal Handzus scores twice and Simon Gagne collects three assists.


May 2: Flyers Birthday

  • Depth center Paul Evans was born May 2, 1954 in Toronto. 



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