The late Pelle Lindbergh took a storybook trajectory to the top of the National Hockey League before his untimely death in November 1985. In the span of less than 10 years, he went from teenaged goaltending sensation in his native Sweden to a World Junior Championships and 1980 Olympic standout to the most valuable player and top goaltender in the American Hockey League as a rookie for the Maine Mariners to an NHL All-Star as a rookie for the Flyers and, finally, to the Vezina Trophy winner and Hart Trophy finalist in 1984-85.
During the 1982-83 season, a rookie Lindbergh entrenched himself as the Flyers' starting goaltender and earned a selection to the NHL All-Star Game. Everything was sailing along until he suffered a fractured wrist in a Flyers exhibition game at the Spectrum against the Russian national team on January 6, 1983.
Lindbergh was forced out of action for nearly a month. He returned to the Philadelphia lineup in Los Angeles just in time to be one of the victims of the then-common rookie "shave" locker room prank. The veterans reduced the flowing hair atop the rookie goalie's head to a severe buzzcut.
Unlike a shorn Samson, a self-conscious Lindbergh remained every bit as formidable as he was before the the involuntary haircut. Lindbergh shuts out the host LA Kings on 29 shots. Brian Propp's first-period power play goal and Brad McCrimmon's second-period tally were all the offensive support the little Swede needed to earn the win in a 2-0 victory.
February 5: Through the Years
- 1975: The Flyers take a hard-fought 4-3 win at Madison Square Garden over the New York Rangers. Even strength goals by Tom Bladon and Bill Clement in the first period and second-period power play goals by Ross Lonsberry (assisted by Clement) and Rick MacLeish are just enough to hold back a late push by the Rangers. Bernie Parent (26 saves) earns the win.
- 1984: The Flyers humiliate the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs, 7-0. Bob Froese cruises to a 24-save shutout. Offensively, Dave Poulin (two goals, one assist), Mark Howe (one goal, two assists) and Bobby Clarke (one goal, two assists) enjoy three-point nights. Ilkka Sinisalo and Tim Kerr also tally for Philly.
- 1985: Ilkka Sinisalo posts his third career hat trick but the Flyers go down, 7-5, to the host New York Islanders as a 4-1 deficit after the first period (Sinisalo's first goal of the game is the Flyers' lone tally of the opening stanza) proves too much to overcome. Rookie goalie Darren Jensen (23 saves on 30 shots) absorbs the loss.
- 1991: The Flyers hold leads of 1-0 and 2-1 on a Murray Craven goal and a successful penalty shot by forward Norm Lacombe against goaltender Kelly Hrudey. The leads evaporate and the visiting Kings go on to upend the Flyers, 3-2, at the Spectrum.
- 1998: The Flyers make a trade with the Vancouver Canucks: Philadelphia receives veteran forward Mike Sillinger for a 1998 fifth-round draft pick.
- 1998: Two goals apiece by John LeClair and Rod Brind'Amour pace the Flyers to a 6-2 road blowout win against the Phoenix Coyotes. Eric Lindros (one goal, one assist) and Colin Forbes also light the lamp for Philadelphia.
- 2004: A four-goal explosion in the second period opens the floodgates to a 5-1 Flyers road romp over the Atlanta Thrashers after trailing at the first intermission. Simon Gagne, Mark Recchi, Sami Kapanen, Tony Amonte and John LeClair (late third period goal) supply the fireworks.
- 2011: The Flyers grind out a 3-1 home win over the Dallas Stars behind a 30-save performance by Brian Boucher. Andrej Meszaros, Darroll Powe and Jeff Carter supply the team with one goal per period. A mid-second period goal by Dallas captain Brenden Morrow is the lone Stars' goal.
- 2013: A pair of backhanded goals from an unlikely source -- tough guy forward Tom Sestito - prove to be the difference in a 2-1 Flyers home win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ilya Bryzgalov stops 21 of 22 shots to earn the victory. In the third period, Flyers forward Max Talbot takes Tampa's Vincent Lecavalier off for five minutes by agitating him into a fight. The two goals would prove to be the only ones Sestito would get in the 21 games he played for the Flyers prior to being claimed off waivers by the Vancouver Canucks in March 2013.
February 5: Flyers Birthday
- Defenseman Larry Hillman was born on Feb. 5, 1937 in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. Both he and his late younger brother, Wayne, played for the Flyers in the late 1960s to early 1970s.