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Flyers Earn Game One Comeback Win in Buffalo: May 3, 1997

by @NHLFlyers

Things looked bleak for the Flyers late in the second period of Game One of the 1997 Eastern Conference Semifinal s against the Buffalo Sabres. Philadelphia trailed by a 3-1 score with time about to expire in the middle frame.

As the final moments ticked down and the Flyers attacked on the power play, Legion of Doom right winger Mikael Renberg stashed the puck into the net just as the clock hit 0.0 and the horn sounded. Referee Don Koharski emphatically waved his arms to wash out the goal, ruling that the clock had expired. The teams returned to the locker room thinking Buffalo still led by two goals.

As intermission began, however, the play was reviewed by the video judges. It was discovered that 0.1 second remained on the clock at the point the puck crossed the goal line. The call was reversed and Renberg's goal counted. 

The score remained 3-2 until Rod Brind'Amour tied the game at the 10:00 mark of the third period. The match seemed headed for OT before Shjon Podein put the Flyers ahead with 38 seconds left in regulation. Brind'Amour then added an empty-net goal to seal a 5-3 win.

The stunned Sabres filed off the ice in dismay. Garth Snow earned the win with 29 saves on 32 shots. Steve Shields (42 saves on 46 shots) took the loss despite receiving third-star honors. There would be plenty of roller coaster moments to come but the Flyers would prevail in five games. 


May 3: Through the Years

  • 2008: The Flyers complete a five-game upset of the favored Montreal Canadiens with a 6-4 road win. As he's done throughout the series, R.J. Umberger dominates offensively, scoring two goals and adding an assist. Umberger, who scores at least one goal in every game of the series, finishes with eight goals and nine points over the five games.


  • 2012: In the pivotal game that changes the momentum of the series against Philly, the Flyers outplay the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series but are unable to protect leads and go on to lose in overtime, 4-3. The Devils take a two games to one lead in the series and go on to erase early deficits in each of the next two games as well to defeat the Flyers.


May 3: Flyers Birthdays

  • Hard-nosed defensemen Jeff Chychrun was born May 3, 1966 in LaSalle, Quebec and raised in Nepean, Ontario.


  • Hard-shooting, hulking defenseman Bob "the Count" Dailey was born in Kingston, Ontario, on May 3, 1953.


  • Flyers Hall of Fame goaltender and subsequent general manager Ron Hextall was born May 3, 1964 in Brandon, Manitoba.


  • Diminutive goaltender Robbie Moore was born May 3, 1954 in Sarnia, Ontario.



  • Two-tenure Flyers forward R.J. Umberger was born May 3, 1982 in Pittsburgh, PA.


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