The 1986 Stanley Cup playoffs marked the fifth time the Flyers and Rangers met in the playoffs in the 1980's. Blood and sweat had been traded between the teams in four hard-fought series, including a 1985 sweep by Philadelphia the season prior, which left the Blueshirts wanting revenge.
The Flyers entered the playoffs as a No. 1 seed after winning the Patrick Division, and had beaten the Rangers in 18 of the previous 19 games, perhaps Philadelphia underestimated the Blueshirts. If they did, that was out the window after Game 1. Rookie Mike Ridley scored two goals to lead the Rangers to a 6-2 victory. The Flyers, though, rebounded the next night to take Game 2, 2-1.
Game 3 went to the Rangers 5-2, and after a 7-1 beating at home by the Flyers, New York would take the best of five series at the Spectrum, 5-2.