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This Day in History


Jagr Downs Jets in OT to Cap Late Comeback: February 21, 2012

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One of the more dramatic late-game comeback victories in recent Flyers history took place on February 21, 2012 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.

It is not often that a team gets markedly outplayed on special teams, runs into an opposing goalie who performed as well as the Jets' Ondrej Pavelec did in this game, finds itself staring at three separate one-goal deficits and still wins the hockey game. But that's exactly what the Philadelphia Flyers did in stealing a 5-4 overtime win.

The Flyers showed a lot of character, bombarding Pavelec with 55 shots and refusing to quit. As badly as things went for Philadelphia on the penalty kill (0-for-3, with three goals against on three shots), that's how dominant all four lines were at even strength. Eventually, they got rewarded.

On the brink of going down to a 4-3 regulation defeat in Winnipeg, the Flyers' Wayne Simmonds tied the game with 10 seconds left on the clock and goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov pulled for an extra attacker. Jaromir Jagr then scores then winning goal in overtime against goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who hails from the same small city (Kladno) in the Czech Republic as the future Hall of Famer.

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The Pinnacle of Flocky Hockey: February 20, 1982

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Although he may not have had the longevity of other Philadelphia Flyers scoring standouts, Smithers, British Columbia native Ron Flockhart enjoyed a wave of success and popularity early in his career with the team. His free-flowing, dipsy doodling style of play with the puck was dubbed "Flocky Hockey."

In 1981-82, the 21-year-old Flockhart racked up 33 goals and 72 points in 72 games. His most memorable stretch of play came in the month of February. Flockhart scored at least one goal in eight straight games to set a new Flyers franchise record. He set the mark on February 20, 1982 in a 6-5 road loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

During Flockhart's streak, he scored nine goals in eight games between the 4th and 20th of February. The streak would finally end in a Flyers' 1-0 shutout loss at the hands of the Boston Bruins. Flockhart's team-record goal streak would later be broken by Rick Tocchet, who scored in nine straight games between March 1 and 19, 1989.

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Flyers Acquire Recchi from Pittsburgh: February 19, 1992

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On February 19, 1992, the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins completed a major trade that would ultimately help both sides.

The Flyers gave up a lot -- team captain Rick Tocchet, hulking and reliable defensive defenseman Kjell Samuelsson and goaltender Ken Wregget, plus a 1992 third-round pick (Dave Roche). In return they received young star winger Mark Recchi, veteran defenseman Brian Benning and a 1992 first-round pick (Jason Bowen).

The Penguins' new acquisitions would become important contributors to their drive to the 1992 Stanley Cup championship. Recchi, meanwhile, would make an immediate impact on the Flyers' lineup over the remainder of the 1991-92 campaign. The following season, Recchi set a Flyers single-season scoring record. Later, Recchi was the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade with the Montreal Canadiens that brought John LeClair and Eric Desjardins to the Flyers.

Coincidentally, Samuelsson, Recchi and Tocchet would all subsequently return to the Flyers for second stints, and Recchi and Tocchet were teammates on the 1999-2000 Flyers team that fell one win short of reaching the Stanley Cup Final.

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President's Day Blowout in Uniondale: February 18, 2013

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The lockout-shortened 2012-13 season was an injury-riddled, underachieving campaign for the Philadelphia Flyers. However, the season was not without a few highlights.

One of the season's most memorable games took place in a President's Day matinee at the venerable Nassau County Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. On that afternoon, everything clicked for the Flyers in a 7-0 thrashing of the New York Islanders.

The onslaught started early as Claude Giroux (two goals, one assists) scored just 26 seconds after the opening faceoff. Danny Briere later collected a pair of goals and an assist. Jakub Voracek led the point-scoring bonanza with four points (one goal, three assists) on the afternoon. Second-year pro Brayden Schenn chipped in a goal and an assist, while agitating forward Zac Rinaldo scored his first goal of the season. Ilya Bryzgalov earned a19-save shutout.


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Clarke's First NHL Hat Trick: February 17, 1973

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If the 1972 Summit Series marked Bobby Clarke's arrival as a bona fide star player, the 1972-73 season marked his ascension to superstardom. That season, he became the first expansion team player to win the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player. 

On February 17, 1973, Clarke attained another personal milestone: his first NHL hat trick. It came at one of the league's most famous venues: the Montreal Forum.

Clarke's three goals lifted the Flyers to a 7-6 win in a slugfest with the Montreal Canadiens. Clarke's third goal with a little over three minutes left in the third period is the game winner. Bill Barber, Rick MacLeish and Simon Nolet also score. Bobby Taylor earns the win in net, despite allowing six goals on 39 shots.

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Tertyshny's First NHL Goal: February 16, 1999

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Rookie Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Dmitry Tertyshny scored the first goal of his NHL career in a 4-1 road win over the Phoenix Coyotes on July 23, 1999. Drafted by the Flyers in the sixth round (132nd overall) of the 1995 NHL Draft, the 22-year Russian blueliner came to North America for the 1998-99 season and unexpectedly became a semi-regular in Flyers' head coach Roger Neilson's lineup.

Tertyshny would score one more goal before his tragic death on July 23, 1999.

In the same game in which Tertyshny notched his first goal, John LeClair had two goals and two assists to figure in all the Philadelphia scoring. Linemate Keith Jones has three assists. Defenseman Eric Desjardins notches the other Flyers' goal.

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Flyers Trade Forsberg to Nashville: February 15, 2007

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With veteran superstar center Peter Forsberg increasingly debilitated by a congenital foot problem that eventually ended his career, he was unable to commit to a contract extension. Looking to secure their future, the Flyers traded the impending unrestricted free agent to the Nashville Predators. In return, the Flyers received speedy and aggressive young winger Scottie Upshall (a former Predators first-round pick), defense prospect Ryan Parent (also a first-round pick) plus the Predators' 2007 first-round pick.

The final element proved to be the most important in the long haul. After the season ended and the Predators were eliminated in the playoffs, the Flyers soon flip the Predators' first-round pick back to Nashville in exchange for the rights to impending free agent defenseman Kimmo Timonen and left winger Scott Hartnell.

Immediately upon announcing the trade, the Flyers also announced the signings of Timonen and Hartnell to six-year contracts. The Predators selected defenseman Jonathan Blum with the reacquired first-rounder.

The Flyers also acquired a 2007 third round pick from Nashville in the original Forsberg trade. That pick was subsequently traded to the Washington Capitals as the Flyers moved up in the draft to acquire a second-round pick. With that pick, the Flyers take defenseman Kevin Marshall. The Nashville pick that the Flyers transferred to the Capitals was used on Phil Desimone.

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Al Hill's Record-Setting NHL Debut: February 14, 1977

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Al Hill was a versatile depth forward for the Philadelphia Flyers. Primarily a checking forward, he could play wing or center and could be plugged into any line without looking out of place. He was reliable in his own of the ice, took the body willingly, dropped the gloves when necessary and could chip in the occasional clutch goal.

The lanky Nanaimo, British Columbia native was a respectable, but far from dominating goal scorer in junior hockey and the American Hockey League. He spent portions of seven seasons with the Flyers from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, including three uninterrupted campaigns with the big club.

In Hill's 221-game NHL career, he had a relatively modest 40 goals and 95 points. However, for one magical night, he was the best player in the NHL. The game, played on February 14, 1977 against the St. Louis Blues, also happened to be the player's NHL debut. 

Hill's five-point performance in his first game set an NHL record that still stands today. In fact, Hill nearly had a double "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" in his debut: two goals, three assists, and one fight.

"I didn't really think too much of it at the time," Hill recalls. "I really wasn't that type of player, and [setting the record] was just one of those things. Everything went my way that night. I played a little bit on all four lines in that game, and the puck just seemed to find me."

The 21-year-old undrafted Victoria Cougars graduate was invited to the Flyers 1976-77 training camp as a non-roster player. The rookie free agent impressed the Flyers' staff with his fundamentally sound play and hustle and was signed to a contract. Hill started the season in the AHL with the Springfield Indians and carried on at a steady, if unspectacular pace.

Legendary Flyers announcer Gene Hart once wrote of Hill, "His name befits his game: simple, direct and unadorned. As an undrafted player, he's had to conquer some steep hills simply to make it to the National Hockey League. Al is the type of unsung player that the Flyers have been masterful in finding."

In February of 1977, Philadelphia was beset with injuries on the big club. Among others, both All-Star left winger Bill Barber and right wing Paul Holmgren were out of the lineup. The Flyers reached down to their farm system for help.

Hill learned of his call-up on the same day he made his NHL debut. Incredibly, he nearly missed his date with destiny.

"We had a game in Rochester the night before, and we bussed back all night, getting home at about 4:30 in the morning," he recalls. "A few hours later, I got a call from the Flyers that they wanted me in the lineup at the Spectrum for the game against the Blues. I left for Philly right away, but there was a big snowstorm and, for awhile there, I wasn't sure if I'd able to make it in time to play."

When he finally arrived in Philadelphia, Hill learned that he'd not only be in the lineup, he'd also be skating on the game's first shift, along with team captain Bobby Clarke and Bob "the Hound" Kelly.

After the game, when the media asked Flyers head coach Fred Shero about starting Hill, Shero claimed, "I didn't even know we had him on the team."

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MacLeish Notches First Four-Goal Game in Flyers History: February 13, 1973

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En route to recording the first 50-goal season in Flyers' franchise history, Rick MacLeish tallied four goals - his 31st (power play), 32nd (power play), 33rd and 34th of the 1972-73 campaign - as the Flyers overcame an early 2-0 deficit and went on to punish the visiting New York Islanders, 8-2, at the Spectrum on February 13, 1973.

At the time, MacLeish set several team records that were later matched or surpassed.

His four goals set a new team record for most goals in a game and his two goals scored 27 seconds apart would be a new team record for fastest two goals by one player. His three second-period goals tied the team record for most goals by a player in one period.

Flyers defenseman Jean Potvin (later traded to the Islanders) scored a pair of goals in the same game, while rookie Bill Barber and fellow young forward Don Saleski scored once apiece.


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Rookie Gagne Spurs Comeback Win over Buffalo: February 12, 2000

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Selected by the Philadelphia Flyers with the 22nd overall pick of the first round in the 1998 NHL Draft, Simon Gagne went to make a big impact on the club in the 2000s. Drafted as a center, he soon found a home on left wing.

Regardless of the position he played, Gagne's presence was felt by the Flyers right away. He compiled 20 goals and 48 points as a rookie in 1999-2000.

One of the most memorable early moments in his NHL career took place on February 12, 2000. Gagne helped spur a comeback 3-2 home win in which he had two crucial assists.

Trailing the visiting Buffalo Sabres, 2-0, midway through regulation, goals by Dan McGillis (power play) and Daymond Langkow pulled the Flyers even. After a scoreless third period in which the Flyers enjoyed an 18-4 shot advantage, John LeClair finally wins the game in overtime. Gagne directly set up the McGillis and LeClair goals, earning primary assists on both tallies.

Rookie Flyers goaltender Brian Boucher made 21 saves to earn the win. Buffalo goalie and future Flyer, Martin Biron, makes 39 saves in a losing cause for the Sabres.

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