Best 3-Goal Comebacks in Flyers History

Simon Gagne, Philadelphia Flyers (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Simon Gagne, Philadelphia Flyers (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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3. Philadelphia Flyers 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 3- April 11, 2012, Consol Energy Center

The rivalry between the Flyers and Penguins reached a pinnacle in the opening round of the 2011-12 playoffs. Animosity boiled over between the cross-state rivals leading into the playoffs, evidenced by Peter Laviolette’s angry tirade targeting Dan Bylsma on the Penguins’ bench late in the season.

Entering the playoffs, Penguins star Sidney Crosby hit his stride after returning from long-term concussion issues that sidelined him for over three months during the regular season. The media lauded the chances for the fourth-seeded Penguins to go on a run while the Flyers weren’t receiving much national attention.

Crosby put the Penguins up 1-0 less than four minutes into Game One. The Pittsburgh grew increasingly exuberant when Flyers goaltender and off-ice entertainer Ilya Bryzgalov allowed two more first period goals.

Fans were stunned as the offensive firepower of the Pittsburgh Penguins appeared to be satisfying the hype surrounding them.

Danny Briere, one of the best playoff performers in franchise history, got the Flyers on the board in the second period when he took a stretch pass in on a breakaway and beat Marc-Andre Fleury. No whistle was blown despite cameras catching Briere a full stride offside.

Briere scored his second of the night just over midway through the third period to legitimize the comeback hopes of Flyers fans. Brayden Schenn, who assisted on the first two goals, added a tally just over three minutes later.

The daunting first period deficit was erased and the Pittsburgh crowd grew nervous and quiet. The Flyers controlled the game’s momentum heading into OT. Just 2:23 into the extra session, Jake Voracek sent home a careless rebound off Fleury’s pad to secure the Game One victory in Pittsburgh.

They would go on to defeat the Penguins in six games in one of the wildest playoff series in NHL history.

2. Philadelphia Flyers 4, Edmonton Oilers 3- May 22, 1987, Spectrum (Philadelphia, PA)

The Flyers were defeated in Games 1 and 2 of the 1987 Stanley Cup Finals by the Edmonton Oilers, led by future Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Paul Coffey. Red-hot rookie goaltender Ron Hextall finally looked human against the mighty Oilers.

The Oilers again jumped on the Flyers for a commanding 3-0 lead in Game 3 at the Spectrum. They simply appeared overmatched.

Flyers goals from Murray Craven, Peter Zezel, Scott Mellanby, Brad McCrimmon, and Brian Propp propelled the Flyers to an electrifying comeback. They even repeated the magic with a two-goal comeback victory in Game 6 to avoid elimination.

The 1987 Flyers ultimately fell short of a Stanley Cup, but the older generation of fans will never forget the outstanding series against one of the best hockey teams ever assembled.