No. 1 – May 9, 1974 – Philadelphia 3, Boston 2 (OT)
The word “belief” might be only six letters, but sometimes it can be the biggest word in a hockey franchise’s vocabulary. And so it was in Game 2 of the 1974 Stanley Cup final for the Flyers.
Trying to become the first NHL expansion team to win the Cup, the Flyers still had the elephantine matter of winning a road game in their little shop of horrors, the Boston Garden, in their best-of-seven title series against the Bruins. Philadelphia lost Game 1 on a goal by Bobby Orr and appeared headed for a similar fate in Game 2 when Boston took a 2-1 lead into the closing minutes.
But Flyers coach Fred Shero pulled goalie Bernie Parent for a sixth attacker, and Andre ‘Moose’ Dupont scored to send the game into overtime. Philadelphia knew that falling behind 2-0 in the series would make the task of defeating the mighty Bruins nearly impossible. Thus extra motivated, the young Flyers kept the pressure on in extra time, and the intense forechecking finally paid off.
Of all people, Dave ‘The Hammer’ Schultz worked the puck loose in the corner and got it to ‘Cowboy’ Bill Flett. He relayed it to captain Bobby Clarke, who got off a shot on goalie Gilles Gilbert, then pounced on the rebound and lifted it into the net at 12:01. Clarke leapt into the air with joy.
The curse was over. The Flyers had won their first game in Boston Garden in seven years, ending an 0-17-2 drought dating back to Nov. 12, 1967, in their first NHL season. Philadelphia went on to win the Cup in Game 6 at home. Later, the Flyers would say they always believed in themselves going into that crucial Game 2.
No. 2 – May 28, 1987 – Philadelphia 3, Edmonton 2
J-J Daigneault’s goal to complete comeback in Game 6 of Stanley Cup final against Gretzky-Messier machine nearly blows the roof off the Spectrum.
No. 3 – May 4, 2000 – Philadelphia 2, Pittsburgh 1 (5OT)
The longest game in modern NHL history ends on Keith Primeau’s bar-down wrister at 12:01 of the fifth extra period on the Flyers’ 72nd shot of the night.
GREATEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE OF ALL-TIME
Dec. 11, 1977 – Philadelphia 11, Cleveland 1
Hall of Fame defenseman Paul Coffey once had eight points in a game, but six of those were assists. Bobby Orr, acknowledged as the best defenseman of all-time, once had a seven-point game, including a hat trick.
But for many hockey observers, the greatest one-game offensive display by an NHL defenseman belongs to Flyers blueliner Tom Bladon, who scored four goals on the way to an eight-point night against the long-forgotten Barons. Bladon finished a remarkable plus-10 in the lopsided laugher as the Flyers scored all 11 of their goals at even strength.