Good morning, Happy Memorial Day and thanks to all our veterans out there as well as those currently serving!
We recently took a look at the best Flyers team in franchise history to not win Stanley Cups, and one of the teams at the top of the list was the 1996-97 squad, which enjoyed a monumental moment on this day back in 1997.
The Flyers enjoyed a dominant postseason run through Buffalo and Pittsburgh before squaring off with the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Having taken a 3-1 series lead on the back of taking both games three and four in New York, the Flyers returned to the then-CoreStates Center on May 25th looking to end things in their own barn.
Eric Lindros put the crowd in a frenzy by opening the scoring on the power play early on, but a pair of Rangers goals needed answering as the Flyers did just that to take a 3-2 lead after 20 minutes thanks to goals from Lindros, John LeClair, and Rod Brind’Amour.
The second featured some stellar netminding from Mike Richter to keep the Rangers in the game as the Flyers pressed looking for insurance. But that insurance wouldn’t come until the third period when Brind’Amour gave the Flyers a 4-2 lead nearly seven minutes into the final stanza.
With the Rangers running on fumes and worn down by the Flyers’ relentless attack, that would all that Ron Hextall would need in net to lead the Flyers back to the Stanley Cup Finals after he’d done so 10 years earlier —losing in a game seven to the Oilers.
It would be another 13 years before the Flyers would return to the Cup Finals as the 2009-10 team was able to rally late in the season and go on an improbable run all the way to the finals.
Also on May 25th in franchise history...the Flyers use a dominant performance from Bernie Parent (23 saves) and the offense en route to a 5-1 win in game five of the 1975 Stanley Cup Final against the Sabres...Jon Kalinski was born in 1987...