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 have shaped the organization throughout the club's storied history
Philadelphia has managed a 1-1 record in two all-time May 23 postseason contests, one a loss in the Stanley Cup Final that had a pretty memorable moment for all the wrong reasons and the other a last-second victory over a hated arch-rival in enemy territory.
Some of the more memorable moments and brief recaps in Flyers history that took place on May 23:
1985 -- Flyer-killer Willy Lindstrom snapped a 1-1 deadlock late in the second period and the Edmonton Oilers showed a flair for some pretty stellar defensive play in a 3-1 triumph at the Spectrum, evening the Stanley Cup Final series at a game apiece.
Wayne Gretzky opened the scoring midway through the first and Tim Kerr tied it up at the midpoint of regulation, but the visitors were playing a much different brand of hockey than what had become their signature run-and-gun style that led to Philly sending 41 shots on Grant Fuhr in a 4-1 Flyers Game 1 victory.
The high-octane Edmonton offensive juggernaut was well-documented at this time period, but they played a stifling defensive system that bottled up the Philadelphia attack to just 18 shots, with just four coming in a third period that saw them in need of a goal after Lindstrom made it 2-1 late in the middle stanza.
One key to this ferocious checking game was a Finn named Esa Tikkanen, a gritty two-way forward making his NHL debut at a crucial point in the series.
The outcome was clinched when Dave Hunter hit the empty net with Pelle Lindbergh pulled for an extra attacker with just 27 seconds left, as the Oilers stole home ice advantage with the scene shifting to the quicker ice of western Canada.
1997 -- Eric Lindros scored the game-winning goal with 6.8 seconds remaining in regulation as the Flyers defeated the New York Rangers, 3-2, at Madison Square Garden in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final, giving Philly a commanding 3-1 series lead as the scene shifted back to Philadelphia for Game 5.
Mikael Renberg gave the visitors a 1-0 lead 7:08 into the first period, beating Rangers' starter Mike Richter with Adam Graves sitting in the sin bin serving a roughing minor.
Ron Hextall would make that lead hold up until the third period, when another goal would be scored while the Flyers skated with a man advantage. This time, though, it was the Rangers' Esa Tikkanen who did the honors, beating Hextall for a shorthanded marker and knotting the contest at 1-1 at 1:41 of the final frame.
Joel Otto was sent off for holding with 4:10 remaining in regulation, but the Flyers would answer with some shorthanded work of their own with John Druce giving the club a 2-1 lead 57 seconds later.
It appeared as though the Druce shorty would be enough, but defenseman Brian Leetch had other plans. Playing through the pain of a sore wrist, he beat Hextall with 2:08 left on the clock, and it seemed as though overtime was in the offing.
But big Ranger defenseman Jeff Beukeboom got his stick up a cut John LeClair, resulting in a double-minor and a Flyers power play with 1:35 remaining.
Richter stoned both Rod Brind'Amour and Lindros on great chances with a little over a half-minute left, and New York was able to clear the puck out of the zone.
Philadelphia hurriedly regained the zone and with time winding down, Brind'Amour gave the puck to LeClair, who fed a backhanded cross-ice feed through the slot to Lindros at the left circle. The captain flipped a high backhander that barely eluded a diving Richter, giving the Flyers the late-game win and a stranglehold 3-1 series lead heading back to Philadelphia.
Lindros' marker was the latest time in regulation that a game-winning goal was scored in Flyers' postseason history, but after the game he deflected a lot of the attention to the area at the other end of the ice, where Hextall was stopping N.Y. shots.
"The puck came rolling over and I just fired at the net. In those situations, you don't really -- you don't really get too fine, you just try and put something in the net and we were fortunate enough for it to go into the net. Even still, Richter made it cross from the other side of the post to stop it, partially deflect it, but the bottom line is, we can't play the way we did tonight game in, game out. We were very lucky tonight. I think everybody in our dressing room knew we were lucky tonight. We left Hexy out to dry on a number of occasions. We gave up numerous 2 on ones, 3 on twos. We weren't in sync at times, but, you know, we got the win which is the most important part, but we know we have to play better. They are a real strong hockey club and they had -- if it wasn't for Hexy, we wouldn't be heading home on the bus with a win." -- Lindros when asked to describe his game-winning goal with 6.8 seconds remaining