Today in Philadelphia Flyers history: Podein's late goal pierces Sabres, Upshall, Umberger close out Habs

Bruce Bennett

Shjon Podein beats Sabres in last minute of spirited contest, and Scottie Upshall and R.J. Umberger lead Flyers to comeback victory in Montreal as Philly closes out the Habs.

A sometimes-frequent look back at how the Philadelphia Flyers have fared on this day, recalling some of the more memorable moments, achievements, and events that shaped the organization throughout the club's storied history. Especially now that the current postseason run is a thing of the past

The Flyers are owners of a 2-4 all-time record in six postseason games played on May 3.

1997: Shjon Podein beat Steve Shields on a wraparound goal with 47.1 seconds left in regulation to snap a 3-3 tie and propel the Flyers to a wild 5-3 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal at Marine Midland Arena.

After a scoreless first period Philadelphia was forced to twice battle back from two-goal deficits, and scored the only three goals of the third period to pull out the victory.

Buffalo took a 2-0 lead on goals by Michal Grosek and Brad May just 42 seconds apart early in the middle stanza, before enforcer Dan Kordic knocked home a Dainius Zubrus rebound to get the Flyers on the board midway through regulation.

Tempers flared when Kordic and Rob Ray tangled in the Philadelphia crease with just under three minutes left in the second, as players from each team paired off. Flyers' netminder Garth Snow, who never shied away from the rough stuff, took the opportunity to give Ray a shot. That brought Shields the length of the ice to engage Snow, as the two finally began throwing punches around the linesman who was trying to separate them and squared off by the benches as they broke free..

(Great call by Sabres' announcer Rick Jenneret)

After some semblance of sanity was restored, the Sabres took full advantage of the power play they were awarded as a result of the melee. Donald Audette cashed in with the man advantage just 21 seconds later, resetting the home team's two-goal lead at 3-1.

It appeared that would be the score in the moments leading up to the second intermission, but former-Flyer defenseman Garry Galley was given an interference minor with 11 seconds remaining in the period. Mikael Renberg got off a good shot with just a couple of ticks on the clock, and his shot bounded off Buffalo defender Richard Shmelik, past Shields and into the net.

The red light never came on, but video review clearly showed 0.4 seconds remaining on the clock when the puck crossed the goal line. Philadelphia had pulled to within one heading to the third.

Rod Brind'Amour would knot the contest at the 10:00 mark of the third when he beat Shields from in tight off of a great feed from Dale Hawerchuk, setting the stage for Podein's late-game heroics.

Brind'Amour iced the outcome with Shields pulled for an extra attacker as he hit the empty net with six seconds left to set the final score.

2008: Scottie Upshall's goal with just under four minutes left in regulation broke a 4-4 deadlock and R.J. Umberger remained red hot with a pair of goals and an assist as Philadelphia closed out their Eastern Conference Semifinal series with the Montreal Canadiens with a 6-4 Game 5 victory at Bell Center.

Umberger scored his first of the game in the first period, but it was sandwiched by Canadiens tallies from Tomas Plekanec and Alexei Kovalev as the home team held a 2-1 lead at the first intermission.

Montreal's chances of extending the series improved greatly when Chris Higgins gave the Habs a two-goal lead as the game approached the midway point of regulation, but the Flyers had other ideas. Goals by Mike Richards, Umberger, and Scott Hartnell within a 2:58 span late in the second turned the deficit into a 4-3 lead heading to the final frame.

Andrei Kostitsyn tied it up early in the third, and the score remained that way as the game entered the latter stages. Upshall got a piece of a Jeff Carter turnaround shot that got past Price with just under three minutes left to give Philly a lead they would not relinquish.

"It was a great feeling", Upshall said after the clincher. "A tie game with three minutes left, it's anybody's game, it's one shot, it's one bounce. (Carter) made a great shot on net. I was in the lane to see the puck and I thought I could get a stick on it and redirect it, and to get a big goal like that is pretty uplifting for your spirits."

Mike Knuble hit the empty net with the Montreal having the extra skater with 50 ticks on the clock to put the final nail in the coffin.

Umberger was the clear Flyers' MVP for the series, scoring goals in each contest and finishing the five-game set with eight goals and nine points.

May 3 Flyers Birthdays

Ron Hextall -- The winningest goaltender in franchise history and current Assistant GM was born on this day in Brandon, Manitoba in 1964, and hits the big 5-0 today.

The combative netminder was drafted by the Flyers in the sixth round (119th-overall) of the 1982 draft and burst onto the scene in 1986/87, taking away the starting job from veteran Bob Froese in the process. He would win 37 games and finish second to Los Angeles Kings forward Luc Robitaille in Calder Trophy voting for the NHL's rookie-of-the-year. Hextall would lead Philadelphia to the Stanley Cup Final that spring, taking home the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after a draining seven-game defeat at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers.

Hextall was dealt to the Quebec Nordiques in 1992 as part of the giant package it took to land young phenom Eric Lindros, but was reacquired by the Flyers prior to the 1995 campaign. He was once again part of a run to the Cup Final in 1997, where Philadelphia was swept by the Detroit Red Wings.

"Hexy" holds the mark for most regular season wins by a Flyer goalie (240), and playoff wins (45).

Bob Dailey -- "The Count" was born on this day in 1953 in Kingston, Ontario.

The hulking Dailey stood at 6' 5" and weighed in at 220 pounds at a time when it was unusual for NHLers to be that size, and possessed a booming slapshot from the point.

A first-round draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks (ninth-overall) by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1973 entry draft, Dailey was acquired midway through his fourth NHL season in exchange for defenders Larry Goodenough and Jack McIlhargey.

Dailey posted 56 goals and 194 points in 304 games with the Flyers, before shattering his ankle on November 1, 1981 in Buffalo, when he went heavily into the end boards while in a race to cancel an icing call with Sabres forward Tony McKegney.

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