Bruins, Flyers Renew Playoff Rivalry After Splitting First Four Series

The Bruins have not played the Philadelphia Flyers in the playoffs since 1978, back when the curse of the Bambino was alive and well, communism threatened the world and people communicated on telephones, not Facebook and Twitter.

In total, Boston has met Philadelphia four times in the postseason. The Flyers won the first two series, but the B's have taken the last two.

1978 Stanley Cup Semifinals

The 1977-78 season was the season of the "Bloody O'Reilly." While the Bruins finished 51-18-11 with 333 goals and 218 allowed, right wing Terry O'Reilly had arguably his best season, posting 29 goals and 90 points.

The B's swept the Chicago Blackhawks in the quarterfinals to secure a fight with the Flyers, who went 4-1 against the Buffalo Sabres in their opening matchup. The Flyers were second in the Patrick Division with a 45-20-15 record, 296 goals and 200 allowed, but they were overmatched against the Bruins, who had 11 20-goal scorers that season, still an NHL record.

The Flyers won Game 3 of the series, but the Bruins slammed the door in five games.

Boston then fell to Montreal 4-2 in the Stanley Cup Finals..

1977 Stanley Cup Semifinals

The Bruins finished first in the Adams Division with a 49-23-8 record, 312 goals and 240 allowed. The Flyers finished first in the Patrick Division with a 48-16-16 mark, 323 goals and 213 allowed. 

The Bruins swept the Flyers out of the playoffs, but the games were neck-and-neck, with Boston claiming the first two in overtime in Philadelphia.

The Bruins were unable to keep the momentum going and lost to the Canadiens in the Finals 4-0.

1976 Stanley Cup Semifinals

1976 is the last time the Flyers won a playoff series against the Bruins. This is also the year Bobby Orr left the Bruins for the Blackhawks; Phil Esposito and Carol Vadnais were traded to the Rangers for Brad Park, Jean Ratelle and Joe Zanussi; and Gary Cheevers returned from the World Hockey Association to mind the net.

The Bruins went 48-15-17 to top the Adams Division. After reaching the semifinals with a 4-3 quarterfinals win against the Los Angeles Kings, the B's fell to the Flyers in six games.

Philly, which went 51-13-16 during the regular season, was swept by Montreal in the Finals.

1974 Stanley Cup Final

The Bruins and Flyers each were No.1 in their divisions in 1974. The Bruins went 52-17-9 during the regular season, while and the Flyers were 50-16-12.

The B's entered the Finals in search of their sixth Cup after beating the Toronto Maple Leafs (4-0) and the Chicago Blackhawks (4-2). The Flyers were making their first Finals appearance after defeating the Atlanta Flames (4-0) and New York Rangers (4-3). 

The Bruins were favored to win. They had home-ice advantage and were 17-2 record against the Flyers in Boston. However, things didn't go according to plan. Philly topped the B’s in overtime at the Garden in Game 2.

The B's had no answer for Flyers captain Bobby Clarke, and Philly goaltender Bernie Parent held off Orr, Esposito, Ken Hodge and Wayne Cashman to take home MVP. 

"The Bruins are only No. 2," Orr said after losing the series in six games.

With the exception of this Stanley Cup win for the Flyers, the three other meetings between the two clubs have resulted in the victor falling to the Canadiens, who face the Penguins in the other conference semifinal this year.

Will history repeat itself, or will a new chapter be written?

Yardbarker

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