To celebrate the fact that the Penguins will open up the new CONSOL Energy Center tonight by welcoming the Flyers, I’ve decided to dip into the history machine again and pull out what I think are the five best and worst games the club has played in new arenas. Yesterday’s post featured the best game. Today, I write about bottom five games.
1. December 6, 1992 – Senators 3, Flyers 2 @ Ottawa Civic Center
Pelle Eklund and Claude Boivin scored for the Flyers but the story was that a club in the middle of their five-year playoff drought brought down more scorn on itself by dropping another in a series of first games on the road to an expansion franchise.
Stocked with a roster of nobodies, Ottawa won only 10 games in its first modern NHL season, and this was one (its third of the year actually), thanks
to a pair of third-period goals by Laurie Boschman and Jamie Baker on Stephane Beauregard. The Flyers coughed up a third-period lead by yielding the deciding scores in a span of less than two minutes.
Peter Sidorkiewicz — a castoff from mediocre to terrible Whalers teams — got credit for the win by stopping 24 shots.
2. January 6, 1994 – Stars 8, Flyers 0 @ Reunion Arena
The Minnesota North Stars became the Dallas Stars prior to the season, and they rudely welcomed the Flyers to Big D with this painful rout.
To this day, it’s uncertain who decided to show up, and in the offseason, this was one of the games that unknown players identified as one that strained their relationship with then-head coach Terry Simpson.
Dominic Roussel and Tommy Soderstrom combined to stop just 15 shots as the team continued to slide without an injured Lindros. They were torched by Neal Broten’s goal and three assists, Ulf Dahlen’s two scores as well as tallies from Grant Ledyard, Dave Gagner, Mike McPhee, Paul Cavallini and Paul Broten.
3. January 14, 2000 – Atlanta 1, Flyers 0 @ Philips Arena
Yet another in a series of inexplicable road losses to expansion clubs, a team ticketed for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals failed to score against a first-year franchise.
Dean Sylvester registered the game’s lone score in the third period and Norm Maracle posted 26 saves for the club’s first-ever shutout. Brian Boucher turned back 17 shots but not the deciding one. It was one of only 14 wins that year for Atlanta.
4. January 3, 1992 – San Jose 3, Flyers 1 @ Cow Palace
Unlike losing to Ottawa, at least the Flyers went down to a 17-win expansion Sharks club that featured a third of the Cup finalist North Stars and Norris Trophy winner Doug Wilson.
Dale Craigwell — one of the few players of African descent active at the time — notched the winning goal on the power play early in the third and Kelly Kisio tallied an insurance marker into an empty net as Jeff Hackett won with 27 saves. Kevin Dineen scored the only Flyers goal.
5. October 11, 1967 – Oakland 5, Flyers 1 @ Oakland Coliseum
The inaugural contest, played on the road, in Flyers history was a certified stinker. Bernie Parent let up all five goals on 33 shots against a franchise that never posted a winning record, finished last in their division almost every season, then would leave California in 1976 and vacate the NHL landscape by 1978.