Watson said with a laugh that the Cup-less streak was so long that “there might be none of us left” when the team, which has a lot of young players, finally win another.

The Flyers, who missed the Stanley Cup playoffs in two of the previous three seasons, qualified for the playoffs on the final day of the regular season. They earned a matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins, their hated rival and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.

After a 7-0 loss on Wednesday to the Penguins in Pittsburgh in Game 1 of the series, the Flyers rallied for a 5-1 victory in Game 2 on Friday, scraping up some mojo. Game 3 is Sunday in Philadelphia, which was called a “city of losers” as recently as the beginning of February but which is now on a winning streak.

The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl in February, their first N.F.L. championship since 1960. Villanova, whose campus is 12 miles outside Philadelphia, this month won the N.C.A.A. men’s basketball tournament for the second time in three years, celebrating with a victory parade through Philadelphia city streets.

With the Eagles’ championship, the Flyers took over as the city professional team whose title wait is the longest. The 76ers won their last N.B.A. title in 1983, and the Phillies won their last World Series in 2008.

“I’m pretty sure we’re all aware of it,” Shayne Gostisbehere, a 24-year-old defenseman, said of the 43-year streak. “The whole city of Philadelphia is, probably.”

Photo

Flyers players said they were impressed by the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory parade in February.

Credit
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Championship fever may be contagious. After the Eagles won the Super Bowl on Feb. 4, the Flyers won 10 of their next 11 games, with the only loss in a shootout. The Sixers, who made the N.B.A. playoffs this season for the first time since 2012, won seven games in a row after the Super Bowl.

“When you see that parade, you want to take part in one yourself,” said Jake Voracek, the forward who has played for the Flyers for seven seasons. “Maybe, in that way, it helps. Gives you that push.”

Claude Giroux, the Flyers’ captain, said he would love to reward the longstanding hockey fans of Philadelphia with at least a strong Cup run.

“I don’t think we need any more motivation to win the Cup; it’s been our dream since we were kids,” Giroux said.

But Giroux watched the Eagles’ parade on television with his teammates after a morning skate before a Feb. 8 home game against Montreal, and said: “Seeing the passion of the fans — I just remember the guys looking at each other with those big eyes. They were pretty impressed.”

The Flyers are behind the Eagles, the Phillies and the 76ers in fan interest in Philadelphia. But Glen Macnow, the longtime host of a sports-radio talk show on 94WIP, said of the Flyers, “There’s still more interest and passion for them than the No. 1 or 2 team in most other cities.”

He added: “A sustained Cup run this spring will draw eyes — and hearts — and prompt even the most casual Philadelphia fans to find everything orange and black in their wardrobe and head back to Broad Street. The Eagles’ parade reminded everyone how joyous and unifying those events can be. If the Flyers are playing into late May, there won’t be a person in town unable to explain the definition of icing.”

The Flyers still lean hard on Broad Street Bullies nostalgia. Lauren Hart, the daughter of the Cup-era radio announcer Gene Hart, sometimes sings “God Bless America” before games as a duet with a video of Kate Smith, who was regarded as a lucky charm when the Flyers won their two Stanley Cups.

“If anything, I’d like to see the fans see another one,” said Gary Dornhoefer, 75, a forward for the two Cup teams. “I’ve seen enough. I’ve been there.”

Dornhoefer said he had no problem with the Flyers’ past being right in the face of the current players in their dressing room, saying with a laugh: “I would want it around. I think it would motivate me even more.”

He said of the Eagles, who won three playoff games as underdogs, “They weren’t favored to win, either, but they won it all.”

Now it would seem to be the Flyers’ turn.

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