The gloves came off with regularity and the goal light behind the visiting team net was turned on even more frequently when the Philadelphia Flyers humiliated the Washington Capitals, 6-1, at the Spectrum on January 24, 1991.
On his way to his second career 50-assist season and the Bobby Clarke Trophy as the Flyers most valuable player, playmaking wizard Pelle Eklund racked up four assists. Three came at even strength, one was on the power play.
The primary beneficiary of Eklund's setups was power forward Rick Tocchet, who racked up a hat trick on his 32nd, 33rd, and 34th goals of the season (on the way to his second career 40-goal campaign). Ron Sutter and Keith Acton rounded out the scoring with their respective 10th goals of the season.
Winning goaltender Ron Hextall made 38 saves and escalated the simmering friction of the game after tangling with both Alan May and Caps enforcer Nick Kypreos. Shortly thereafter, Craig Berube fought May. After the siren sounded to end the second period, Ron Sutter fought Dale Hunter, who received an extra roughing minor from the skirmish. In the third period, Terry Carkner fought Al Iafrate while Scott Mellanby dropped the gloves with Kypreos.
January 24: Through the Years
- 1968: Doug Favell plays one of the best games of his NHL career, stopping 46 of 47 shots as the Flyers capture a 2-1 win over the Maple Leafs at Maple Leaf Gardens. Ed Hoekstra opens the scoring early in the first period. After Bob Pulford ties the game for Toronto three minutes into the middle stanza, the Maple Leafs dominate the rest of the game but cannot solve Favell again. At 11:34 of the third period, Claude Laforge puts Philly ahead to stay. Favell makes 23 saves in the final period to slam the door on Toronto.
- 1970: In another one of the best games of his NHL career, Doug Favell blanks the Minnesota North Stars on 40 shots. This time, however, he gets much more goal support than in the inaugural season game in Toronto. The Flyers blow out the North Stars, 6-0, and lead 4-0 by the first intermission. Andre Lacroix leads the way with a three-point game (one goal, two assists), while rookie Bobby Clarke produces one goal and one assist.
- 1987: The Flyers have a frustrating but memorable night in East Rutherford, NJ, which ends in a brawl. With head coach Mike Keenan serving a one-game suspension and backup veteran goaltender Glenn "Chico" Resch getting a rare start, Philly falls, 4-3, to the lowly New Jersey Devils. Mark Johnson scores a pair of first period goals to give the Devils a lead it would not relinquish. Six minutes after Murray Craven cut the gap to 2-1 just 12 seconds into the second period, Resch made the stop on a shot by former Flyers captain Mel Bridgman but accidentally backhanded the puck into his own net. In the third period, the Flyers sandwich J.J. Daigneault and Dave Poulin goals around a tally by New Jersey's Peter McNab. The Flyers still have nearly 10 minutes left with which to tie the game but Alain Chevrier (28 saves on 31 shots) makes seven saves in the final nine minutes. With time about to expire, New Jersey's Steve Richmond punches Flyers defenseman Kjell Samuelsson, triggering a brawl in which Flyers rookie goaltender Ron Hextall - the backup on this night - rushes onto the ice and fights Chevrier. Samuelsson, Rick Tocchet, Lindsay Carson and Don Nachbaur are also involved in the fray. Referee Don Koharski doles out a combined 130 penalty minutes to the Flyers and Devils involved in the brawl with time expired.
- 1993: The Flyers capture a 5-4 home overtime win against the Hartford Whalers. Veteran defenseman Ric Nattress nets the game-winnner.
- 1996: The Flyers and Rangers battle to a 4-4 tie at Madison Square Garden. The game is knotted 1-1 at the end of the first period, as Pat Falloon (power play) and Brian Leetch trade off goals. The score is tied 2-2 at the second intermission after Petr Svoboda answers to a Mark Messier power play exactly one minute later. In the third period, Eric Lindros puts the Flyers ahead at the 1:26 mark but goals by Adam Graves (assisted by Messier) and Messier give the Rangers a 4-3 lead with exactly four minutes left in regulation. With 1:09 left on the clock, Rod Brind'Amour ties the game yet again. Ron Hextall stops 38 of 42 shots, while New York's Glenn Healy turns back 32 of 36.
- 2008: The Flyers earn a 4-3 home win against the hated Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsburgh native R.J. Umberger leads the way with a goal and two assists for the Flyers. In the third period, Mike Knuble tallies the game winner moments after a Ryan Whitney shorthanded goal re-ties the score at 3-3. Earlier, the game is tied 1-1 after the first period and 2-2 after the second.
- 2013: The Flyers skate to a 2-1 home win over the New York Rangers, buoyed by second period goals by Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek (power play). Ilya Bryzgalov takes a shutout into the third period, and finishes with 18 saves on 19 shots. The game also features a first-period fight between Tom Sestito and Stu Bickel with Bickel picking up an instigator penalty.
January 24: Flyers Birthday
- Best known as the backup to Bernie Parent and, later, a longtime Flyers broadcast analyst alongside legendary play-by-play man Gene Hart, Bobby "Chief" Taylor was born in Calgary on Jan. 24, 1945.