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.
December 2, 1973: Flyers 5, Golden Seals 1 – California’s Barry Cummins learns a valuable lesson in mob retribution. After the rookie defenseman smashed Bobby Clarke in the head with a two-hander, reacting to Clarke’s usual hack-job on the opposition, Bill Flett, Don Saleski and others combined to pummel Cummins into submission. Cummins got the worst of the beating, a $300 fine and called Clarke to apologize for his initial attack.
December 2, 1979: Red Wings 4, Flyers 4 – It appeared “The Streak” was comfortably on its way to Game #21 thanks to two goals from Al Hill and one each from Paul Holmgren and Dennis Ververgaert, but Detroit scored twice in the final 6:40 of regulation to eke out a tie at the Spectrum. Nonetheless, Pat Quinn’s club improved to 16-0-5 during the run.
December 2, 1986: Flyers 7, Blues 1 – Brian Propp’s eighth career hat trick was also his first career four-goal game. The “Guffaw” was showcased twice in the first period and twice more in the third, making it an easy night for Glenn “Chico” Resch, who picked up a rare win in a rare start. Mark Howe added two goals in the victory.
December 2, 1991: Rangers 4, Flyers 2 – Paul Holmgren’s final game as Philadelphia head coach came in this defeat at Madison Square Garden, pushing his club’s winless streak to seven (0-6-1). New York goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck made 35 saves to send the hosts to another positive decision.
December 2, 1993: Flyers 6, Canucks 3 – Slava Butsayev’s finest moment in Orange and Black comes at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, where the Russian winger netted his lone NHL hat trick.
December 2, 2008: Flyers 4, Lightning 3 (OT) – Mike Richards’ second goal of the game, coming on a power play just after the two-minute mark of OT, was the winner. Jeff Carter scored twice, and Martin Biron stopped 34 pucks, including this late-game penalty shot by Ryan Malone that saved Scott Hartnell’s bacon:
December 3, 1969: Flyers 7, Kings 1 – Jim Johnson picks up his first hat trick with Philly in this rout at the Fabulous Forum.
December 3, 1983: Flyers 6, Penguins 3 – Bobby Clarke, Thomas Eriksson, Propp, Ron Sutter and Tim Kerr tally in a five-goal first period at the Igloo as the visitors unload 46 shots on Pittsburgh goaltender Michel Dion.
December 3, 1985: Red Wings 4, Flyers 1 – Mark Laforest picks up his first career win in his first career start at Joe Louis Arena against the #1 team in the NHL. He stops 35-of-36 shots to best counterpart Bob Froese, who was victimized by long scores from Reed Larson and Ron Duguay, along with short-range strikes from Warren Young and Dwight Foster.
December 3, 1992: Flyers 3, Nordiques 2 (OT) – A homecoming for one-fifth of the Quebec roster which had been acquired in the Eric Lindros deal, the hosts got the last laugh. Claude Boivin registered the winner in overtime, beating Ron Hextall with just over two minutes gone in the extra session.
December 3, 2005: Predators 4, Flyers 3 (SO) – In Nashville, the Orange and Black suffer their first defeat in their first-ever shootout opportunity. Derian Hatcher’s score with 2:09 left in regulation got the visitors to the new gimmick, which was won on a Paul Kariya shot on Antero Niittymaki.
December 4, 1970: Flyers 4, Golden Seals 0 – Bernie Parent picks up his 10th career shutout with a 22-save effort in Oakland.
December 4, 1979: Bruins 2, Flyers 2 – Despite logging a 38-14 shot advantage, the hosts fell behind by two goals thanks to strikes from Ray Bourque and Doug Smith. But Reggie Leach and Holmgren scored before the second period elapsed and “The Streak” reached 22 games.
December 4, 1982: Flyers 0, Penguins 0 – Incredibly rare for the decade, Denis Herron makes 30 saves and Pelle Lindbergh counters with 24 stops at the Igloo as these Pennsylvania rivals battle to their final scoreless deadlock.
December 4, 1983: Whalers 6, Flyers 5 – Hartford comes up with its first-ever win in Philadelphia thanks to Ray Neufeld’s tally with 7:08 left in the third period. Froese has a dismal night in net, making only 13 saves, wiping out a two-goal performance from Propp and three assists from Ray Allison.
December 5, 1971: Flyers 3, Golden Seals 0 – Doug Favell earns his 10th career shutout by stopping 27 shots in a Spectrum win.
December 5, 1991: Capitals 6, Flyers 3 – Bill Dineen’s first game at the helm in place of the fired Holmgren was a loss, but not without history. Terry Carkner recorded a two-man disadvantage short-handed goal to open the scoring, the first for the franchise since Murray Craven at Winnipeg in December of 1987. Holmgren, who was dumped prior to the game, ended his head coaching tenure with a record of 107-126-31 and a 10-9 playoff mark.
December 5, 1992: Senators 3, Flyers 2 – Philly’s first trip to Ottawa was a complete disaster, as Laurie Boschman and Jamie Baker score in the third period to let the expansion Sens steal a win at Ottawa Civic Centre.
December 5, 2002: Flyers 3, Rangers 2 (OT) – Michal Handzus ends this nationally-televised Atlantic Division battle in one of the most unlikely ways: an overtime penalty shot.
December 5, 2009: Capitals 8, Flyers 2 – John Stevens was sent packing and Peter Laviolette was brought in to inject some life into a passionless club. Problem was, only Washington showed any vital signs on this first night of Lavi’s tenure, tying a franchise record for largest margin of victory in Philadelphia (6-0 win on 12/21/80).
That didn’t stop Dan Carcillo from being Dan Carcillo:
December 6, 1979: Flyers 9, Kings 4 – The Streak rolls on at the Spectrum. Leach’s hat trick spurs a rally from a 3-0 deficit after one period. Ken Linseman, Jim Watson, Bill Barber and Ververgaert also score in a six-goal middle period and Leach finishes off the trifecta in the third, the final of nine straight scores for the hosts.
December 6, 1981: Flyers 8, Blues 2 – Another rout of St. Louis at home was made more interesting by Ron “Flocky Hockey” Flockhart, who scored goals eight seconds apart in the third period, still a club record for quickest scores by one player.
December 6, 2000: Flyers 6, Lightning 3 – John LeClair’s hat trick, his 11th career three-goal effort, fueled this home win over the Bolts in Craig Ramsay’s second-to-last game behind the Philadelphia bench.
December 6, 2005: Flyers 1, Flames 0 (SO) – The Orange and Black win their first double-shutout shootout game when Mike Richards beats Miikka Kiprusoff in the breakaway round. Antero Niittymaki made 28 saves in regulation.
December 7, 1986: Flyers 5, Oilers 2 – Dave Poulin (who beat Andy Moog 14 seconds in), Propp, Ed Hospodar and Peter Zezel score in a four-goal opening period and the hosts shut down the Edmonton offense. The win came at a price, as Propp will be lost for two months with a knee injury that cost him a shot at a 100-point season.
December 7, 1991: Flyers 5, Bruins 3 – Dineen earns his first victory as Flyers head coach at Boston Garden. Rod Brind’Amour scored twice, Mike Ricci and Brad Jones also tally in a strong third period.
December 7, 1995: Flyers 7, Sabres 3 – Despite blowing a 3-0 lead, the hosts regain equilibrium when Anatoli Semenov scores late in the second. LeClair, Lindros and Pat Falloon all register multi-goal efforts in this Spectrum rout.
December 8, 1967: Flyers 3, Kings 0 – Favell stops all 24 Los Angeles shots and the nascent Philly franchise records its first-ever road whitewash. Claude Laforge, Pat Hannigan and Gary Dornhoefer provide the offense.
December 8, 1977: Flyers 7, Rangers 4 – Leach and Ross Lonsberry score twice each in a six-goal third period, erasing a 2-1 New York advantage after 40 minutes of play.
December 8, 1987: Flyers 5, Bruins 2 – Hextall becomes the first goaltender in NHL history to actually shoot and score a goal, hitting the back of the empty Boston cage with 1:12 remaining. He’s also the first netminder since Billy Smith in November of 1979 to gain credit for a score. The surprise marker put the clincher on a four-goal third period, helped by the tying and go-ahead goals from Zezel:
One incident lost in Hextall’s history-making effort, was that earlier in the contest, defenseman Brad Marsh had to be taken to the hospital after suffering a seizure as a result of simultaneous clean, hard checks by Cam Neely and Bourque. The helmet-less Marsh also sustained a concussion before crumpling to the ice.
One more shot of happiness — the final minute-plus of regulation from Gene Hart and Bobby Taylor on PRISM:
December 8, 2001: Flyers 5, Wild 1 – Two tallies from Jan Hlavac fueled this Saturday matinee home win, a victory muted by the revelation following the game that head coach Barber’s wife, Jenny, passed away after a battle with cancer. Luke Richardson, Keith Primeau and Recchi added scores and Roman Cechmanek made 31 saves.
December 8, 2009: Flyers 6, Islanders 2 – In a rare statistical oddity, all eight goals were scored by four players netting two-goal games. For the hosts, Richards, Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux, with John Tavares tallying for New York.