Skip to main content

Flyers' championship drought continues

NHL.com @NHL

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -The Philadelphia Flyers ran out of comebacks.

One of the most remarkable postseason runs in sports history ended Wednesday night when the Flyers lost 4-3 in overtime to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals.

Chris Pronger, Mike Richards and the seventh-seeded Flyers overcame tremendous odds just to get this far. That's little consolation for a franchise that hasn't won a championship in 35 years.

Since capturing consecutive titles in 1974-75, the Flyers have lost six straight times in the finals.

No one could've expected them to make it here just a few months ago, when they were 14th in the 15-team Eastern Conference. The Flyers were favorites to reach the finals in the preseason, but they underachieved early and it ended up costing coach John Stevens his job.

Peter Laviolette took over and they slowly started to come together, despite numerous injuries to key players and all their goalies. Still, the Flyers needed a shootout victory over the New York Rangers in the regular-season finale just to get into the playoffs. Then it took a historic comeback in the second round against Boston to keep the run going.

The Flyers lost the first two games of the finals in Chicago, but won the next two at home. After a 7-4 loss in Game 5, they forced overtime in Game 6 when Scott Hartnell scored with 3:59 left in regulation.

But there would be no overtime stars for Philadelphia. Patrick Kane scored 4:10 into the extra period to give Chicago its first championship since 1961, ending the longest active drought in the NHL.

It took a few minutes for the loss to sink in, because the goal lamp didn't light up and the play was reviewed.

While the Blackhawks celebrated, the Flyers hopelessly waited on the ice until the officials ruled the goal stood.

A sellout crowd showed their appreciation for Philadelphia's incredible run. They stood and chanted "Let's Go Flyers!" while players shook hands.

With journeyman Brian Boucher in the net, the Flyers knocked off New Jersey in five games in the first round. Then they staged one of the greatest comebacks in sports history by rallying from both a 3-0 series deficit and a 3-0 hole in Game 7 to beat the Bruins.

That set up a No. 7 vs. No. 8 Eastern Conference final against Montreal, which beat Presidents' Trophy-winning Washington and the defending Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the first two rounds.

Behind three shutouts by Michael Leighton, who replaced an injured Boucher during the previous round, the Flyers eliminated the Canadiens in five games to reach the finals for the first time since 1997.

View More