Ranking the Top 5 Offensive Playoff Performances in Philadelphia Flyers History
Earlier this week, we looked at the top individual single-game offensive performances in Philadelphia Flyers' regular-season history. Now we will examine the best individual offensive playoff games since Philadelphia joined the NHL in 1967.
To qualify for this list, the game had to occur during the postseason. This is not a team category, but an individual one. One player's offensive production is all that mattered. The Flyers did emerge victorious in each of these games.
None of the players featured here are obscure. Star players came up with clutch performances in these key games.
Some of the players on this list are all-time Flyers greats. Others are just players who had one outstanding offensive game in a rather ordinary career.
Feel free to comment on any of the games listed here or to add one you feel belongs on this list. As always, indicate why you feel the way you do.
5. Mark Recchi
Mark Recchi scored once and added four assists in the Flyers' 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on May 7, 2000.
It didn't take Recchi long to get started. He set up Daymond Langkow to make it 1-0 Flyers just 23 seconds into the game.
Recchi assisted on the next two Flyers goals before scoring his own tally against Ron Tugnutt 3:47 into the second period.
Late in the second period, Recchi set up Andy Delmore to record his fifth point of the game and give the Flyers a commanding 5-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Delmore recorded a hat trick in the game.
The Flyers won the series in six games and advanced to the Eastern Conference Final.
4. Bill Barber
Future Hall of Famer Bill Barber almost single-handedly defeated the Minnesota North Stars on May 4, 1980, during the Stanley Cup Semifinal. Barber scored four goals in the Flyers' 5-3 win in Minnesota.
Barber scored two goals at even strength, added one power-play tally and scored once while Philadelphia was shorthanded.
The Flyers led 4-0 on Barber's first three goals plus a goal by Mel Bridgman.
The North Stars came back, scoring three goals late in the second period, including a pair while the Flyers were on the power play.
Barber wasn't about to let his spectacular performance go to waste. He beat North Stars goalie Gilles Meloche for the fourth time with just 3:26 left in the third period to clinch the victory for the Flyers.
Philadelphia won the series in five games and advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the fourth time in the last seven seasons.
3. Tim Kerr
Winger Tim Kerr scored a natural hat trick in the second period to help the Flyers edge the New York Rangers 6-5 in a playoff game at Madison Square Garden on April 13, 1985.
In fact, Kerr scored four goals in a row over an 8:16 span of the middle stanza to set a franchise record that still stands.
The Rangers held an early 2-0 lead in the game and still led 3-2 when Kerr went to work. Three of Kerr's four goals came on the power play, Neither goalie Glen Hanlon nor any of the Rangers' defensemen could do anything to slow him down.
The Flyers went on to sweep the opening-round series in three straight games and advanced all the way to the Stanley Cup Final that year, and Kerr's outstanding performance served as a catalyst.
2. Claude Giroux
Claude Giroux helped make Friday, April 13, 2012 a miserable day for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Giroux scored three goals and added three assists in Philadelphia's 8-5 win over Pittsburgh.
The Penguins actually held a 3-1 lead in this game after one period with Giroux assisting on the only Flyers goal. But Giroux scored twice in the second period and added a goal and two helpers in the third period to lead the Flyers to a comeback win in the game.
Sean Couturier also had a hat trick and added an assist in this game and narrowly missed making this list with his fine performance.
The Flyers went on to win the series in six games.
1. Reggie Leach
Sniper Reggie Leach won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1976 despite the fact that the Flyers did not win the Stanley Cup that year. Leach was red-hot in the postseason, scoring 19 goals and 24 points in 16 playoff games.
Leach's best game that season came on May 6, 1976 against the Boston Bruins. "The Riverton Rifle" scored five goals that night on Boston's Gilles Gilbert as the Flyers skated to a 6-3 win at the Spectrum.
The five goals in one playoff game remains a Flyers playoff record.
All five goals came at even strength, and three of them came in a row during the second period to give Leach a natural hat trick during the game.
How dominant was Leach? The Flyers had 21 shots on goal in the game, and Leach took seven of them, scoring five times.
The Flyers won the series in five games and advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the third straight year.