The Flyers have played some memorable playoff series’ in the last 20 years, but perhaps none better remembered than the 2000 Eastern Conference Semifinals against Pittsburgh.
We’ve covered much of the famed series here, but have another key moment in the series delivered by one of the more improbable playoff heroes in Flyers history: Andy Delmore.
On May 7th of 2000, the Flyers and Penguins were fresh off a five overtime marathon from game four in Pittsburgh that Keith Primeau ended shortly before 3am. Primeau’s sublime goal only evened the Flyers at 2-2 in the series after the Penguins stole both opening games in Philadelphia.
But while his heroics will go down in history (as they should), Primeau’s goal would have meant far less if it weren’t for Delmore’s overtime goal in game three. Had Delmore not given the Flyers game three, perhaps Primeau’s tally were to only delay the inevitable as up until that point teams just didn’t overcome 3-0 series deficits.
Thankfully though, Delmore and Primeau clawed the Flyers all the way even in the best-of-seven series and also armed the club with an avalanche of momentum with the extra time winners in dramatic fashion.
With all the momentum, the Flyers returned home to the First Union Center on May 7th and unleashed Delmore once again. He scored twice at even strength and added another on the power play to become first NHL rookie defenseman to record a hat trick in the playoffs in addition to becoming the first Flyers defender to do so.
The Flyers win game final 6-3, and finished off the series in six games back in Pittsburgh a few nights later to cap the series in which they rallied to win four-straight to close things out.
Not to take anything away from Primeau here, but the real hero is obviously Andy Delmore.
Also on May 7th in franchise history...the Flyers fall in game one of the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals against the Bruins in a hard-fought 3-2 loss after a Bobby Orr goal late in regulation...in their first playoff game since 1989, the Flyers top the Sabres in 1995 with a Karl Dykhuis overtime winner as Eric Lindros sits due to injury in game one of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals...