Battle for Pennsylvania: Inside the on-ice rivalry

Many thought the torch had been passed from Mario Lemieux to Eric Lindros in 1997, but the Flyers never won the Cup.

The NHL broke new ground by doubling the size of the league and adding six new franchises for the 1967-68 season. Two of those teams — the Flyers and Penguins — are still around.

While the cross-state rivals didn’t cross paths in the postseason until 1989, the Flyers and Penguins have been frequent combatants since.

“The fans always remind us how they hate the Penguins, and I’m not a big fan of them, either,” said Claude Giroux.

First, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane:

The Backup Plan, 1989
Trailing Mario Lemieux and a young Jaromir Jagr, the Flyers forced the heavily-favored Penguins to a Game 7 at the Igloo, only to discover starting goalie Ron Hextall was hurt and couldn’t go. In stepped backup Ken Wregget. He stopped 39 shots against the team he’d later play for in the 4-1 series’ finale. Then, the Flyers fell to Montreal (in six) in the conference finals.

Changing of the Guard, 1997
The first round featured emerging Flyers star Eric Lindros vs. Mario Lemieux, the Penguins’ legend who had announced that he would retire after the playoffs.

“They were a lot better than us,” recalled Jagr. “It was kind of emotional.”

The Flyers made sure Mario wouldn’t leave with a Prince of Wales Trophy and won in five. As he and Lindros embraced in the post-series handshake line, it seemed apparent the balance of power in the East had shifted. Or so we thought. That proved to be the height of the Lindros era.

Count ‘em: Five overtimes, 2000
Jagr will never forget this series where the Penguins won twice here, then dropped the next four games. The epic Game 4 went until nearly 2:30 a.m. and lasted five OTs.

“We almost had the series. We would’ve been up 3-1 — and all the sudden it put them back in the series,” said Jagr. “Those wins and losses in overtime are mentally exhausting and we couldn’t recover after that.”

Changing of the Guard II, 2008
The Flyers had no answers for Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the Penguins, who outscored them 20-7 and easily advanced to the Cup finals in five. But the series laid the foundation for the recent hatred.

“It’s definitely amped up, with a lot of emotion,” said Scott Hartnell, one of just four Flyers still around from that series. “There’s a lot of body checking. A lot of everything.”  

Talbot silences Philly, 2009
Having battled back from a 3-0 hole to win the next two games, then surge to a 3-0 lead in Game 6, the Flyers had all the momentum. That’s when Pittsburgh’s Max Talbot — after losing a fight to Dan Carcillo — held his finger to his mouth to quiet the Philly fans. More than that, it inspired his teammates as they went on to score five unanswered goals and clinch the series. 


Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.


Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…


D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.


BSL, El to run all night on summer…

Officials announced this week that it would institute a pilot program this summer that would keep the El operational from 5 a.m. Friday morning until midnight Monday morning starting in…


'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 Join Philadelphia…


Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…


TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.


NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?


Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.


Flyers must make Rangers feel their presence

Perhaps it’s the proximity of the two biggest cities in the East, because whenever these two square off the intensity seems to rise.


Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…


How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…


Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.


Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.