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2009-10

• On December 4, the Montreal Canadiens celebrated the 100th anniversary of their inaugural game. Prior to their game against the Boston Bruins, the team held a lavish ceremony commemorating the historic occasion. As part of it, the team retired the jerseys of the two oldest living Canadiens -- Émile Bouchard and Elmer Lach. Taking a page out of Ray Bourque's book, defenseman Ryan O'Byrne pulled off his number 3 jersey, unveiling his new number (20) to officially retire Bouchard's number 3.

• For the third year in a row, the Winter Classic is played on New Year's Day. This year, the Boston Bruins hosted the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park. The Bruins became the first home team to win a regular season outdoor game, beating the Flyers in overtime, 2-1. As usual, both teams wore special retro-themed uniforms -- and as usual, both became extremely popular with their respective fan bases. The Bruins wore their Winter Classic uniforms for a few subsequent home games, while the Flyers made their Winter Classic uniforms their regular away uniforms in 2010-11.

• Due to the Winter Olympics taking place in February 2010 in Vancouver, the All-Star Game was not played this season.

• For the first time, a shootout decides the last playoff spot. The Flyers hosted the New York Rangers on the last day of the season, with the winner making the playoffs and the loser being eliminated. The game went to a shootout after overtime failed to break a 1-1 tie. The Flyers won the shootout -- and with it the last playoff spot (and the 7th seed) in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers were eliminated.

• And if that wasn't enough for the Flyers, they pull a double-comeback for the ages against the Bruins in the playoffs, becoming the third team in NHL history to rebound from an 0-3 series deficit to win a seven-game series. The seventh game is a microcosm of the series, with the Flyers rebounding from a 3-0 first period deficit to win, 4-3. The Flyers scored the game winning goal on a power play in the third period, after the Bruins were called for -- what else? -- too many men on the ice.

• The Flyers would advance all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, but their quest to go from last team in to last team standing comes up just short. The Chicago Blackhawks beat them in the Finals, four games to two, to win their first Stanley Cup in 49 years. The Blackhawks won the cup on an overtime goal by Patrick Kane. The title is also the first for Marian Hossa, who became the first player in NHL history to play in three straight Stanley Cup Final with three different teams.


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