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Back-to-Back 30-Win Seasons for Hextall: April 2, 1988

by @NHLFlyers

In his second NHL season, Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall clinched his second straight 30-win season as he got the W in a wide-open 7-4 road win over the Quebec Nordiques on April 2, 1988. He became the first Flyers goalie since Bernie Parent (back-to-back seasons of topping 40 wins) to accomplish the feat. Hextall stopped 32 of 36 shots to nail down the win.

The Flyers trailed 1-0 at the third intermission. They exploded for three goals in a 39-second span in the second period as Mark Howe lit the lamp and Murray Craven scored back-to-back goals. After Michel Goulet's second goal of the game cut the Quebec gap to 3-2, Peter Zezel and Ilkka Sinisalo took turns setting each other up for goals over a span of just 41 seconds to open up a 5-2 advantage.

The third period saw the teams score twice apiece. Philly maintained its three-goal cushion with a Dave Brown tally and Sinisalo's second goal of the game. 

Craven's two goals clinched a 30-goal season for the young forward.


April 2: Through the Years

  • 1969: In the earliest playoff date on the calendar in franchise history, the Flyers drop a 5-2 road game to the St. Louis Blues. The Blues would go on to sweep the series.


  • 1974: The Flyers double up the visiting Minnesota North Stars, 6-3. Seldom-used backup goaltender Bobby Taylor sees his first action since finishing out the final 15 minutes of 12-2 blowout win over Detroit on Feb. 2. This game is his first start since a nationally televised 5-3 loss to Boston on Jan. 27. Dave Schultz hits the 20-goal mark for the season in this tilt. The other Flyers goals come from Simon Nolet (19th), Bill Barber (29th), Bobby Clarke (35th), Bill Flett (16th) and Ross Lonsberry (29th). Hall of Famer Lorne "Gump" Worsley takes the loss.


  • 1977: Special teams dominance -- two shorthanded goals and one power play tally -- spurs the Flyers to a 4-1 home win over the New York Rangers. Rick MacLeish posts three points and scores shorthanded and even-strength goals for his 49th and 49th goals of the season, while Bobby Clarke collects three assists. Orest Kindrachuk (15th) and Bob "the Hound" Kelly (21st) also score for the Flyers. Wayne Stephenson stops 26 of 27 shots to earn the win in goal.


  • 1985: The Flyers build a 2-0 lead on goals by rookies Todd Bergen (eighth goal in his 12th NHL game) and Len Hachborn (5th) and then hang on to earn a 2-1 road win over the New York Rangers behind Bob Froese's 29-save performance. Anders Hedberg scores the lone New York goal.


  • 1986: Bob Froese (41 saves) outduels John Vanbiesbrouck (27 saves) for the second straight year in a March 2 win for the Flyers at Madison Square Garden. This time, Philly downs the Rangers by a 3-2 count. Dave Poulin (27th) and Tim Kerr (55th and 56th) score the goals for Philadelphia, while Mark Howe logs nearly 38 minutes of ice time and records two shots on goal and an assist on Kerr's third-period power play goal.


  • 1994: Flyers winger Mikael Renberg furthers his franchise record (still standing) for points by a rookie as he scores his 38th goal and assists on a Rod Brind'Amour tally in a 6-5 Flyers road win over the Hartford Whalers. Brind'Amour has a three-point game, while Eric Lindros notches his 43rd and 44th goals of his second NHL season amid a three-point night.


  • 1996: The Flyers roll to a 6-2 road win over the New York Islanders. Rod Brind'Amour leads the way with a shorthanded goal and two assists, while back-to-back shorthanded goals in the second period by Shjon Podein (14th of the season) and Joel Otto (11th) turn the game into a blowout. Otto later scores again in the third period for his 12th tally of the season.


  • 1998: Sean Burke records his first shutout as a Flyer, stopping all 29 shots he sees in a 3-0 home win over Los Angeles. Alexandre Daigle (16th goal), Joel Otto (third) and Shjon Podein (11th) provide the goal support.


  • 2006: The Flyers' dominant top line trio of Peter Forsberg, Mike Knuble and Simon Gagne sparks a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders. Rookie Jeff Carter hits the 20-goal mark in the same game, while Sami Kapanen adds a late-game empty netter with the Flyers playing shorthanded. Robert Esche stops 31 of 32 shots for the win.



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