With playoff hockey previously slated to start today, PSN has decided to take you back to when playoff hockey was fun in Philadelphia. We’re going to take you back to a couple of first-day playoff games where the Flyers came out victorious. In this article, we are going to flashback to 2000 to see how the Flyers performed in their quarterfinals matchup against the Buffalo Sabres.
April 13, 2000- Philadelphia Flyers vs. Buffalo Sabres
During the 2000 season, the Flyers were rolling. Their offense was ranked 10th in the league, averaging just under three goals per game. Their defense was even more stellar. Led by 23-year-old goaltender Brian Boucher, the Flyers as a team showcased a top-two ranked 2.18 goals-against average per game.
Due to this success, they earned themselves 105 points, and the title of the Atlantic Division champions, and Eastern Conference regular-season champions. Thus, they earned home-ice advantage throughout the three rounds they played in the playoffs.
Tempers were flaring early in this one. Dan McGillis and Geoff Sanderson went at each other a mere two minutes after puck drop, en route to six total first period penalties between the two times. The offense was slow to kick this one off until a familiar face broke open the scoring.
Current day hockey analyst Keith Jones helped staple his name in orange and black as he beat Dominik Hasek with five minutes remaining in the period on the powerplay. Teammate Daymond Langkow would score a shorthanded goal as the period was winding down, to give the Flyers a 2-0 advantage heading into the second frame.
After taking advantage of all of the momentum before heading into the locker room, the Roger Neilson led Flyers came out flat in the second.
After Dan McGillis took another penalty, this time for elbowing, the Sabres capitalized quickly. Not even a minute into the powerplay, Stu Barnes beat Boucher from the left circle to cut the lead in half. After about six more minutes of slow play by Philly, the Sabres tied the game up, as Miroslav Satan snuck an awkward shot over Boucher’s right shoulder.
Suddenly, the Sabres tied the game, as the orange and black continued to take penalties.
With the game now knotted at two apiece, the Flyers found themselves in a prime spot to take the lead. Geoff Sanderson got called for charging, and the rest is history.
A mere five minutes into the final frame, Flyers’ legend Simone Gagne got one by Hasek. With the Flyers now up 3-2, they would hold this lead for the remainder of the game.
What’s Up Next:
It was no secret that the Flyers were among the Stanley Cup favorites for the 2000 playoffs. Winners of five of their last six regular-season games, they were hot going into the playoffs. On top of this, their defensemen and goaltending were stellar all year. And as Bear Bryant once said, “defense wins championships,” right?
After taking this series 4-1 over the Sabres, the Flyers hosted the Penguins in the conference semi-finals. A few big brawls later, the orange and black came out on top with a 4-2 series victory, and plenty of confidence heading into a series against the New Jersey Devils.
Paired at numbers three and four in preseason Stanley Cup odds, the Flyers and Devils were the two teams expected to meet in the conference finals. The Flyers dropped game one of the series but eventually went up 3-1 in the series. Unfortunately, we all know the rest of history and the constant running into of the Devils’ near-dynasty.
Mandatory Credit – Chris Ryndak, Sabres.com