In a classic duel between two Hall of Fame goaltenders, Bernie Parent's defending Stanley Cup champion Philadelphia Flyers topped Ken Dryden and the Montreal Canadiens by a 2-1 score at the Spectrum on March 23, 1975.
Both goalies were at the top of their respective games. Parent turned back 19 of 20 shots; not a high quantity but there were multiple high-quality chances generated by the Habs along the way. Dryden stopped 33 of 35 as the Flyers pressured heavily in all three zones and were able to forecheck effectively even against Montreal's vaunted defense corps.
Only an unstoppable late first period power play goal by the legendary Guy LaFleur, which tied the game at 1-1, got past Parent. For the Flyers, a first-period Rick MacLeish goal (35th of the season) and a mid-game Ross Lonsberry tally (20th) were just enough to win.
Philly clamps down defensively in the third period, limiting the deadly Canadiens attack to seven shots. In his second of back-to-back Vezina Trophy winning seasons, Parent took care of the rest
March 23: Through the Years
- 1969: The Flyers beat the arch-rival St. Louis Blues, 4-3, at the Spectrum, grabbing a 3-1 lead in the first period and then holding on to a one-goal lead in the final period. Goals by Gary Dornhoefer, Bill Sutherland, Jim Johnson and Garry Peters in the first 36 minutes of play provide all the Philadelphia scoring. Winning goalie Bernie Parent makes 11 saves in a tense final period to nail down the win.
- 1985: A three-goal surge in the third period, featuring Dave Poulin's 28th and 29th goals of the season, and an 11-save second period by Pelle Lindbergh enable the Flyers to survive a scare against the lowly New Jersey Devils and skate off with a 5-3 road win. Brian Propp collects three assists for Philadelphia.
- 1991: Pelle Eklund (second career NHL hat trick, four points) and Rick Tocchet (two goals, hitting the 40-goal milestone for the season) enjoy big nights in a 7-4 home win over the New York Rangers. Rookie center Mike Ricci notches his 21st goal of the season in the victory.
- 1996: Ron Hextall breezes to a 13-save shutout of the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 4-0 road win. Second period goals by John LeClair (40th of the season) and Rod Brind'Amour (20th) build upon first-period tallies by Dale Hawerchuk (15th) and Dan Quinn (11th). Eric Lindros collects a pair of assists.
- 1997: Ron Hextall enjoys a March 23rd shutout for the second straight season, blanking the visiting Colorado Avalanche on 19 shots. Unassisted goals by Pat Falloon in the first period and Joel Otto in the third are the only pucks to elude legendary netminder Patrick Roy (29 saves). The Flyers dominate the final period against the defending Stanley Cup champions, outshooting the Avs by a whopping 12-3 margin.
- 1999: The Flyers make two moves ahead of the trade deadline, reacquiring a pair of players who had previous stints with the club. The team rents impending unrestricted free agent defenseman Steve Duchesne, sending the Los Angeles Kings veteran defenseman Dave Babych and a 2000 fifth-round draft pick (Nathan Marsters). Additionally, the Flyers bring back veteran enforcer Craig Berube in a future-considerations (cash) deal with the Washington Capitals.
- 2002: Flyers right wing Mark Recchi becomes just the 177th player in National Hockey League history to play in 1,000 games, and he does so in a road game against his original team, the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh. Recchi marks the occasion with two assists in a 4-4 tie.
- 2004: The Flyers grind out a 4-2 road win over the Carolina Hurricanes, backstopped by 26 saves from Sean Burke. Tallies by Branko Radivojevic (two points), Patrick Sharp, Marcus Ragnarsson and Simon Gagne give Philly a two-goal lead they hold for the final 19:02 of play.
- 2009: The Flyers' power play sparks the team to a 4-2 home win over the New Jersey Devils as Danny Briere, Mike Knuble and Jeff Carter (40th goal of the season) score on the man advantage. Simon Gagne soon follows Carter's power play goal with an even-strength marker to hit the 30-goal mark for the season. Martin Biron turns back 32 of 34 shots to earn the win.
March 23: Flyers birthdays
- Depth defenseman Nolan Baumgartner was born March 23, 1976 in Calgary, Alberta.
- Natural goal-scorer Pavel Brendl was born March 23, 1981 in Olomouc, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic).
- Athletically gifted goaltender Michal Neuvirth was born March 23, 1988 in Ústí nad Labem, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic).
- Swedish forward Magnus Roupe was born on March 23, 1963 in Stockholm.