Flyers

Flyers

It’s been 10 years since one of the most thrilling regular-season games in Flyers history went down. You know the one — the must-win shootout victory in Game 82 on home ice that set the Flyers on a mission to the Stanley Cup Final.

The Flyers beat the Rangers, 2-1, in one of the most intense showdowns of the decade. One of the biggest matchups from that night — and the ultimate deciding factor to the final tally — was the battle of Brian Boucher and Henrik Lundqvist.

Boucher knew what was resting on this game and wasn’t afraid to admit what was going through his mind. 

“I was scared to death to be honest with you,” Boucher said April 3 in a video interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia's Michael Barkann. “I knew that Henrik Lundqvist at that time was the best shootout goaltender in the National Hockey League. It felt like the New York Rangers were playing a game just to get to the shootout — they knew that it was a strength of their team and would probably give them the best advantage.

“I was hoping that we would end it in overtime. We threw everything that we could at Lundqvist. He was sensational that whole afternoon, but when it got to that shootout, I could just remember going to the bench before they do the ice scrape and being just so nervous.

“People say as an athlete just be in the moment and don’t let your emotions get you — I’ll be honest with you, I was nervous. I knew this was a situation that favored the New York Rangers. I knew Lundqvist was very good. I had no idea who they were going to throw over the boards to come in on the shootout. I didn’t even think that far ahead.”

 

While Boucher was doing his part, his teammates were doing theirs on the other side of the ice — both Danny Briere and Claude Giroux contributed to the shootout tallies. After Giroux found the back of the net, it was possible that just one more attempt from New York separated the Flyers from the playoffs. 

“When [Olli] Jokinen was circling around at the other end I was like, ‘Oh my God, what is he doing?’” Boucher said. “Thankfully he didn’t make a very good move and I had backed in too much on that play as well. If he would’ve taken it forehand, backhand and got it up, it would’ve been an easy goal for him. Instead, he had his mind made up — he went forehand, backhand and went five-hole and fortunately, my stick was there. 

“It ended up being one of the greatest moments of my career.”

It also wound up becoming one of the most exciting moments in Flyers history. 

Watch the game that sparked the exciting Stanley Cup run Sunday night at 7p.m. on NBCSP and the MyTeams App. 

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