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 21, 1979: Canadiens 6, Flyers 6 — The biggest early-season test during The Streak came against the four-time defending Stanley Cup champions at the Spectrum. Bill Barber scored twice in a three-goal first period, while Brian Propp, Bobby Clarke and Rick MacLeish added scores in the second as the hosts led 6-2. The Habs did not go down easily, getting goals from Larry Robinson, Steve Shutt and Guy LaFleur before Rejean Houle tied the game with 2:49 remaining.
October 21, 1997: Flyers 7, Lightning 1 — Eric Lindros strikes the Bolts with a goal and four assists, including three in the first period alone. Vinny Prospal records his second career two-goal effort in the rout.
October 21, 2003: Kings 4, Flyers 0 – Roman Cechmanek gets his revenge on the team which dumped him over the Summer, making 22 saves at Staples Center in his first game against the Orange and Black.
October 22, 1976: Maple Leafs 6, Flyers 1 – Future Flyer Darryl Sittler recorded a hat trick, and Toronto poured 40 shots on both Bernie Parent and Wayne Stephenson at Maple Leaf Gardens.
October 22, 1995: Blackhawks 5, Flyers 4 – At United Center, Philly’s season-opening six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) comes to a screeching halt. Eric Daze scored twice, but Joe Murphy’s first goal of the season was the winner just 5:35 played in the third period. Dominick Roussel stopped 18 of 23 shots in defeat.
October 22, 1999: Flyers 2, Rangers 0 – Vanbiesbrouck makes 20 saves, while Daymond Langkow and Dan McGillis add their first goals of the season in the second period to help Philly walk out of Madison Square Garden with another clean sheet.
October 22, 2003: Mighty Ducks 4, Flyers 3 (OT) – Rob Niedermayer netted the winner just 70 seconds into overtime. But it wouldn’t have gotten that far if it wasn’t for Tony Amonte, who tied the game with three-tenths (0.3) of a second left in the third period — the closest to triple zeroes that any player in franchise history has hit the back of the net.
October 22, 2005: Flyers 5, Maple Leafs 2 – Mike Richards scores his first career 3-on-5 goal to help Ken Hitchcock’s club take one on a Saturday night at Air Canada Centre:
Mike Knuble, Donald Brashear and Branko Radivojevic tallied in the third period to seal the victory.
October 22, 2006: “Bloody Sunday” – After starting the 2006-07 season 1-6-1, which included a 9-1 loss at Buffalo and further road defeats against Tampa Bay and Florida, the Flyers’ braintrust is shaken up early on a Sunday morning. Out was GM Bob Clarke, replaced by his former teammate and long-time apprentice Paul Holmgren. Also removed was head coach Ken Hitchcock, axed due to his clash of style with a younger roster than in previous years; his replacement was John Stevens, 2005 Calder Cup winner as head coach of the Phantoms and promoted prior to the season to the post of NHL assistant.
Here’s a personal reflection piece submitted one year ago about the infamous day, which garnered enough notice to be featured on CSN Philly’s “Lunch Break” series.
October 22, 2008: Sharks 7, Flyers 6 (SO) – In front of a sparse home crowd due to the Phillies playing in Game 1 of the World Series, John Stevens’ team loses their sixth straight game to begin the season. Jeremy Roenick, of all people, gets the winner in the breakaway round, negating a comeback from a 6-3 deficit by the hosts. Joffrey Lupul scored twice and Scott Hartnell added three assists in the loss.
October 23, 1982: Flyers 4, Penguins 2 – One of the most bizarre losses in franchise history occurred this night at the Civic Arena. Despite being outshot by a 50-17 margin, Pittsburgh snags the win with goals from Doug Lecuyer and Pat Boutette 65 seconds apart early in the third period. Rick St. Croix stops only 13 shots, while counterpart Michel Dion made 48 saves.
October 23, 1983: Flyers 8, Maple Leafs 5 – Prior to the game, head coach-GM Bob McCammon pulls the trigger on a deal with the Penguins, acquiring Rich Sutter and two draft picks in 1984 for Ron Flockhart, Mark Taylor, Andy Brickley and two ’84 selections. Later that evening, Sutter, along with twin brother Ron, each tally a goal while Rick MacLeish adds another and two assists. Toronto’s Rick Vaive accounted for three of the Leafs’ tallies in defeat.
October 23, 1993: Jets 9, Flyers 6 – While the Phillies were losing the World Series in Toronto, another Canadian team was whipping a Philadelphia club right here at home. Keith Tkachuk recorded a hat trick, Teemu Selanne added two goals and three assists, and Alexei Zhamnov posted a goal and four helpers. Mikael Renberg scored twice, but Tommy Soderstrom was punctured for nine goals on 32 shots.
October 24, 1976: Flyers 5, Rockies 3 – MacLeish fuels this Spectrum victory with a hat trick. Ross Lonsberry and Don Saleski also solve Colorado goaltender Bill McKenzie.
October 24, 1985: Flyers 3, Whalers 0 – Pelle Lindbergh records his first shutout of the season, but also his seventh and final career whitewash, turning aside 24 Hartford shots. Ilkka Sinisalo, Tim Kerr and Mark Howe beat backup goalie Steve Weeks.
October 24, 1992: Canadiens 7, Flyers 6 – Greg Paslawski played only 60 games in Philadelphia, but his 10th was a memorable one, as the veteran winger picked up a hat trick and one assist. But thanks to Stephane Beauregard stopping only two of Montreal’s six first-period shots, this game turned into a shootout. Patrice Brisebois and Stephane Lebeau beat Roussel in a 45-second span early in the third, and a Flyers comeback fell short as Paslawski finished off his trifecta and Brian Benning added a late marker.
October 24, 1999: Flyers 2, Panthers 0 – Vanbiesbrouck finishes off the three-game shutout run with a 22-save performance. Jody Hull and Lindros pick up tallies for the home team.
October 24, 2009: Flyers 5, Panthers 1 – Mike Richards does the dirt to David Booth:
October 25, 1984: Flyers 7, Blues 2 – Kerr records his first four-goal game of an epic season, but the most important fact about this Thursday night game at the Spectrum, was the beginning of a budding singing career for a familiar face in the Flyers family:
October 25, 2005: Canadiens 3, Flyers 2 (OT) – Mike Ribeiro’s second of the contest came midway through overtime at Bell Centre, but this game was notable for it being Ground Zero for the final concussion that ended Keith Primeau’s career. Alexander Perezhogin laid Primeau out with a questionable hit early in the game, and the woozy captain departed the ice, never to be the same.
October 26, 1975: Flyers 7, Rangers 2 – Barber hits the back of the net three times against Ed Giacomin in this rout by the Orange and Black at Madison Square Garden.
October 26, 1987: Flyers 2, Rangers 2 – Ron Hextall’s first game back from serving his eight-game suspension for slashing Edmonton’s Kent Nilsson was an interesting one to say the least. He stopped 40 shots to preserve a tie at MSG, but it was one of his teammates which made headlines late in regulation:
Sandstrom, in his early days, had a nasty habit of carrying his stick too high and paid little for his indiscretions, flopping at the first sign of trouble. That is, until Brown decided to start repaying some of that debt. He was suspended towards the end of the previous regular season for enacting some revenge and on this night in Manhattan, it’s easy to see why Gene Hart and Bobby Taylor accused the Swede of embellishment.
One problem: Sandstrom was injured, suffering a broken jaw. Brown, who was booed the next night in New Jersey for his indiscretion, soon drew a 10-game ban and both of the Flyers broadcasters had to make an on-air apology during a 4-0 loss to the Devils at the Meadowlands.
October 27, 1981: Canadiens 11, Flyers 2 – The still-standing club record eight-game unbeaten streak (7-0-1) to start the 81-82 season comes to a crashing halt at the Forum in Montreal. The Habs chase Pete Peeters with a six-goal first period and roll up a 45-25 shot edge in what still stands as the worst beating the Orange and Black have absorbed, home or away, against the storied franchise.
October 27, 2005: Flyers 5, Panthers 4 (OT) – After a wait of some 14 years, Peter Forsberg records his first goal in a Flyers uniform, coming 50 seconds before the end of regulation and helping the hosts force overtime. Once there, Joni Pitkanen won it just 63 seconds in.
October 27, 2011: Jets 9, Flyers 8 – Winnipeg’s first visit to Philadelphia since March of 1996 turned into an all-timer, thanks to porous defense and goaltending from both sides.
The 17 combined goals tied a franchise record achieved only four times previously: 2/27/82 at Calgary (9-8 win); 3/22/84 vs. Pittsburgh (13-4 win), 2/23/88 at Detroit (11-6 win) and 4/25/89 at Pittsburgh (10-7 loss in Game 5 of the Patrick Division Finals).