The Flyers have enjoyed many dramatic runs in the Stanley Cup playoffs in their history, and have paired those runs with countless memorable goals and moments —with one of those moments coming on this very day back in 2008.
On April 22nd, the Flyers took themselves down to the wire in the form of a game seven in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal against the Washington Capitals after they squandered a 3-1 series lead.
Mike Knuble’s double-overtime winner in game four gave the Flyers the commanding series lead before the Capitals battled back with wins in game five and six to force the decisive seventh game in their own building.
Nicklas Backstrom started the scoring early and the Capitals appeared to have finally seized enough momentum in the series to prevail, but the scrappy Flyers had other ideas. Scottie Upshall answered late in the first period and Sami Kapanen gave the Flyers a lead midway through the second period. Alex Ovechkin fourth goal of the series would send the teams to the third even a 2-2, but they’d need overtime in order to settle this one as the Flyers survived a third period while being outshot 15-6 by the Caps.
In overtime and armed with a power play thanks to a call on Tom Poti, the Flyers went to work with their sights set on a second-round matchup with the Montreal Canadiens. The first 1:30 of the power play couldn’t do the job, but did earn a key faceoff in Capitals territory.
Off the draw a loose puck found the blade of Kimmo Timonen, blasting one at Cristobal Huet, who made the initial save, but couldn’t corral the rebound. Thankfully for the Flyers, Joffrey Lupul was there to pounce on the rebound and put it past Huet on his backhand to give the Flyers a dramatic 3-2 overtime win on the road to send them to the Eastern Conference Semifinals and shock the home crowd in the process.
Lupul’s goal was no doubt the biggest of the 45 he tallied in a Flyers uniform, but the goal also sent Ovechkin’s Capitals down a long and winding road of disappointment in the Stanley Cup playoffs until their breakthrough in 2017-18.
The Flyers would go on to ride the momentum of Lupul’s heroics with a five-game series win over the Canadiens in round two before running out of steam (and healthy bodies) in a five-game defeat to the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals. Pittsburgh would go on to lose the Stanley Cup Final to the Red Wings in six games.
Lupul would play one more season in Philadelphia before becoming part of the package that then-GM Paul Holmgren sent to Anaheim for Chris Pronger in June of 2009.
*Shoutout to hockeyreference.com for the notes on the series and more*