Welcome to the next installment of the second series of “This Week in Flyers History,” which aims to dredge up old memories, good and bad, of Flyers feats in the recent to distant past and to provide good fodder for trivia buffs.
As it was during the second half of last season, we’ll be here every Sunday through what would have been the first part of this season, choc full of facts, figures, names and dates you need to know to gain that true depth as a Flyers fan.
October 7, 1976: Islanders 3, Flyers 0 – Coming off their third straight trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Orange and Black are rudely awakened by the fifth-year franchise at the Spectrum. Chico Resch stops all 25 shots he faced and Denis Potvin’s second period power-play score was the winner.
October 7, 1982: Flyers 9, Nordiques 5 – The official debut of all-black Cooperalls with the Flyers logo at the bottom comes in the highest-scoring season opener in team history. Rookie Dave Michayluk scores the first and only two goals of his NHL career, Mark Howe scores his first with Philly, and it counteracted a total of seven points from the three Stastny brothers.
October 7, 1995: Flyers 7, Canadiens 1 – Terry Murray’s club kicks off the year in style, ripping the Habs at the Forum. Seven different players score a goal, with Patrik Juhlin, Eric Lindros, John LeClair and Rob DiMaio beating Patrick Roy in the first period alone. Ron Hextall made 30 saves and Philly improved to 4-0-0 since the deal with Montreal that saw Mark Recchi head north for LeClair, Eric Desjardins and Gilbert Dionne.
October 7, 1999: Hurricanes 2, Flyers 0 – For the first time in history, the hosts are shut out in each of the first two games in any season. Arturs Irbe comes up with 30 saves, while Ron Francis and Bates Battaglia hit the net for Carolina.
October 7, 2006: Rangers 5, Flyers 4 (SO) –The longest shootout in both team’s histories ends with New York’s Marcel Hossa beating Antero Niittymaki in the 13th round.
October 7, 2010: Flyers 3, Penguins 2 – Claude Giroux and the rest of his teammates ruin Pittsburgh’s opening of CONSOL Energy Center on national television with the first of five straight wins there. Danny Briere logs the first goal in the venue’s history less than three minutes in, and Giroux nets the winner while shorthanded before five minutes elapsed in the third. Sergei Bobrovsky made his NHL debut and stopped 29 shots.
October 8, 2011: Flyers 3, Devils 0 – After a wait of 85 regular-season games, our beloved team finally pitches another shutout — and they do it on the road against a tough division foe. Ilya Bryzgalov gets his first Philly whitewash thanks to 20 saves, with Giroux, Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds hitting the back of the net, stealing a piece of The Rock.
October 9, 1981: Red Wings 2, Flyers 2 – Bill Barber rescues his team from a worse fate, scoring his first two goals of the campaign. Despite a 38-16 shot advantage, the hosts are pinned down by a Dead Wings-era Detroit club. The silver lining was, that this season-opener was the first of a still-standing club record eight games from the start of a season without a loss. Oh yeah, it was also the NHL debut of the infamous Cooperalls — long pants worn in place of the usual above-knee shorts.
October 9, 1983: Flyers 7, Penguins 1 – Barber hits a personal milestone with his 400th career goal. We’ll let the Flyers home site take it from there.
October 9, 1986: Flyers 2, Oilers 1 – Mike Keenan decides to shock the faithful, kicking off the club’s 20th anniversary season by starting untested rookie Ron Hextall instead of Vezina Trophy runner-up Bob Froese against the five-time defending Smythe Division champion Edmonton squad which had two Stanley Cups to its credit. Hextall, 22, rewards that faith by stopping the final 21 shots he faced after Jari Kurri opened the scoring 128 seconds after the opening faceoff. Ron Sutter and Peter Zezel score in the third period to seal the victory.
October 9, 1992: Flyers 6, Devils 4 – After scoring his first NHL goal three days earlier in Pittsburgh, Lindros introduces himself to the home crowd with the game-winning score coming 4:46 before the end of regulation. Yes, that’s what the people came to see, and see they did, another 288 times.
October 9, 1993: Flyers 5, Whalers 2 – Philly scores five times in the first period (with Kevin Dineen and Josef Beranek tallying twice — and holds on for the win. The action came so fast and furious, Gene Hart simply couldn’t keep up with it to let the fans watching on PHL 17 know what went down:
Oddly enough, the Flyers turned the trick twice, also ripping home five in the first period of their next game in Hartford in early April, and held on for a one-goal decision.
October 9, 1998: Flyers 1, Rangers 0 – John Vanbiesbrouck’s Philly debut couldn’t have gone any better (unless he stole a page from Hextall’s book and scored a goal), as he made 20 saves to preserve the win in Roger Neilson’s debut as full-time head coach. The lone goal from the visitors came off the stick of Alexandre Daigle — his third-to-last in a Flyers uniform.
October 10, 1974: Kings 5, Flyers 3 – Ed Snider was understandably proud that his team won a Stanley Cup the previous Spring after just seven years removed from being an expansion franchise. Thus, he wished his team wear that pride on their uniforms with a Stanley Cup patch on their left collarbones. Well, Los Angeles didn’t take too kindly to that and dealt the defending champs a humbling win on home ice. LA goalie Gary Edwards stopped 34-of-37 shots and Tommy Williams scored two goals. By the next game, the patches disappeared from the jerseys.
October 10, 1976: Flyers 1, Kings 0 – Ross Lonsberry scored the lone goal and Bernie Parent made 18 saves, but the contest was marred by a first period brawl that featured Dave Schultz, only by this time stirring the pot for Los Angeles. He scrapped with Paul Holmgren, then playing his first full season, causing the fierce Minnesotan to say “I had a feeling I’d be the guy he’d go after…I was the one he hadn’t played with.”
October 10, 1984 – In his first surprising act as Flyers GM, Bob Clarke traded Darryl Sittler — who, that day was to be named team captain — to the Detroit Red Wings on the day before the start of the 1984-85 season for a couple spare parts: Murray Craven and Joe Paterson. Sittler, stunned at the news, refused to report to Detroit for a week, and did hold a grudge against his former teammate over the way the deal went down.
October 10, 2007: Flyers 8, Canucks 2 – Mike Richards scores his second career 3-on-5 goal to cap this rout, making it 13 straight games (9-0-4) without a loss in Vancouver since January of 1989. This game was also notable for the cheap shot Jesse Boulerice dished out on Ryan Kesler, drawing the second lengthy suspension for a Philly player in 3 weeks.
October 11, 1967: Seals 5, Flyers 1 – The first regular-season game in club history was a dud. Parent allowed five goals on 33 shots, but Bill Sutherland recorded the first goal in team annals, beating Charlie Hodge at the 10:07 mark of the second period.
October 11, 1973: Flyers 2, Maple Leafs 0 – Parent makes his return to NHL-level hockey in Philadelphia by making 28 saves in the season-opener at the Spectrum. Terry Crisp scores in the first period and Barber added an insurance tally in the third period.
October 11, 1981: Flyers 8, Penguins 2 – Ilkka Sinisalo etches his name in the record books when he scores on Paul Harrison on a penalty shot for his first NHL goal at 16:39 of the third period. He was the third player to do so at that point, and is one of just five at present to have accomplished the feat.
October 11, 1997: Flyers 6, Canadiens 2 – LeClair continues to terrorize his former team, picking up a hat trick and two assists in the easy victory at Molson Centre. Lindros and new linemate Dainius Zubrus added a goal and two assists each.
October 11, 2000: Flyers 3, Wild 3 – Philadelphia’s first non-neutral-site visit to the Twin Cities since February of 1993 ends in a tie thanks to Desjardins’ tally just past the midway point of the third period.
October 12, 2002: Flyers 5, Flames 4 – Mark Recchi notched a hat trick and Jeremy Roenick added the winner with 1:10 remaining at the Saddledome, counteracting two scores from Martin Gelinas.
October 13, 1973: Flyers 6, Islanders 0 – Parent made 23 saves to record his second straight shutout to begin the 1973-74 campaign, and Don Saleski added two goals with an assist at Uniondale.
October 13, 1979: Flames 9, Flyers 2 – Despite a 48-25 shot advantage at the Omni, Phil Myre is beaten nine times, twice each by Eric Vail and Guy Chouinard. The silver lining in the blowout was that it was the last time Pat Quinn’s team lost a game until early January.
October 13, 1988: Flyers 7, North Stars 6 – At the Met Center in Bloomington, both teams combine for 10 power-play goals — six to Philadelphia. Brian Propp’s third score of the night put the visitors up 7-4 with 7:44 remaining and Hextall, who was bombarded with 50 shots, holds the fort despite giving up two late man-advantage scores. New head coach Paul Holmgren moves to 3-0-0 on the young season.
October 13, 1992: Nordiques 6, Flyers 3 – Lindros scores twice in his return to Quebec City after spurning the Nords, who selected him first-overall in the 1991 draft. Chaos and mayhem reigned at Le Colisee, as fans pelted the ice with debris and openly mocked the 19-year-old rookie.
En Francais, the pre-game show on the Quebec home broadcast:
Former Flyer Mike Ricci — one of six players dealt to Quebec in the Lindros trade, netted the game-winner late in the third period. Lindros would have to wait another calendar year before tasting victory in front of a hostile crowd.