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 14, 1979: Flyers 4, Maple Leafs 3 – An NHL record 35-game unbeaten streak begins on this Sunday night at the Spectrum. Paul Holmgren, Reggie Leach and Brian Propp tally in the first period, Bob Kelly got the winner late in the third, and Pete Peeters stopped 25 shots. One shot he didn’t turn away was a late penalty shot by Lanny McDonald, awarded when Pat Quinn decided to send out an extra player during a Toronto power play inside the final minute of regulation.
October 14, 1995: Flyers 3, Islanders 0 – Dominic Roussel posts his fifth and final shutout with the organization in his first start of the 1995-96 campaign, making 19 saves at Nassau Coliseum. Mikael Renberg, Rod Brind’Amour and Eric Lindros beat Tommy Salo in the third period.
October 14, 2005: Flyers 6, Penguins 5 (OT) – Mike Rathje’s first goal in a Philly uniform was the winner, at 3:17 of the extra period. It was necessary because the hosts blew a 5-1, second-period lead. Simon Gagne totaled two goals and two assists, with Peter Forsberg contributing four helpers. The tying score came from Maxime Talbot, his first NHL goal the result of a lapse in attention by Antero Niittymaki:
October 14, 2010: Lightning 3, Flyers 2 – After 11 years with the Orange and Black, which concluded with the unsuccessful run to the Stanley Cup Finals, Gagne was dealt to the Bolts for Matt Walker. He made his return to South Broad Street with a minus-one and one shot on net, but was feted with a tribute video.
October 15, 1977: Flyers 8, Penguins 2 – The “Bobs” took their collective frustrations out on the hosts at the Igloo. Bob Kelly and Bob Dailey each scored twice, with Bobby Clarke adding a goal and four assists in this rout.
October 15, 1987: Islanders 6, Flyers 0 – The worst home shutout loss to New York in team history to that point, and it remains so to this day. Pat LaFontaine and Alan Kerr lit the lamp twice, and Kelly Hrudey was perfect on 31 Philadelphia shots. With Ron Hextall serving his eight-game suspension for slashing Kent Nilsson in the previous Spring’s Cup Finals, the goaltending was left to Mark Laforest and Wendel Young.
October 15, 1988: Flyers 4, Kings 1 – Paul Holmgren moved to 4-0-0 in his young coaching career, as his club dealt the Wayne Gretzky-led LA squad a home defeat. Hextall stoned Gretzky on a breakaway, one of 30 saves, while his offense helped him with third-period goals from Propp, Dave Poulin and Ron Sutter.
October 15, 1993: Flyers 3, Capitals 0 – Roussel propped up his teammates — who only mustered 18 shots on goal — by making 39 saves at USAir Arena. Lindros, Mark Recchi and Josef Beranek solved Byron Dafoe in the final 20 minutes.
October 15, 2002: Flyers 6, Canadiens 2 – John LeClair registers the final four-goal effort of his career, once again making mincemeat of his former club. It is also the last four-goal game by a Flyers player to date.
October 16, 1977: Flyers 7, Blues 0 – Don Saleski nets three goals, his third and final career hat trick, in this Spectrum rout. Wayne Stephenson stopped 25 shots, and Rick Lapointe scored his first NHL tally in a five-goal second period.
October 16, 1990: Flyers 5, Penguins 1 – One day after the sudden, tragic death of Tim Kerr’s wife, Kathy, his teammates win one for him at Civic Arena. Scott Mellanby beat Tom Barrasso twice and Ken Wregget made 30 saves for the victory.
October 16, 2003: Flyers 0, Sharks 0 – The xth and final scoreless deadlock in franchise history occurred at HP Pavilion. Jeff Hackett and Evgeni Nabokov battled to the draw, as the former made 27 saves and the latter 26.
October 17, 1985: Nordiques 2, Flyers 1 – Despite a 43-shot fusillade on Quebec’s Richard Sevigny, only Murray Craven was able to hit the back of the net. Mark Kumpel scored twice, and Mike Keenan’s team dropped its second straight home game to begin the 1985-86 season. This would be their last loss until November 19, and last home loss until December 5.
October 17, 2006: Sabres 9, Flyers 1 – The worst loss, home or road, to Buffalo in club lore sees the hosts roll to victory thanks to a six-goal middle frame. Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy scored twice apiece. Maxim Afinogenov totals a goal and four assists and Robert Esche was left in for all nine scores. Ryan Miller made 37 saves, including a Mike Richards penalty shot. The defeat dropped Ken Hitchcock’s team to 1-4-1.
October 18, 1967: Flyers 2, Blues 1 – Success comes in the form of the franchise’s first-ever victory. Ed Hoekstra nets the deciding goal with 7:40 left in regulation and Doug Favell stops 34 shots at the Arena against a fellow expansion club.
October 18, 1984: Flyers 13, Canucks 2 – Propp and Ilkka Sinisalo recorded hat tricks as Philadelphia tied its franchise record for most goals scored in one game. Rookie Peter Zezel record his first career score, immortalized in this video tribute, and several good bouts punctuated this historic rout on Pattison Avenue. The 11-goal margin, not matched since this date and only reached on one prior occasion, also remains a club record for a win.
October 18, 1992: Flyers 5, Jets 4 – Brind’Amour and the forgotten Doug Evans score the tying and lead goals in a 16-second span inside the final two minutes of regulation to send this Bill Dineen-coached roster to victory at home.
October 18, 1996: Flyers 3, Coyotes 1 – The Orange and Black’s first-ever trip to Arizona results in a victory fueled by the first and only career two-goal effort from enforcer Scott Daniels. Shjon Podein hits the empty net and Hextall stops 27 Phoenix shots.
October 19, 1967: Flyers 1, Penguins 0 – In front of a crowd numbered at 7,812, Bill Sutherland nets the lone goal and Doug Favell made 21 saves to make the team’s Spectrum debut one for the history books.
October 20, 1977: Flyers 11, Penguins 0 – The one which set the club record for largest margin of victory. This demolition of Pittsburgh at home also stands as the biggest margin for a shutout win in team history. Leach and Barber each scored twice, Clarke picked up a goal and three helpers and the little known Barry Dean scored his first pro goal. Dunc Wilson was left in net for all 11 goals on 54 Philly shots. Parent had it easy, needing to make just 20 saves.
October 20, 1995: Flyers 4, Mighty Ducks 2 – The first full season in the Legion of Doom era sees their year-opening unbeaten streak stretched to six games (5-0-1) thanks to two scores from LeClair and one each by Lindros — who assisted twice — and Kevin Haller.
October 20, 1999: Flyers 5, Rangers 0 – Five different players score and John Vanbiesbrouck halts 34 shots as Philly puts together the first of three consecutive shutout wins that reverses an early-season 0-5-1 slide.
October 20, 2001: Flyers 6, Capitals 3 – Despite being the single-season point record holder, Recchi never recorded a hat trick with the club until this Saturday night, as he victimized Olaf Kozig twice and Craig Billington once. It only took 369 games to get there. LeClair backed that up with his own two-goal, one-assist performance.