The late Pelle Lindbergh blossomed into a superstar NHL goaltender during the 1984-85 season, winning the Vezina Trophy, placing as a Hart Trophy finalist and backstopping the Philadelphia Flyers - the NHL's youngest team - to within three wins of the Stanley Cup.
As much as any save during his too-short career, Lindbergh's penalty shot save against Minnesota North Stars forward Scott Bjugstad on November 3, 1984, showed the talented little Swedish netminder at his athletic peak.
On the sequence, Lindbergh actually committed himself too early as Bjugstad deked to his right and then moved left. Most goaltenders, even other NHL goalies of the time, would have little to no chance to recover once their momentum was taking them in the wrong direction.
Pelle Lindbergh, however, was not most NHL goalies. He was the best in the world at that time.
Somehow, Lindbergh managed to recover and, with an acrobatic dive across the crease, knocked the shot to safety. Bjugstad, certain he had a goal, wore a stunned and crestfallen look on his face.
The Flyers went on to win the game, 5-1. Tim Kerr notched his 11th and 12th goals of the young season with a pair of power play goals and also assisted on a Peter Zezel even-strength goal to open the scoring.
November 3: Through the Years
- 1968: A stellar goaltending performance by future Hall of Fame goaltender Bernie Parent (33 saves) keys a 3-2 win at the Spectrum over the storied Montreal Canadiens. Andre Lacroix scores a late first-period power play goal to answer to a tally by Hall of Famer Henri "Pocket Rocket" Richard. Simon Nolet and Hall of Famer Allen Stanley earn the assists on Lacroix's goal. The Flyers trail 2-1 heading into the third period until Lacroix sets up Nolet for a power play goal to tie the game at 2-2. Midway through the period, Jim Johnson puts the Flyers ahead. Parent takes care of the rest, making a dozen third period saves to nail down the victory.
- 1974: Flyers Hall of Fame defenseman Jimmy Watson enjoys a rare two-goal game, liftng the defending Stanley Cup champions to a 3-1 win over the New York Islandes at the Spectrum. Bernie Parent (28 saves on 29 shots) outduels combative young future Hall of Fame netminder Billy Smith (27 saves on 30 shots). A shorthanded goal by Watson midway through regulation proves to be the game-winner. Gary Dornhoefer also scores for Philly.
- 1983: Paul Holmgren becomes the Flyers' all-time penalty minute leader, surpassing Andre "Moose" Dupont (1,505 PIM). Rick Tocchet would later bypass Holmgren.
- 1985: The Flyers prevail over the Los Angeles Kings by a 7-4 count in a fight-filled game at the Spectrum. Tim Kerr notches his ninth career hat trick (combined regular season and playoffs) to lead the offensive assault. Pelle Lindbergh earns his fourth straight win. The 26-year-old defending Vezina Trophy winner will only make one more start before perishing in a fatal car crash in the wee hours of Nov. 10, 1985.
- 1997: Legion of Doom linemates Eric Lindros (two goals) and John LeClair (one goal, one assist) lead the way in a 5-1 road win over the St. Louis Blues. The Flyers blitz the Blues for four goals in the opening period and never look back. The third member of the top line, Dainius Zubrus, breaks loose from a point slump with a goal and two assists, while Rod Brind'Amour opens the scoring in the game.
- 2005: The host Flyers crush the struggling Washington Capitals by an 8-1 count. Jeff Carter and Jon Sim score two goals apiece. The middle frame is dominated by the Flyers' top line. The trio of Peter Forsberg (one goal, two assists), Simon Gagne (two goals) and Mike Knuble (one goal, two assists) strike four times over the course of the period.
- 2011: The Flyers drop a 4-3 shootout decision on home ice against the New Jersey Devils. On the bright side, Philadelphia gets goals from both expected (Claude Giroux's eighth of the season, set up by linemate Jaromir Jagr) and unexpected sources, as crash-and-bang fourth liner Zac Rinaldo scores his first career NHL goal and checking minded forward Max Talbot converts a penalty shot early in the third period for his fourth goal of the season. Sergei Bobrovsky stops 36 of 39 shots in regulation and overtime before New Jersey scores twice in three shootout rounds. Danny Briere nets the lone successful Flyers' attempt in the shootoout.