Flyers

Flyers' playoff-clinching win over Rangers in 2010 was The Best Game I Ever Saw Live

Flyers' playoff-clinching win over Rangers in 2010 was The Best Game I Ever Saw Live

Almost exactly 10 years ago, before the Flyers set out on their magical run to the Stanley Cup Final, they had to get to the playoffs first. 

And that was nothing short of a miracle. It was the best game I ever saw and I ended up watching the most exciting part on a television screen not much bigger than a tablet in a musty hallway surrounded by people in suits.

Let's backtrack to set the scene. The Flyers had to win their final game of the 2009-10 season to get into the playoffs. They had floundered a bit down the stretch and that enabled the Rangers to make up 10 points in the final three weeks of the season. And to top it off, the Flyers were hosting those rival Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center in that last game on April 11, 2010. 

As many of you know, the offices of NBC Sports Philadelphia, then Comcast SportsNet, are inside the Wells Fargo Center. It's access that grants us the ability to go out and watch games, go between our offices and the press areas and be able to return to work within minutes of a game ending.

On this evening, I was anchoring our nightly show so I watched the first period from my desk. The Rangers finished the opening period with a 1-0 lead. So let's have a change of scenery. I went up to the press box for the second period and for the start of the third. The Flyers had yet to score at that point so I went back to my desk. I wasn't getting a good feeling and thought it was going to be a tough postgame interview. Our producer and assistant news director decided that win or lose, I would go down to the dressing room and help get the story. But I wasn't alone. We had several reporters who would be there because this was too big for just one piece. I mean, there was so much riding on the outcome of this one game. Rangers win, they are in. Flyers win, they are in. It was the ultimate winner-take-all battle for the postseason and it was happening between two heated rivals.

Finally the Flyers lit the lamp with just under seven minutes left in the third to tie the game. But then, a stalemate. So with about two minutes remaining in regulation, I made my way downstairs to wait and watch in the hallway outside of the dressing room. Here we are: me, about a dozen other reporters and several members of building staff, all congregating in this small area. To picture it, it's a cement-wall hallway, with double doors on one side leading to the dressing room and the other side leads to where the Flyers come on and off the ice.

Time is winding down and it looks like the game will go to overtime.

An already high-tension situation ratcheted up another notch. I look over to my left and who's standing there but Mr. Ed Snider. He's joined to the small mass of reporters and staff to wait and watch.

This was it. We were all watching not from a luxury box, or the press box, or even in front of a large flat screen television. No, we were all huddled around a monitor that was about 15 inches across.

Overtime. Waiting. Watching. Who would win? Who would go home?

Sure enough, the drama was still building. Overtime ended with the score still knotted at one goal each. Shootout. It was almost unbelievable. This was a win-or-go-home game and not three periods of regulation nor overtime could decide it. Of course it had to go to a shootout. You may recall that it was backup goaltender Brian Boucher in net for this entire game and he truly stood on his head. The Rangers had been on fire and he stopped nearly everything that came his way the entire game and extra period. Now, he had to last through a shootout.

We are all crunched in together watching on the tiny monitor as each skater went their turn. But one of the hallway party had left us. Snider had walked back up to his seat earlier. I can only guess he figured, win or lose, he was watching that in person. I can't say I blame him. So it was Danny Briere up first: goal! The crowd went nuts and you could feel the stands shake around us. The Rangers' Eric Christensen skates in on Boucher: save! More cheering and shaking.

Next for the Flyers: the captain, Mike Richards. Henrik Lundqvist makes the save. The disappointed sighs of the crowd echoed down our little hallway. 

Now here comes P.A. Parenteau: goal. The groans grow louder of the Flyers faithful. 

Each team has a shootout goal. It seemed like it was slipping away. But all was not lost. Enter Claude Giroux to the ice. He makes one of his signature shootout moves: goal, right between Lundqvist's legs! Euphoria doesn't fully express the crowd's response; I'd say pandemonium was more like it.

But as loud as the cheers were after Giroux's goal, the boos were louder when Olli Jokinen came into view. This was it. He comes in, tries to go five-hole on Boucher but not on this night, not on this goalie and not against this team. Boucher stops the shot easily and the building's roof seemed like it was coming off.

Back in our little hallway, I've honestly never seen anything like it. You've probably heard the expression no cheering in the press box.

Well, that didn't really apply here. It was one of the greatest moments in Flyers history to win a game like that, one that the team had to win. And everyone was clapping and smiling and laughing. We all knew we watched something amazing and downright magical. It was one of the best games I've ever seen, even if I watched it on a tiny TV screen in a smelly hallway — or maybe because of that.

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Flyers Talk podcast: Hearing from Carter Hart, discussing Brian Elliott's future

Flyers Talk podcast: Hearing from Carter Hart, discussing Brian Elliott's future

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall discuss the goaltending situation and much more.

From Taryn Hatcher's interview with Carter Hart to the latest on the NHL hiatus, let's dive in:

1:10 — The latest on the 2019-20 NHL season

4:15 — Why the Flyers are in a good spot

8:10 — How do you prepare for this stoppage?

13:00 — Hart is a fit for Philly; is he the Flyers' MVP?

21:10 — Should the Flyers re-sign Brian Elliott?

26:35 — How Hart is staying busy during the break

33:00 — Hearing from Hart with Hatcher

36:00 — What to make of Hart's interview

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

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James van Riemsdyk erupts, a Scott Hartnell look-alike and Flyers crush Rangers in NHL 20

James van Riemsdyk erupts, a Scott Hartnell look-alike and Flyers crush Rangers in NHL 20

The Flyers had one more trip to Madison Square Garden on tap.

The game was originally scheduled for April 1 and would have given the Flyers an opportunity to complete a four-game regular-season series sweep of the Rangers.

However, because of the coronavirus outbreak, which has suspended the 2019-20 NHL season, the Flyers remain 3-0-0 against New York.

So, we decided to give the Flyers their shot at a sweep on NHL 20 Thursday night as NBC Sports Philadelphia aired a simulation with the amazing trio of Jim Jackson, Keith Jones and Taryn Hatcher on the call.

The Flyers jumped all over the chance by racing out to a monstrous lead and holding on to beat the Rangers, 6-4. James van Riemsdyk was a force with four points (two goals, two assists), while Nicolas Aube-Kubel (one goal, one assist), Claude Giroux (two assists), Ivan Provorov (two assists) and Travis Sanheim (two assists) had multi-point efforts.

By the way, how about Jackson's setup? Outstanding.

Leading the way, van Riemsdyk scored a second-period goal and a first-period power play tally. He was in his office for both of them.

After his second marker, van Riemsdyk had the look of "another goal, not a big deal."

After van Riemsdyk's first-period goal, Giroux came in from the top rope on his celebration. Provorov, a little nervous.

During the third period, Tyler Pitlick punctuated the blowout by making it 6-1. His rebound goal was so powerful, it ripped through the net.

In the first period, Carter Hart weathered the storm as the Rangers were all over him.

The Flyers had a chance to strike first thanks to the 21-year-old goalie. Jakub Voracek did the honors for the orange and black by slinging home a rebound past Henrik Lundqvist.

The sequence all started off a nice play by Justin Braun. Voracek was all smiles and then did some visualizing on the bench.


There was a bold and daring Flyers fan at MSG. Let's hope he got home safely. He enjoyed his New York trip.


As the MSG public address announcer was announcing van Riemsdyk's first-period goal, the Flyers scored again with Scott Laughton ballooning the lead to 3-0.

After the Rangers responded, the Flyers answered right back courtesy of Aube-Kubel.

Is it just me or does Aube-Kubel look like a clean-cut Scott Hartnell in NHL 20?


Anyway, the Flyers led 4-1 at first intermission and 5-1 at second intermission.

Ryan Strome scored two of New York's goals and Artemi Panarin added one, but the Flyers stayed in control throughout.

Let's consider that a sweep.

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Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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