Boston, MA (Sports Network) – Simon Gagne registered the game-deciding power- play goal with 7:08 left in regulation as the Philadelphia Flyers etched their names in the NHL record book with a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Philadelphia, which stared down the barrel of a three-games-to-none series deficit, rallied back to win the final four games of the set and became the first team since the 1975 New York Islanders to win a postseason series when trailing 3-0.
Only two other teams in professional sports have rallied to win despite facing such a deficit — the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and 2004 Boston Red Sox.
The Flyers clinched their trip to the conference finals by doing it the hard way, as they climbed back from a 3-0 first-period hole. James van Riemsdyk, Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere all scored to erase Boston’s advantage.
A victory for the ages, it also marked the first time Philly rallied from a three-goal margin to win in a series-clinching contest since it took the 1974 quarterfinals against the Atlanta Flames with an overtime decision in Game 4.
Ville Leino added a pair of assists for the Flyers, who open up the next round at home on Sunday against the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens.
Michael Leighton was beaten three times in the opening period but finished with 22 stops for Philadelphia, which improved to 8-6 all-time in Game 7s and has won its last two ultimate games on the road.
Milan Lucic tallied twice and Michael Ryder once for the Bruins, who failed in their quest to reach the conference finals for the first time since 1992 in a failure of epic proportions.
Tuukka Rask allowed four goals on 27 shots in defeat for Boston, which suffered the loss one year to the day of a 3-2 overtime setback against Carolina in a Game 7 at home in the Eastern semis.