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Flyers run out of time and luck

Posted By Mike Petraglia On June 10, 2010 @ 1:28 am In General | No Comments

PHILADELPHIA — The team of destiny that made history in Boston went to the well once too often in overtime and it finally cost the Flyers their Stanley Cup dreams. Chicago’s Patrick Kane scored on a bizarre goal that few people in the building even realized went in just over four minutes into overtime and the Blackhawks claimed their fourth Stanley Cup with a 4-3 win over Philadelphia at the Wachovia Center in Game 6.

The Flyers had to get a stop from Brian Boucher on the last day of the regular season to beat the New York Rangers, 2-1, in a shootout to qualify for the playoffs.

They entered as a No. 7 seed in the East and dispatched of Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils in Round 1 in five games.

They then matched up against the No. 6 Bruins, and no one in New England needs to be reminded that — up three games to none and 3-0 in Game 7 on Garden ice — the Bruins let the Flyers come back to tie and win Game 7 and the series, 4-3, on a power-play goal by Simon Gagne with the Bruins serving a penalty for too many men on the ice.

It was in Game 4 in overtime when Gagne scored his first goal back from injury to re-ignite the flame for the Flyers.

Three wins later it was the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern finals. The Habs proved little opposition for the Flyers, who prevailed in five games.

Then the Chicago Blackhawks. The team that hadn’t won the Stanley Cup since 1961 won a shootout, 6-5, in Game 1 and another one-goal game in Game 2, 2-1.

The Flyers showed their character by winning Game 3 again in overtime and handling Chicago 5-3 in Game 4. After a 7-4 loss in Game 5 the Flyers were again on the brink, down 3-2 with 3:59 left in regulation when Scott Hartnell scored to force — yep — another overtime.

This extra session would be the heartbreak of heartbreaks for the Flyers. A weak shot from Patrick Kane, almost an afterthought, was thrown on Michael Leighton. The goalie didn’t see it until it went under him and the lip of the goal on the right side.

“He walked out of the corner, and there was a guy driving the net so I thought he was going to pass it,” Leighton said. “He just threw it at the net and it went underneath me.”

Bang. Game over. Stanley Cup over. Team of Destiny denied.

But still, this Flyers team will have its fondest memories of one of the most remarkable playoff run in recent sports rooted in Boston.

It was at TD Garden on May 14 that the Flyers became just the fourth team in major professional sports to wipe out a 3-0 deficit and win a series and the first to overcome a 3-0 hole on the road in Game 7 to do so.

“Yeah, you look back at a lot of games throughout the whole season,” Hartnell said. “The way we got in, the way we came back against Boston to beat a great goalie and New Jersey and Montreal was on fire as well. We have to be proud to a certain point but certainly it’s disappointing, too.”


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