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On this date in Flyers history: Gary Dornhoefer sends franchise to first-ever Stanley Cup Finals

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News, notes, and other musings from the history of the Orange and Black.

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Rangers Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images

Though not as dramatic as May 4th, May 5th provided a landmark moment in the history of the Philadelphia Flyers in the form a franchise first.

The franchise first? Punching a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, of course —something the Flyers would go on to do seven more times after Gary Dornhoefer sent them to their very first one back in 1974 on this date.

Staring down a game seven in their 1974 Stanley Cup Semifinals series against the New York Rangers in a back-and-forth series, the Flyers had the fortune of playing the deciding game in their own barn: The Spectrum.

After each team took care of their home ice in the first six games of the series, the Flyers leaned on the 17,000+ fans packed inside the Spectrum to a fast start that included a 3-1 lead midway through the second period. Dornhoefer —who finished with eight points in the series— would provide an important fourth goal in the third period to make it 4-2 that would prove to be the game and series clincher as the Flyers held on for a 4-3 win.

Dornhoefer’s goal sent the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history in just their seventh season in existence.

The Flyers would go on to ride a red-hot Bernie Parent between the pipes (.933 save percentage, 13 goals allowed in six games) to defeat the Boston Bruins in six games to win their first ever Stanley Cup. They’d win again in 1975, too, using a similar combination of deep and timely scoring along with stellar goaltending from Parent behind a veteran defense.

Loose pucks

Also on May 5th...the Flyers fall 4-1 in game three of the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Bruins, creating a 3-0 series deficit that they’d surely be unable to overcome...until they did...Legion of Doom winger Mikael Renberg...owner of the Flyers’ rookie scoring record...was born on this day in his native Sweden...


*Shouts to hockeyreference.com, nhl.com, and Flyers.nhl.com for help with this trip down memory lane*