Today in Philadelphia Flyers history: Delmore hat trick sets record, Gagne OT hero in early return

Bruce Bennett

Andy Delmore becomes first rookie defender to record a postseason hat trick as Flyers take first series lead against Penguins, and Simon Gagne scores in overtime in early return from injury to save Philly from elimination at the hands of the Bruins.

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

Philadelphia holds a 7-3 all-time record in 10 playoff contests played on May 7, including wins in their last five -- two of which came in overtime.

1985: Goals by Dave Poulin (shorthanded), Murray Craven, and Ilkka Sinisalo gave the Flyers a 3-0 lead heading into the third period, on the way to a 4-2 defeat of the Quebec Nordiques at Le Colisee. The win evened the Wales Conference Final series at a game apiece.

Joe Paterson added an insurance goal in the third period, and Pelle Lindbergh stopped 27 of the 29 Nords' shots he faced to pick up the win.

1995: Karl Dykhuis' bouncing shot squibbed past Dominik Hasek and into the net midway through overtime to give Philadelphia a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at the Spectrum in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal.

It was the first Flyers' postseason game in nearly six years, following five consecutive non-playoff campaigns.

Trailing 2-1 late in the middle frame, Philly got goals from Brent Fedyk and Kevin Haller within a span of 1:28 to take a 3-2 lead into the third. But Buffalo controlled play for much of the final twenty minutes of regulation time, outshooting the Flyers 11-5 and getting the game-tying goal on Jason Dawe's second of the contest with 7:27 remaining to send it to the extra period.

It was all Philadelphia in overtime, as Philly held the Sabres without a shot before Dykhuis' game-winning goal on the Flyers fifth shot on Hasek of the extra stanza.

Ron Hextall -- who was reacquired during the regular season following two seasons away from Philadelphia -- turned away 26 of 29 Buffalo shots to backstop the Flyers triumph.

1996: Dan Quinn and Eric Lindros scored power play goals late in the first period as the Flyers came out with an early fury and held on for a 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers at Miami Arena. The win gave Philadelphia a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Semifinal.

Quinn and Lindros each scored power play goals in less than a minute span, with both man advantages coming as a result of a Brian Skrudland double-minor for high-sticking Rod Brind'Amour.

Florida's Paul Laus cut the lead in half in the second, before Trent Klatt restored the two-goal lead early in the third.

Ron Hextall made 24 saves for the Flyers.

The game ended with a brawl at the 20:00 mark, sparked by an altercation between Lindros and Panthers defenseman Ed Jovanovski.

1997: Dale Hawerchuk and Paul Coffey paced a three-goal first period as the Flyers cruised to a 4-1 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres at the CoreStates Center, to give Philadelphia a 3-0 Eastern Conference Semifinal series lead.

Hawerchuk scored a goal and set up another pair, while Coffey assisted on all three as the Flyers dominated the opening frame. They outshot Buffalo by a 15-8 count and in addition to Hawerchuk's tally, also received markers from Eric Lindros and Rod Brind'Amour.

Philly carried play throughout, and finished with a lopsided advantage in the shots department. They fired 38 on Steve Shields, while the Sabres were only able to counter with 16 of their own.

Garth Snow made 15 saves in the win, and also added an assist on Hawerchuk's first period power play goal.

2000: Andy Delmore became the first rookie defenseman in NHL history to record a postseason hat trick and Mark Recchi tied a club record with a five-point game to lead Philadelphia to a 6-3 rout of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the First Union Center, giving the Flyers their third consecutive victory and first lead in the Eastern Conference Semifinal at 3-2.

Delmore -- who managed two goals and seven points in 27 regular season contests, and was held without a point in Philly's five-game opening round triumph over Buffalo -- scored once in each period. The hat trick gave him five goals and six points in the five games against Pittsburgh, helping the club recover from a pair of losses on home ice in Games 1 and 2. Delmore's three goals also marked the first time in franchise history that a defender notched a hat trick in a postseason contest.

Recchi was in on the first five Flyers tallies, scoring once and assisting on the other four.

Daymond Langkow and Dan McGillis also lit the lamp for Philadelphia, and Brian Boucher finished with 29 saves.

2010: Simon Gagne made an early return from injury just in time to score the game-winning goal at 14:40 of overtime, giving the Flyers a 5-4 and fending off elimination and a Boston Bruins sweep in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.

Gagne -- who had broken a toe while blocking a shot in the first round against the New Jersey Devils -- wasn't supposed to even start skating for another couple of days, and was looking at a return at some point in the next round if Philadelphia were to advance.

But he asked head coach Peter Laviolette for a chance prior to the game, and he made the most of it.

Things looked good for the Flyers as the midway point of regulation approached. Danny Briere, Chris Pronger, and Claude Giroux each scored goals to erase a 1-0 deficit after former-Flyer Mark Recchi had opened the scoring late in the first. But Michael Ryder scored shortly thereafter, and Milan Lucic tied it up early in the third period.

Ville Leino deflected a Chris Pronger shot past Tuukka Rask with 5:40 left in regulation, and it appeared as if Philly had forced a Game 5. But Recchi beat Brian Boucher for his second of the contest with 31.5 seconds remaining to send the game to extra time.

Matt Carle, who ended up with four assists on the evening, keyed the game-winning goal with a gorgeous feed to Gagne that he redirected past Rask to extend the series for at least another game.

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