A longer-than-usual season that started in Europe, featured vast improvement from last year and their first playoff-series victory since 2012 ended for the gallant Flyers on Saturday night.
It ended just like the last 44 seasons.
Without a Stanley Cup.
The Flyers dropped a 4-0 decision to the relentless New York Islanders at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena and lost the Eastern Conference semifinal, four games to three.
The Islanders got three points from Brock Nelson and a shutout from rarely tested Thomas Greiss (16 saves) as they advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 1993. They will face well-rested Tampa Bay in Edmonton and will try to continue the momentum built from series wins against Florida, Washington, and the Flyers.
The series against the top-seeded Flyers was, by far, their toughest. But the sixth-seeded Islanders' stars badly outplayed the Flyers' big guns, and Philadelphia's power play was 0 for 13 in the highly physical series.
The Flyers, co-favorites to win the Stanley Cup by many sports books when the playoffs started, went 10-6 in the postseason, which began with a three-game sweep in the round-robin tournament, followed by a six-game victory over Montreal in the conference quarterfinals.
They got inspiration from Oskar Lindblom's return to the lineup in Game 6 Thursday and, despite playing without injured star Sean Couturier, gutted out a 5-4 double-overtime win, their third overtime victory of the series.
Couturier returned to the lineup Saturday, but didn't look like himself and was replaced on the top line in the final period.
The Islanders added an empty-net goal by Anthony Beauvillier.