Not a date for the faint of heart in Flyers history, but here we go with tales from June 5th.
After losing Game 1 of the 1995 Eastern Conference Final at home to the Devils, the Flyers were in need of a win in Game 2 to earn a split before heading back to New Jersey. The Devils’ defense suffocated the Flyers’ famed Legion of Doom in a 4-1 win in Game 1, but Eric Lindros, John LeClair, and Mikael Renberg were ready to go from the jump in Game 2.
Lindros opened the scoring just 7:08 into the game to give the Flyers early momentum. That was slowed by Randy McKay and John MacLean goals sandwiched around a Renberg tally to even things after a busy first period.
Though the Flyers quickly got back the lead after McKay’s answer to Lindros, the Devils’ trap pay dividends as the game wore on as they quickly frustrated the Orange and Black and their stars in due time.
Two quick goals within the first five minutes of the second period would shock the Flyers and leave them a near insurmountable 4-2 deficit against the mighty New Jersey trapping system of the 1990’s. The trap proved too much as the Flyers managed just five shots in the third period, showing a certain level of defeat in the face of the Devils’ defensive system.
Though the Flyers faced a 2-0 series hole, and lost both games in Philadelphia at home, they still could find solace knowing that the Legion of Doom was at least on track heading into Games 3 and 4 on the road.
In another blowout loss, the Flyers were truly listless in a 6-1 loss at Detroit in Game 3 of the 1997 Stanley Cup Final.
After shockingly losing both games in Philadelphia by scores of 4-2, the Flyers looked like deer in headlights at Joe Louis Arena. John LeClair opened the scoring for the Flyers just seven minutes in, but things would avalanche downhill after that with Detroit scoring six unanswered goals to cruise to a commanding 3-0 series lead.
Though the Flyers’ offense was absent, it wouldn’t much have mattered with Ron Hextall struggled to the tune of just 23 saves on 29 shots in the losing effort.
Since Game 4 of that series came this Saturday (and these don’t happen on weekends), we’ll tell you that it was the “Darren McCarty turns into Wayne Gretzky” goal game —the game and series winning goal for the Red Wings no less.
Also on June 5th in franchise history...former Flyer —and Matt Niskanen getter— Radko Gudas was born in 1990...
*Stick taps to hockeyreference.com, nhl.com, and Flyers.nhl.com for help with this trip down memory lane*