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CLASSIC CLIP: ELIMINATION

Monday, 06.21.2010 / 9:27 AM / News
By Erin Pollina  - Sabres.com
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CLASSIC CLIP: ELIMINATION
Gerry Meehan (Buffalo Sabres)
The rivalry between the Buffalo Sabres and the Philadelphia Flyers seems to go as far back as the teams themselves.

And while most fans point to the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals – a series in which the Flyers claimed their second consecutive championship against Buffalo – as the beginning of a loathsome and arduous relationship; a previous incident between the squads may have been the catalyst for it all.

The year was 1972 and it came down to the final game of the regular season.

The Sabres and Flyers were still both in their infancy; with Philadelphia joining the NHL in 1967 and Buffalo gaining expansion in 1970.

The Broad Street Bullies were hardly in effect yet, but their physical play was rapidly becoming their trademark. The Sabres, in contrast, were the youngest team in the League – with Gerry Meehan at the ripe age of 25 serving as one of their oldest players. Buffalo was searching for an identity in their second season and looking to make a statement.

On April 2, at Memorial Auditorium, they got their wish.

Philadelphia, who had made the playoffs in three of their first four seasons, were hoping to once again gain a postseason berth. They needed a win or a tie in the season finale to surpass the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final seed in the East.

The Flyers jumped out to an early lead with a goal from Bobby Clarke in the first period. Rick Foley then put Philly up 2-0 midway through the second frame.

Less than two minutes later, Gilbert Perreault put the Sabres on the board and cut the lead to 2-1. None other than rookie Rene Robert eventually notched things up at 2-2 with 8:47 gone in the third.

The score remained tied in the waning seconds of regulation, until former Flyer and current Sabres captain Gerry Meehan took a shot from the top of the circle to somehow beat netminder Doug Favell.

Just four seconds remained on the clock.

The final score was 3-2 Buffalo.

Philadelphia lost the tiebreaker to the Penguins who advanced to the 1972 playoffs – it would be the last time in 18 years that the Flyers would miss the postseason.

And while the Sabres did not qualify for the playoffs that year, the atmosphere in The Aud was electric as Milt Ellis announced the game’s three stars:

3. Gil Perreault
2. Rene Robert
1. Gerry Meehan


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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82