And on May 21st of 1985 the Flyers stymied the mighty Oilers in an impressive 4-1 win at the Spectrum in game one of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Flyers’ defensive display was top notch, but they also used an aggressive offense —outshooting Edmonton 41-26— to aid Mark Howe and friends. It was also a magical night for Pelle Lindbergh, who turned aside 25 of 26 shots from a potent and Hall of Fame littered Oilers roster with the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey, and Glenn Anderson —not to mention Grant Fuhr in the opposing net.
Ilkka Sinisalo opened the scoring in the first period while third period tallies by Ron Sutter and Tim Kerr gave the Flyers the breathing room needing to seal off an eventual 4-1 win to take game one.
Given the way that Mike Keenan’s crew outworked the Oilers in the game, it would have seemed to bode well for the rest of the series, but they would lose the next three-straight by a total of a five goals before succumbing to the Oilers in an 8-3 loss in game five to close out the series.
Though the 1984-85 Flyers certainly overachieved, after game one of the Cup finals it looked as though they were prime to take down the vaunted Oilers, and had the confidence after game one to do so.
Also on May 21th in franchise history...John LeClair’s hat trick and Eric Desjardins’ overtime winner gave the Flyers a thrilling 5-4 over the Rangers in game one of the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals, as well as a classic celebration from one of the teams all-time best defenders...