The 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers boasted not just one but three of the most formidable lines in the National Hockey League. Pat Quinn's team, which set a still-standing North American professional sports record with a 35-game unbeaten streak and then gut-wrenchingly came within two wins of the Stanley Cup, featured both the revived LCB line of Reggie Leach, Bobby Clarke and Bill Barber as well as the "Rat Patrol" trio of Ken "the Rat" Linseman, rookie left wing sniper Brian Propp and rawhide tough right winger Paul Holmgren.
Propp started out the season on a line with Clarke but, when Quinn later placed him with Linseman and Holmgren, the Flyers developed multiple lines who could carry the load on any given night.
On March 27, 1980, the Rat Patrol was collectively at the top of its game in a 5-2 win at the Spectrum against the Quebec Nordiques. Propp tallied his 32nd and 33rd goals of the season while Holmgren notched his 28th goal. Linseman set up Holmgren's goal to erase an early 1-0 deficit. Holmgren assisted on Propp's first goal. Propp, who finished with four points, later set up Dennis Ververgaert on what proved to be the game-winning tally.
By the end of the season, Propp set a Flyers franchise record for rookie scoring (since broken) with 34 goals and 75 points while dressing in all 80 regular season games. Linseman led the Flyers in scoring with 79 points (22 goals, 57 assists). Holmgren enjoyed the first 30-goal, 65-point season of his NHL career in addition to compiling 267 penalty minutes.
The second period of the March 27th game featured multiple fights breaking out at the 11:42 mark. The main events were bouts between Behn Wilson and Paul Baxter and a spirited bout between Flyers defenseman Jack McIlhargey and Quebec winger Paul Stewart; a University of Pennsylvania graduate who later became a longtime NHL referee.
On the same night, Clarke collected three points (one goal and two assists). For the season, Clarke had 57 assists; the eighth and final time in his Hall of Fame career that he topped the 50-assist mark. Leach had a big bounceback season with the second 50-goal season of his career. Barber had a 40-goal, 72-point season.
Rounding out the Flyers' formidable top-seven group of forwards, veteran Rick MacLeish enjoyed a 31-goal, 66-point season. In the meantime, team captain Mel Bridgman anchored the third line and chipped 47 points and 136 penalty minutes while checking wingers Bob "the Hound" Kelly hustled up 15 goals and Al Hill scored 16 goals respectively.
March 27: Through the Years
- 1969: Two goals by Bill Sutherland and 24 saves by Bernie Parent spur the Flyers to a 4-2 win over the LA Kings at the Spectrum.
- 1974: The visiting Flyers methodically dismantle the St. Louis Blues in a 6-2 road win. Bernie Parent makes 29 saves, while Ross Lonsberry (26th), Dave Schultz (19th), Gary Dornhoefer (11th), Bill Barber (28th), Rick MacLeish (31st) and Orest Kindrachuk (11th) score in a balanced attack. With the win, Parent ties an NHL then-record for most wins by a goaltender in a season.
- 1983: Before the first period is even halfway finished, the Flyers jump out to a 3-0 lead on the visiting New Jersey Devils on goals by Behn Wilson, Ron Flockhart and Bill Barber. Flockhart later adds a supplementary insurance goal in the third period (his 29th tally of the season) as the Flyers cruise to a 4-1 win. Bob Froese earns the win with 27 saves on 28 shots.
- 1994: Right winger Mark Recchi secures his second straight 100-point season, assisting on a late third-period goal by rookie Mikael Renberg (35th) to force overtime in Anaheim. The Mighty Ducks prevail, 3-2, in OT.
- 1996: The Flyers shrug off a sluggish start to earn a 4-2 road win over the Ottawa Senators. Third period goals by Eric Desjardins (7th) and John LeClair (43rd) make the difference after Rod Brind'Amour (21st) and Dale Hawerchuk (16th) help the club overcome a pair of one-goal deficits.
- 2000: The Flyers name defenseman Eric Desjardins the 12th captain in franchise history.
- 2002: The Flyers grind out a 4-2 win over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, overcoming goals by ex-Flyer Eric Lindros (two-point game) and veteran sniper Pavel Bure. Justin Williams (16th), Eric Desjardins (6th), John LeClair (24th) and Keith Primeau (empty net, 17th) tally for Philly.
- 2011: Brian Boucher (34 saves) matches Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas (26 saves) stop for stop until a late third period power play goal by Boston's Brad Marchand sends the host Flyers to a 2-1 defeat. Kris Versteeg notches the lone Philadelphia goal.
March 27 Flyers Birthday
- Original Flyer forward Brit Selby was born March 27, 1945 in Kingston, Ontario.