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Meltzer: 10 from 2,000

A look at the 10 most significant regular season wins in Flyers history

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @nhlflyers

On Monday night, the Flyers became the first non "Original Six" franchise -- and the second-fastest in National Hockey League history -- to attain 2,000 regular season victories. Philly did it in their 4,017th game. Only the Montreal Canadiens (3,767 games) reached the milestone sooner.

To celebrate the feat, here is a chronological cross-section of 10 landmark regular season wins in franchise history:

 

1. OCT. 18, 1967: Flyers 2 @ St. Louis 1

The first win in team history came in the third and final game of a season-opening road trip. Ed Hoekstra, a 30-year-old NHL "rookie" after many years in the minor leagues, scored the game-winner after team captain Lou Angotti opened the scoring. Doug Favell earned the victory in goal. One night later, in the first home game in team history, Favell and the Flyers shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins, 1-0; making a Bill Sutherland tally stand up the rest of the way.

 

2. NOV. 4, 1967: Flyers 4 @ Montreal 1

The Flyers first-ever win against one of the "Original Six" teams came at the expense of the mighty Canadiens at the storied Montreal Forum. Two local products led the way. Dynamic young goaltender Bernie Parent made 33 saves on a night the team was outshot by a 34-19 margin. On the same night, Leon Rochefort recorded the first hat trick in Flyers history. The Flyers went on to beat each of the Eastern Division (i.e, Original Six) teams at least once during the inaugural 1967-68 season en route to winning the Western Division championship.

 

3. OCT. 11, 1969: Flyers 4 @ Toronto 3

In the fourth game of his NHL career, rookie center Bobby Clarke set up former Flin Flon Bombers teammate Lew Morrison for a go-ahead (3-2) goal in the third period. The Flyers earned a 4-3 road win over the storied Toronto team at Maple Leaf Gardens in a time when expansion team wins over Original Six clubs were still quite hard to come by. Clarke, the most iconic position player in team history, would go on to record a Flyers franchise-record 1,210 regular season points over a 1,144-game Hall of Fame career. 

 

4. OCT. 11, 1973: Flyers 2 vs. Toronto 0

Bernie Parent's second stint with the Flyers -- and the team's journey to its first of two straight Stanley Cup championships -- began with a 28-save home shutout of his former team, Toronto. Terry Crisp and Bill Barber (power play) scored for the Flyers against ex-teammate Doug Favell, who had been traded for Parent, his longtime friend and teammate (junior hockey, minor leagues and NHL), to complete the trade that brought Bernie back to Philadelphia.

 

5. DEC. 22, 1979: Flyers 5 @ Boston 2

The Flyers refused to be denied on this night at the Boston Garden, making NHL history with a record 29-game unbeaten streak on the same night Bobby Clarke recorded his 900th career point. The streak would grow to a North American pro sports record 35 straight games without a loss (25-0-10) with a 4-2 road win over the Sabres at the Aud in Buffalo on Jan. 6, 1980.

 

6. NOV. 14, 1985: Flyers 5 vs. Edmonton 3

It wasn't supposed to be this way: a night of mourning and temporary catharsis through hockey. But it was. After a memorial ceremony for beloved Vezina Trophy winning goaltender Pelle Lindbergh, who perished at age 26 from brain injuries suffered in a late-night automobile accident on Nov. 10, the team had shift its focus to winning a hockey game against the defending Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers. With Lindbergh's parents, fiancee, and brother-in-law in attendance, the team delivered a 5-3 victory. Callup goaltender Darren Jensen performed admirably. After the game, Pelle's father, the late Sigge Lindbergh, shook the hand of each and every player in the Flyers locker room. The victory gave the Flyers an 11-game winning streak (on the way to 13 in a row), but there was no celebration on this night; only grieving among the Flyers' extended family and fanbase.

 

7. APR. 11, 1996: Flyers 3 vs. Montreal 2

In the Flyers' final regular season home game at the legendary Spectrum, the team clinched the Atlantic Division championship on a shorthanded goal by Shjon Podein, an even-strength tally by John Druce and the eventual game-winning goal by John LeClair. The Flyers slammed the door with authority in the third period (10-4 shot advantage) and Ron Hextall needed only to make 17 saves on 19 shots for the game. In an elaborate postgame ceremony, each member of the current team skated a victory lap with one counterpart Alumni player from previous era.

 

8. APR. 11, 2010 "The Shootout": Flyers 2 vs. New York Rangers 1

The 2009-10 season came down to a winner-takes-all shootout finale at the Wells Fargo Center: the winner would make the playoffs and the loser would miss the postseason. Brian Boucher needed to outduel superstar Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist -- and did just that. Successful attempts by Danny Briere and Claude Giroux put the Flyers within one save of the vital bonus point. Boucher then denied New York's Olli Jokinen to earn the win. With a playoff spot locked up by the narrowest of margins, the Flyers went on to make a run to an overtime Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

 

9. APR. 9, 2016: Flyers 3 vs. Pittsburgh 1

With the Flyers in need of two points on the penultimate day of the regular season in order to clinch a playoff spot, power forward Wayne Simmonds dedicated the game beforehand to Flyers' co-founder and longtime chairman Ed Snider. He delivered on his promise with two goals. The Flyers trailed 1-0 early and were in severe jeopardy of falling into a 2-0 hole when goaltender Steve Mason made a 10-bell save on Kael Moullierat from the left slot. The momentum turned thereafter and the Flyers went on to win the game. Before the game, anthemist Lauren Hart sang directly to the ailing Mr. Snider via FaceTime. Two days later, Ed Snider passed away at the age of 83.

 

10. FEB. 4, 2019: Flyers 2 vs. Vancouver 1

A brilliant 41-save performance by 20-year-old rookie goaltender Carter Hart backstopped the team to its 2,000th franchise regular season victory on the same time the team nailed down an eight-game winning streak. A power play goal by Sean Couturier and a breakaway tally by Jakub Voracek were just enough to win, courtesy of Hart.

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